Switchboard Assistant

April 21, 2010
By , Aurora, IL
I interviewed my mom, who works as a switchboard assistant in a library to find out just what she does at her job. She’s been working at the library she currently is employed at for about 10 years. I never really understood what she did exactly. I only knew that she operated the phones. I figured it was an easy job to do, but after the interview I realized how difficult it really is. This helped me understand why my mom is frustrated a lot when she comes home from work every day around 5:30 P.M.

What was your dream job when you were in 8th grade?

When I was in eighth grade, I always wanted to be a fashion designer, or something in the fashion industry. I loved wearing in-style clothing, and knowing the latest trends. It was something that I really had a knack for

What exactly is your job title and what do you do on the job?

I work as a switchboard assistant and serve the patrons and helps solve their library account problems. I also have to insure that the phone system is working properly and help other staff members with their phone problems.

What surprised you when you first went into this job?

I was really surprised with just how noisy libraries can be. They are always portrayed as strict and quite places, but some people don’t pay attention to the rules and go crazy!

What is the hardest part of your job and why?

Dealing with the occasional angry patrons. It’s stressful when you have people yelling at you, and when you try to help them specify what they’re asking for, I’ve found that it only makes them more angry.

Describe your first day at work.

It was very scary because I didn’t know anyone and didn’t know what I was doing. They had me working with the patrons right away, without much training. I had to learn everything on the job.

What advice would you give someone who would like to pursue a job like yours?

You have to like to work with people, be flexible with your schedule. You also have to have good customer service skills, and can’t be easily intimidated, or frustrated.

In your eyes, what is the “American Dream”?

The “American Dream” is to live in a good, strong community with a nice sized house, a good paying job and many friends. The “American Dream” is to live a comfortable life, whatever is comfortable for you.





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