I can imagine you hear and see a lot in your particular function
(smiles) Yes I do. I have got lots of different things on my plate. From taking phone calls, managing our GM’s schedule and welcoming visitors to my daily duties as receptionist – every day is different and, well, quite full. But I see a lot of things happening, that’s true.
You’re close to the cockpit of Amadeus
More in general, I see a lot of people, and I see how travel is always on the move – fast. We are facing many changes and many shifts, and it’s great to work at a company that is keeping up and leading the way by staying close to customers.
In all that movement, you sound like a kind, silent enabler
Maintaining quality is how I see it – whatever happens. I coordinated moving to our new offices back in 2003, on top of all my other responsibilities. When I saw how everybody was able to continue working without any real problems, I was very proud. They were three months of hard work, though, but worth it.
And silent? Colleagues do drop by to chat once in a while too about what’s on their minds, so I have to be good listener too. But they do come and help whenever necessary, so that works both ways.
How easy is it to unwind for you?
With two teenagers at home, I have no choice (laughs), I know what to do. Doing simple things, like walking our dog, or doing nothing at all – that helps too. I have no trouble disconnecting, really.
And travelling would help too, to disconnect
Of course. Tuscany – I could go back every year. I have been there four times now. There is just something about the beauty there, it’s everywhere, it’s in everything: in the people, the kindness, the landscape, the food, the language – the “joie de vivre” there is so… attractive, addictive.
How did you start in the world of travel?
That is such a long time ago! Sometimes, I look at a picture on my desk that was taken when I started here, some 20 years ago, and colleagues my age and I laugh and say, jokingly, that we are Amadeus dinos.
But I started in customer services at EuroLines in Brussels. So I learned how to deal with customers, and how to communicate in every circumstance. But I moved from sales to admin when I got the chance, and that was how I started here.
If you could wish for something in the world of travel, what would it be?
More serenity, I guess. As a travel company, we feel the consequences of these insecure times. People should be able to travel without stress, without fear. Then again, I tend to live day by day and try not to live in the future.
Let’s just look a little bit ahead, then. Who’s next in this seat?
Olivier Smeets, because all I know of him is that he’s into horses. So I’d like to hear from him.
Care to link up?Find Dolores Prado on LinkedIn here.