I checked in classes, cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the studio floor. I was happy to do it. If there was no one available, teachers had to check in their own classes.
Working the front desk was a privilege.
Today, it’s a job. People apply to work full or part-time, checking in classes and greeting students as they arrive. With retail, class packages, teacher-trainings and such, the job is much more complicated than when I checked in classes.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that the front desk is the front line in the studio. Students trust the person who’s informing them about the studio. Not only about where the bathroom is but also which classes to try.
I’m always shocked to hear about teachers being rude, dismissive or even abusive to those who work at the front desk.
These are our co-workers. And, the people who can make a difference in our teaching careers. Being a professional yoga teacher means being a professional co-worker.
5 ways to be an awesome co-worker
1. Let them know you’re there. Say “hello”. Introduce yourself if you don’t know the person. When a teacher breezes past the front desk, even if late, it makes their job harder. If they don’t know that you’re there on time, it adds to the stress of check-in.
2. Say “please” and “thank you”. You learned it kindergarten, you know it’s right.
3. Don’t complain if there’s a small mistake. When a studio pays per head, you have to work hand-in-hand with the front desk to make sure the number is right. It’s no one’s fault if it’s wrong. It’s an opportunity to work together.
4. Invite them to your workshops/retreats at a discount. Most studios offer employee discounts. If you have an event outside of the studio, invite your co-workers to come. Offer a discount or an exclusive invitation to do a work-trade.
5. Do unto others. If you have a request or question during check-in or while the front desk is busy with students, be respectful when interrupting. “Sorry to interrupt…” “May I ask…” How would you respond to someone shouting or knocking on the table to get your attention? Sounds crazy, but teachers treat the front desk staff that way all the time.
**Photo credit: yogajoes.com