A Day with Helen
Helen is twenty-five years old and she works as an event planner. The agency where she works specializes in only one kind of events – marriage proposals. Her usual working day is rather intense, but she has to stay in a good mood all the time, which is not so easy. Each working day requires much energy and creativity, so it is possible to conclude that Helen’s life is quite interesting.
Usually, Helen’s working day starts at nine in the morning. She enters the office smiling and holding several cups of coffee for herself and her colleagues. As she explains, “A smile is one of the most significant compounds of my work, and it is essential for the cooperation with the colleagues as well as with the customers” (Clark, Personal Interview 1, July 4, 2015). The beginning of Helen’s working day is far from being busy: it starts with drinking some coffee and having a conversation with her two colleagues – Adam and Jane. In the morning, they talk about the things that are not connected with their work because of several reasons. Firstly, it helps them to relieve the stress because, in most cases, the remaining part of the day is full of events. Secondly, such conversations tend to improve Helen’s mood, which is beneficial for her work.
At about ten o’clock in the morning, Helen participates in a planning briefing. At the briefing, Helen is to consider which tasks she will do during the day. If there is an urgent order, she will postpone performing other tasks. If there are no orders at all, she will read some articles, which are connected with her work. Therefore, usually, she reads and makes some notes for future orders, and plans some current ones. For example, Helen has a big collection of songs that can fit proposals. Of course, some customers choose a particular song that is relevant to their relationship, but others cannot make a choice on their own, so Helen’s task is to pick the song that will be pleasant to hear at the event. Taking into account that there are picky customers who would like their proposal to be perfect, Helen has to search for new songs from time to time. Helen states: “As the time passes, some songs become annoying, while others simply get old, and people tend to search for the uniqueness” (Clark, Personal Interview 3, July 7, 2015). Apart from making the collection bigger, Helen has other daily tasks. For example, she has to find and buy certain objects, which are necessary for various types of proposals. Thus, most of the proposals require flowers, balloons, and champagne – this is a standard set, so she already knows places where the price is reasonable and the quality is high. However, many types of proposals require other objects, and it may take much time to find them.
If Helen does not have to buy any objects, she stays at the office. While she is at the office, customers get in touch with her via e-mail, phone, or personally. Most of the customers prefer calling the agency, so she talks with them a lot. When a customer calls, Helen asks some basic questions. For example, she asks when a customer would like to propose. It is significant to learn this information in the first place because the price depends not only on the type of the proposal, but also on the number of the days for planning. Then, Helen asks whether a customer has an idea of how it should happen, or he/she entrusts it to the agency. If a customer’s idea is realistic, Helen asks him/her to come to their office to discuss the details and the price, and then sign the contract. If a customer does not know how to propose to impress his or her spouse-to-be, Helen offers several basic options at first. She has a list of several most popular ways of proposing, and each of these ways already has a price, so it is rather convenient to offer them. For example, Helen offers to arrange the proposal at a restaurant, at a theater, on a boat, at a football field, on the roof, or on a hot air balloon ride. Sometimes a customer is not fond of the basic types because he/she seeks something more creative. In this case, Helen starts to ask many questions, such as their age, the amount of time these people have spent together; some memories of their acquaintance and their first date (only if a customer agrees to share this information), the colors which a customer’s future wife or husband prefers, what kind of person she/he is; whether she/he prefers chic or modesty (Clark, Personal Interview 4, July 8, 2015). These questions are also standard, but Helen has to listen attentively to the customer’s answers and think up other questions during their conversation. During the conversation, Helen always makes notes so as not to forget something because there are many important details.
At one o’clock in the afternoon, Helen has a break – half an hour. There are many cafes and shops near their office, so she manages to go out and eat something. Once a week, the manager of the agency treats the employees to a cake or candies. When it happens, Helen spends her break with her colleagues. When the weather is good, they take the cake and go out to eat it in a park which is situated nearby. Helen admits: “Our manager is a very smart person; this cake does make everyone work better and be more creative” (Clark, Personal Interview 2, July 5, 2015).
Sometimes Helen has to work in the evening instead of usual working hours. It happens once or twice a week, and it depends on the number of orders. Helen discusses with her colleagues which evenings will be more convenient for them, so they choose different evenings. It happens because some types of proposals are made in the evening and require the presence of the representative of the agency, so someone has to go to the place and control everything. For example, Jake calls Helen in the morning. He listens to the basic types of proposals, and chooses the one on the roof of a high-rise apartment building with a magnificent view. Jake says that he wants to propose the same day in the evening, so Helen’s working day is going to be extremely busy. They discuss some details, and then she sees the whole picture of the event. As there will be a table with chairs on the roof, it is necessary to hire a mover. Helen also has to buy a white tablecloth, eleven candles, two bottles of champagne and four glasses (in case they break something), fruit, caviar, and twenty-one roses. In the evening, Helen will have to go to that roof, make sure that everything is perfect, wait till the couple finishes their dinner, and supervise the cleaning of the roof.
To conclude, Helen has a marvelous job that makes her happy. This job does not fit everyone, but Helen is the right person for it. It is like a hobby: being able to help people, and also receiving money for it. Each of her working days is filled with various activities, which are quite tiresome, but she manages to stay cheerful and be an excellent employee.