She quickly gains people’s trust with her openness and smile. Thanks to his contacts, he is able to organize even the eccentric ideas of clients. These are the two most important competences of a good concierge, we talk about the profession with Alicja Bocheńska as part of the “Interesting professions” series. Last month, Róża Zawiołkowska talked about the work of a midwife, another interview in a month. 

Agnieszka Śladkowska: – Your path to work as a concierge, from obtaining the title of engineer at the Gdańsk University of Technology, through selling sewage pumps, to organizing trips to Jamaica, seems to be quite complicated.

Alicja Bocheńska: – It’s true, but at the same time it’s only a part of what I’ve been doing so far. I am an engineer by profession, I graduated in environmental protection. I managed the sales and marketing department in the water and sewage processes industry. In addition to technology, I have always been interested in art, which is why I also dealt with e.g. selling jewelry. Traveling is my big passion. Six years ago, my son and I spontaneously went on a three-week vacation to Jamaica. After returning, I decided to organize trips there and promote Caribbean culture. What connected all my passions were people. My greatest advantage in my professional work was the ability to connect people, and consequently also companies. So that they can work out joint ventures. I started organizing trips to Jamaica because I met wonderful, kind people there. Eventually, I did so many seemingly unrelated things that one evening I asked myself who I was. I love people, helping them, I’m great at organizing and building relationships quickly. And then it dawned on me, I’m a born concierge.

Then you dropped everything and started over?
-“I didn’t have to throw anything. In the Polish consciousness, the profession of a concierge is just looking for its place. It turned out that I can combine it with my work.

What exactly does a concierge do? Book tickets and order a hoodie outfit for a children’s show?
– “It’s hard to pin down everything a concierge does. Often it depends on his preferences and the type of orders. The easiest way is to divide our work into two areas. The first is a business concierge, i.e. one who supports the operation of the company. He does a bit of the work of an assistant to the company, and a bit of its representative, representative. The second is a personal concierge who takes care of an individual client or the whole family. You can specialize in only one area or, like me, accept both orders.

Can you describe examples of such orders from both areas?
– An order as part of the business concierge offer, for example, is four days of work with a company from Saudi Arabia. Company representatives came to Warsaw to recruit employees. My duties included taking care of the technical setting: premises, phone chargers, walks, souvenirs, organizing catering according to preferences, showing around the city along with telling the history of the places passed by. For an Italian company, I provide support in signing contracts, representing the company in contacts with contractors. On the other hand, as a private concierge, I arrange, for example, visits to doctors or beauticians for foreigners and, due to language barriers, I participate in them. In my activities, I focused mainly on foreigners. Often on those who come to the Tri-City for longer, for example on a contract. They have lived here for some time, but they still feel lost. A slightly different character is the concierge service assigned to the family. Were it not for the associations with social care, the term family assistant would be the best fit here. The scope of work can be very wide, from renting a hoodie outfit, booking tickets, arranging plumbers, to helping in managing the house, organizing shopping or family events.

Is there a demand for such a service in the Tri-City?
– Both in the Tri-City and in Poland, this is not a popular profession. I think it works in a vicious circle. It is not a popular profession, so there are few people who do it, because there are few people, so few people know that you can use such services, thus people do not look for concierges. Then we close the circle – low demand gives us few people who want to do this profession. Abroad, it is very widespread and on a certain material level – a professional concierge is one of the natural choices. I think that it is only a matter of the coming years when the demand for concierge services will start to grow. Today, concierges can be found in very good hotels and apartment buildings. People see how much time is generated by simple activities, looking for the best service providers. We live chaotic and very fast. The time saved can be spent on more urgent tasks or simply time for loved ones.

How much can you earn?
– It is difficult to answer this question unequivocally. Sometimes I have three weeks of assignments in a row and then two months off. The amounts for the same period can also vary. On average, it can be PLN 200 per hour, but for example PLN 300-400 for 4 hours. At flat rates, where we deal with a specific family, the remuneration is usually in the amount of PLN 2 – 4 thousand. PLN net.

What are the biggest pros and cons of this job?
-“Being a concierge, you What are the biggest pros and cons of this job? give your time to others. You are fully at their disposal. If you have a natural sense of humor and a smile, it’s easier. Working with people poses many challenges. The downside for sure is that sometimes I have to put time for the client ahead of time for the family. But I try to keep it rare. But the biggest bonus of this job for me is meeting interesting people, it develops me. I like to help and the tasks I perform at the request of clients give me great satisfaction.

What qualities should a concierge have to cope with this profession?
– Must be open, easy to establish relationships. Sometimes he will rely on his network of contacts at work. Plus great organization and versatility. Must like people, like to help. Be able to gain customer trust. Although you have to remember that in the end everything will break down about chemistry or the lack of it during the first meeting.

What are your career plans?
– I would like to promote the concierge service. I also dream of opening a school where people would actually have a chance to learn a profession from people who want to share their experience. Concierge is not just a job for me, it’s also a way of life and way of thinking.

The Tri-City labor market means diversity and constant, dynamic changes. Interesting, niche professions and occupations that are gaining popularity in a moment. We want to show readers not only professions worth knowing, but also extraordinary people who passionately talk about their work. This is the purpose of the series of interviews “Interesting Professions”. author Agnieszka Śladkowska Read more at: