Carol has been with the city for 16 years and works as a housekeeping and light maintenance (PTE) worker at the Centre du Plateau in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. What she loves about her job is that no two days are alike!
What does your job involve?
My role is to ensure the cleanliness and safety of the building to which I’m assigned. There are six of us maintaining the Centre du Plateau, and I’m in charge of the ground floor. I maintain the entire floor: gymnasium, dance studio, locker rooms, administrative offices, lobby, and more. Sometimes I get a chance to work on other floors, for example doing pool maintenance. I also carry out minor repairs, and look after contacting suppliers for major breakdowns like plumbing. The Centre is very busy; we welcome hundreds of people every day! I’m very proud to be serving Montrealers.
What’s your background?
I’m originally from Grande-Rivière in Gaspésie, and I have a college diploma in arts and literature. I gained a lot of experience in customer service before working for the city. I also worked for several years in a refinery in east-end Montréal. I began my career with the city in 2007 as a road maintenance worker. I’ve done a lot of things since I arrived: collecting garbage and recyclables, signalling in snowstorms, maintaining parks, watering skating rinks, and more. Since the city provides training for all the equipment and machinery used on the job, I’m able to do a wide range of tasks. I’ve been working in building maintenance for about eight years now.
What’s a typical working day like?
I’m an early riser, and arrive at work at 5:30 in the morning. I deactivate the alarm system, then check the day’s activity schedule. Based on the day’s schedule, I make sure everything is clean and set up on time. For example, I make sure to clean the dance studio before the neighbourhood daycare arrives. Everything has to be safe at all times. I say it’s never boring because there’s a lot of action in the building!
Do you often interact with the public?
Absolutely, and I love it! I speak regularly with the Centre’s clients to make sure everything is in order, but also to guide them and answer any questions they may have. Clients often come to me to report messes or damage. I’ve even made friends with quite a few clients, not to mention my colleagues.
What do you like best about your job?
Many things! First of all, I love being in contact with the public. The people who come to the Centre are so diverse, I find it very stimulating. That’s why no two days are alike. Yes, the basics remain the same (cleaning and maintenance, ya gotta love it!), but the tasks vary, depending on the day’s activities, not to mention the unexpected breakdowns! To be honest, I’m never late for work because I really enjoy it.
Why do you like working for the city?
With the city, nothing is impossible. There are so many ways to grow! Once you have a position, you can change sectors and try out new things. You can work in parks, roads, arenas, libraries, sports complexes and lots more places. Over the years, you meet so many people with different skills, it’s rewarding.
You can also take advantage of city subsidies for your studies, if you wish to move up and don’t have the required academic prerequisites. We even have an employee assistance program. Also, my managers are always ready to listen and help me when I need it.
Frankly, I don’t know how I’m ever going to leave the city to retire!