An interview with Mercyhurst's friendly receptionist

Trish Jaskiewicz.

While her name may be unfamiliar, you’ve most likely seen her on your way through Old Main.

She is the cheerful receptionist at the front desk of Old Main, the happy voice on the other end of calls to the university or the helpful woman who helped you find a room on the campus.

Jaskiewicz has been the receptionist in Old Main for the last two years, but has been a member of the Mercyhurst staff for the last ten years.

Her former position was with the Walker School of Business as a receptionist to the dean of the school, but she stated, “I really worked for the whole faculty.”

She enjoyed the position and her co-workers, but was ready for a change.

“When I first started working here Sister Damien was the receptionist and I would think that I’d love to have that job and now I do,” Jaskiewicz said.

Old Main has not always had a receptionist. The position faded away after the last receptionist passed away. After the loss of the receptionist most of the responsibilities were distributed to other offices of the campus and Police and Safety.

However the larger the campus got, the more confusing the situation became, and the need for a receptionist was apparent.

Unlike many large campuses Mercyhurst decided to keep a human to answer calls instead of giving the job to a automatic system.

“I hear of a lot of people that are happy to see a person to greet them or hear a person on the other end of the phone,” Jaskiewicz said.

Jaskiewicz has had many humorous experiences with confused people calling Mercyhurst, such as callers asking for people asking for “Mary” or callers asking for a different university.

She also spoke of some of the challenges of her job, such as the occasional disruption in the flow of information.

“Sometimes people forget to inform me about campus events. Maybe because we went for so long without one that they just forget to tell me, but it can be very confusing sometimes,” Jaskiewicz said.

While this can be inconvenient, Jaskiewicz understands how these mistakes happen and still enjoys the job.

Being the receptionist for the campus jobs include answering and redirecting calls to the university, meeting and greeting visitors to the campus and helping people find areas on the campus. Jaskiewicz loves the social nature of the work and enjoys her position being one of the first people that visitors see.

“I love that I’m able to help people feel at home when they walk through the door,” said Jaskiewicz, who also likes the location of her job in Old Main, saying, “at some point or another students are going to walk through Old Main, which means that I get to meet almost everyone on campus.”