Wednesday, September 12, 2007


What's in a name? There are many people who know Priscilla Kant personally as she is the friendly face of the Fiji Broadcasting Commission Limited.
But do you know the actual spelling of her name does not correlate with how she has been addressed by thousands of people since birth.
The spelling of her name according to her birth certificate is 'Pricilla', without the 's'.
There may be some confusion over how it is pronounced, but she says it does not make a difference how her name is spelt.
However, she has been using 'Priscilla' for formal and informal occassions.
"It does not make a difference to me either you use the birth certificate one or the one I have been using because people know me anyway," she said.
Mrs Kant, 54, has been doing the same job for 30 years for the same company and says she is honoured to be doing something she loves.
She is the receptionist at FBCL in Suva. She is also the oldest and most well known staff of the company. She said being a receptionist was the best job for her and it was something she never got tired of doing.
"I love my job and I never get bored with what I do. This is what I have been doing for more than 30 years and this is where I belong," she said. Before joining FBCL, she was a receptionist at Sea Trans Fiji Limited. She was in her early 20s back then and worked for about two years at that company.
"That was my first job and I have done nothing else apart from handling a receptionist's job. I never felt like looking for another job because I found myself so attached to what I do," she said.
"I meet so many people in a day, I make friends and some people are surprised that I still work here. Joining this company was a big achievement for me and I enjoy working here.
"I am responsible for answering calls at the switchboard. I take messages and pass it to the required person. I enjoy meeting people and serving customers. I also check and update weather news and pass it to all the six stations. Doing this has become easier now as we have computers," she said.
Mrs Kant says she was offered better opportunities at other departments at FBCL but she rejected it. "I don't want to go and do something else. With this job, I feel like I am the boss of myself and nobody gets to rule me. I do things on my own and how I want this is what gets me going," she said. As years went by her responsibilities and expectations grew.
"Now I am also responsible for taking death messages and this has to be done very carefully. You can't afford to make any mistake and have to be very careful when noting down the message and then passing it on to the stations. I take messages on the phone and also in person when people come here directly," she said.
Seeing her enthusiasm about her work, I had to ask her if she ever got irritated by some calls.
"No and never. There are times when I get some phone calls by rude people and some even swear but I take things very lightly. I have to be polite to them no matter what and this is what I have been telling myself and others who come to do the same job. I don't get irritated and I just brush aside their rude remarks," she said.
"When I first started here I used to work on different shifts and I am glad my family adjusted to it. I worked from 5am to 1.30pm, 2.30pm to midnight and from midnight to morning. I even used to work at the weekends but I never complained about my shifts and neither did my family. I had three small children at home and depended heavily on my husband to look after them. I am grateful to my husband who was looking after the children when I was working on all these shifts and somehow we managed. I told myself that I could do it because this is what I always wanted to do," she said. Things have now changed for the better for her as she is now working a normal shift from 8am to 4.30pm excluding weekends.
She lives in Toorak the place where she was born and was married in. "I will be retiring next year and I think it is time for me to give more time to myself and I am looking forward to meeting my relatives and children who are overseas," she said. Working honestly with patience is what she believes in.
"Whatever you do in life, it is very important to have patience because without this, there will always be frustration," she said.

Adapted from Fijitimes Online