Name: Samuel Acquah (Aquaman)
Role: Concierge and Security
Time at Riverside: 13 months
What are your main responsibilities at Riverside?
As suggested in the name of my role, I am the first point of contact for customers and visitors at a residential facility. When there are no customers or visitors to attend to, I watch TV all night. My TV is a bit unusual, though. I think it’s also known as CCTV in the local language! That’s how I do most of the security part of my role. However, as you may have guessed, my role involves safeguarding our residents and looking out for their best interests.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s a typical night for me. I work during the snoring part of 24 hours. I start work at 9.45pm. A typical night involves a safe and well call on all residents at 10.30pm, letting customers in or out, having a chat with customers regarding their wellbeing, writing down all observations, checking and responding to emails, eating food and drinking water, calling the other scheme every two hours to report my own wellbeing, and making sure sleep does not come nowhere near me!
What’s your work environment like?
Conducive and safe, so far. Working alone means that on the rare occasions when they do happen, I have to deal with anti-social behaviour all alone. But help is never too far away. Due to its size, the office I work in can be a bit warm at times but we have two working fans and there are even talks about an air conditioning unit!
How has COVID-19 changed your role?
We have had to carry on working as close to normal as possible. The facilities we manage in my department need staffing round the clock. Of course, I do have to remind myself of the COVID-19 measures when dealing with customers and during handovers before and after my shift; something I didn’t have to be so conscious about before. However, the new routine is becoming more and more natural. Welcome to the new normal!
What are Riverside’s customers like?
Our customers are no different from the rest of the population. We have every typical personality you can think of. Many of our customers have experienced certain terrible things in life which unfortunately can make them a bit hard to deal with. But they are never beyond what we can handle or get help to deal with.
What do you like about Riverside’s approach to ensuring a diverse workplace?
I like the fact that there is a clear and persistent effort to ensure that more doors are opened or left open for everyone. I appreciate the modesty as well. The recognition that more needs to be done and the continuous call to everyone to support the efforts and measures being implemented is great to see. Personally, I have felt welcome at Riverside and I feel that when suitable opportunities open up, my race would not be a hindrance. So keep the door open for me management – I’m on my way!
What would you say if recommending working at Riverside to a friend?
Riverside does care for the staff. I don’t think it’s unique to me to feel valued if I know that the organisation I work for is looking out for not just my financial wellbeing but also my physical and emotional wellbeing. There are a number of initiatives to engage staff and support us, as well as being swift to ensure that no one falls below the living wage. I have great colleagues and have evidence to believe that the working environment is similar across the organisation.