When national retail chains locate in smaller communities, they sometimes use the smaller offices as training grounds for professional and management staff.
This makes the job of the local receptionist very important, because often that person is the one who represents continuity in the community.
Nancy Scheuerman works at the Connect Hearing clinic on Elizabeth Street as customer care representative. She’s a people person who previously was an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in the Far East.
“I was so happy,” she says about her time as a teacher. “It wasn’t just about money. It was about meeting the people. I taught from 9:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. I averaged 11 teaching hours a day, five days a week.”
She also gave private lessons. By the end of her first year she was teaching employees at exporting companies who would travel and meet socially with clients after business hours.
“They wanted to learn slang so they could understand what people were talking about over dinner,” she said.
After a couple of years living in Seoul, South Korea, she moved to the Philippines, where she and her son Paul started a language school on their own in the city of Cebu. Unfortunately, it was not as successful over the two years they were in business. So, she came back to Okotoks and the started working part-time for Jamil Hussein, the owner of a local hearing clinic. In the spring of 2013, Hussein sold the clinic to Connect Hearing, an up-and-coming firm based in Victoria, BC.
“[Connect Hearing] was acquiring clinics across Canada and was getting more referrals from physicians than any other firm,” she said.
As the local contact person, Nancy helped formulate her company’s local advertising strategy. And while the hearing instrument professionals were occasionally transferred in and out, Nancy bridged the transition as the link to the community. These days she also sets up hearing health screenings and hosts doctor ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions in other Connect Hearing communities throughout southern Alberta.
“I like the business because of the difference it makes in people’s lives,” she said. “Hearing aids are expensive but the government provides $900 through Alberta Aids to Daily Living and there’s also the cost share exempt program for low income Albertans.”
The question she is always asked is: “how do you know it’s time to get your hearing tested?”
“If your spouse, friends or children keep asking you to speak up, or if you ask other people to repeat things more often than is usual, maybe you should have that looked at,” she says.
“The hearing test is free, and we always try to go above and beyond what is required, because not being able to hear is so terrible.”