What My Job is Really Like
See what real employees have to say about our companies.
Executive Director – Artisan Multi-family Apartments
As an Executive Director, I have the responsibility for daily operations as well as upkeep of the building and grounds as a corporate asset. I run the property as if it were my own business; and we executive directors are encouraged to do so! I want to oversee a desired and appealing community that our residents feel proud to call home.
One of my responsibilities is the daily inspection of the entire property. My financial duties include keeping records organized as well as managing expenses. I am supported in this by our accounting department which helps each step of the way towards our budget goals. Leading, supervising and motivating my team—office personnel, maintenance and outside vendors—is another main job duty that I take extreme pride in.
Daily I have the pleasure and the joy of interacting with residents, and providing them with much more than a place to live. I am able to assist our families in finding community resources through our resident services department. Our property also offers opportunities for community involvement which can cultivate lifestyle changes.
I am able to perform these day to day operations with confidence through not only corporate support but the support of our many civic partners as well. This support is instrumental in the success of each individual property and team member, and is a quality that I believe sets us apart.
Coming to work every day and being able to provide a modern residence in a revitalized area for deserving families makes my job meaningful and worthwhile. At Franklin I sincerely feel valued and encouraged to have the freedom to excel in leadership and my own professional growth. I have had an amazing 8 year journey and look forward to many more, as I continue to grow alongside a wonderful company that has given me an incredibly rewarding, fun, and lucrative career.
Lori A, executive director for 8 years
On my usual shift—11:00am to 7:30 pm—the first thing that needs to be done is getting out the To Go lunches for residents and also employee meals. That takes 10-15 minutes. Then we start getting ready for lunch service in the dining room. This includes setting out everything that will need to be used (mise-en-place, that’s a French word!) and then “pre-service” with the servers and supervisors. “Pre-service” means going over the menu: ingredients in each dish, how it’s prepared, does it have salt, etc.
Lunch service starts at 11:30, so for the next hour and a half, it’s preparing the foods that are ordered. As we cook, we are constantly tasting foods to make sure that everything is tasty and succulent: Bon Appetit. Things start tapering off at 1:00, but we have a few orders until lunch service ends at 1:30.
After lunch, we start prepping foods for dinner: salads, entrees and side dishes, and desserts. At 3:30 the To Go dinner tickets start coming in, so we prepare those. From 4:00 – 4:30 is our 30 minute meal break.
At 4:45, we have pre-service about the dinner menu before the dining room opens at 5:00. Orders start tapering off about 6:15, and we can begin winding down at 6:30.
At the end of the day, we have to shut off and clean everything: drain the fryer, clean the grill, label and put away foods, sweep, mop and clean. Everything has to be completely sanitized. The last thing I do is walk through and double-check that everything has been turned off: gas valves, warmers, everything.
The busiest time is definitely the dinner hour. The most challenging aspects of being a chef are keeping residents happy, doing everything the way it’s supposed to be done, and being creative with menus and different foods. I always challenge myself to do better.
The most rewarding part of the job is knowing that I’m keeping our residents alive with good, healthy, nutritious foods.
What advice would I give people interested in this kind of work? Make sure you are knowledgeable, about both foods and cooking. And: you have to be ambitious and eager to learn.
This is a great place to work for. And the work keeps you busy!
Kevin W., Chef for 5 years
Housekeeper – Independent Living Apartments
My day starts at 8:00 am. The first thing I do is get my cart from storage: it is always ready to go because the last thing I do at the end of my shift is load my cart with chemicals and supplies so that I can go right to work the next time I’m on duty.
Each housekeeper is responsible for regular assignments, including both public spaces and apartments. For the first hour of my shift, I clean the public areas assigned to me. This is mostly vacuuming and dusting/cleaning baseboards, tables, shelves and blinds.
I start cleaning apartments at 9:00. Each apartment will require 1 – 1 ½ hours, depending on size. First I strip the beds to start the sheets in the washing machine. I put fresh sheets on the bed while the old set is washing.
Next I go through the apartment to collect all the trash. Then I clean the bathroom starting with the vanity, then shower, then toilet, and finish with floor cleaning. In the kitchen, we clean the sink, microwave, stove, countertops, the outside of the refrigerator and – again – clean the floor last. Washing dishes and loading/unloading the dishwasher is the responsibility of the residents.
Dusting is next. In addition to furniture, we dust blinds and ceiling fans.
Every apartment has a patio or balcony that gets swept, and at the resident’s request we will clean the glass door. If the resident feeds birds, there is always a little extra cleaning required!
Vacuuming is always done last.
By the time I have finished cleaning, the sheets are done in the washing machine so I put them in the dryer before going on to the next apartment. By the time I am done cleaning the next apartment, the sheets in the previous apartment will be dry and I go back to fold them and put them away.
The best part of my job? Socializing with residents!
Lizette C., housekeeper for 1 year
Server – Independent Living Retirement Apartments
A typical day working in the dining room of Franklin Park Sonterra is pretty simple. You come in, coffee in hand, dressed cleanly in your uniform. Something about wearing a bow tie and looking good in the morning makes you feel more confident about the day ahead.
Heading to the front podium to see what section you have is the first thing you do, but you can’t help but say ‘hi’ on the way to the many lovely residents who call Franklin Park home. After checking what section is yours, you begin your opening duties. These can range from setting up the beverage station, to setting up the bussing station, or simply taking deliveries. But there’s always something to be done.
After opening duties are done, there’s pre-service. Fifteen minutes before service the cooks go over the menu for the day, including ingredients, and answer questions anyone might have. Pre-service also doubles as the time for servers to converse amongst each other, laugh, and wind down before starting service.
After that everything just becomes a blur. You serve the tables, talk with the residents and stay busy so you can go home. Let’s be honest: that’s everyone’s favorite part of a work day.
The best part about working at Franklin Park is the family atmosphere. Not just among the staff but among the residents. You can’t help but become attached to them. These people entrusting their health and well-being in your hands… you get attached. So many times I’ve had a bad day, but coming to work and seeing the smiles of all the residents turns it around really quick. It truly is an honor to have all of them in my life.
James C., server for 5 years
Evening Shift Concierge
From the minute I clock in, it is like a family reunion. The residents are so happy to see you: they compliment you, and treat you as if you were their child or grandchild.
I first check the activity calendar and birthday list to see what is going on for the day. That way, when residents ask me about an activity, I can intelligently respond, or wish them Happy Birthday as the case may be. As I stroll to the concierge desk in the lobby, I say hello to the residents, and then check with the daytime concierge about anything that I need to be aware of: someone went to the hospital, we are expecting entertainers, etc.
Most evenings, we put a movie on in the theatre. We turn on the subtitles and make sure the sound is loud enough as a lot of our residents are hearing impaired. We open and sort incoming business mail and, when asked, distribute weekly menus or flyers. We make sure the vendors sign in so we will have a log of who is in the building.
As time allows, we put together marketing brochures… correctly, as this is our signature! Each concierge has individual things assigned to them, such as address and stuff monthly billing envelopes.
One of the things I love most about my job is just listening to the residents. Sometimes they tell you the same story as they can’t remember if they told you or someone else! I acknowledge every resident as they come in and greet every visitor with a smile. This is like one big castle, and the home of many.
I think the most difficult thing we do as night or week-end concierge is respond to emergency pendant alerts. When a resident needs emergency assistance, they push a pendant worn around the neck, and the concierge pager goes off. We call them just in case they pushed it by accident, but if they don’t answer the phone, we transfer the switchboard to the mobile number and quickly go to the resident’s apartment to check on them. Fortunately, the majority of the time, the pendant was pushed in error, and we find them to be A-Ok!
Everything we do reflects Franklin Park: the concierge is the first person people see or talk with. We must answer the phone with a smile on our faces because even though the person on the other end cannot see the smile, they can hear it in our voices.
When I go home at night, I have such a rewarding feeling knowing that I have Made a Difference in the lives of our residents. From doing the little things to responding to an emergency, I have helped at least one resident that evening.
Davis H, concierge (promoted to Move-in Coordinator)