Wow! 25 years in Circle K! Do you even remember how it all started?
Sure thing! I still remember how I applied for a summer job at the gas station, got rejected the first time, but the second time I got the job and after the summer period I got the offer to stay and move to a brand new gas station already as an experienced employee. I worked at the gas station for a couple of years, while I was studying. It was an interesting period in my life, because we had a great team, a lot of activities outside of work. It wasn't like we worked around the clock, but there was also entertainment and fun. That motivated us to stay.
And how did you move to the business center?
I realized that I wanted to change something and applied to the gas station manager's program. After completing it I worked as a deputy manager at the gas station on Muitas Street. At that time, 200 meters away, there was an office of Statoil, now Circle K. Employees came from the office to the gas station during their lunch breaks and bought lunch. I thought that also could be interesting. At that time, there were a few vacancies in the office, and I ended up in the accounting department in the very beginning and helped with some back-office tasks in addition to station work and later applied and became a customer support specialist.
What has been your biggest project so far?
The biggest project was in 2014, when we switched from Latvian currency Lats to Euro. I worked only on this project for about 2 years. When the project was finished, a customer service manager was needed for the Latvian team. It was offered to me and fast forward - I have been here for 8 years. At the moment, in parallel with managing the Latvian CS team, I’m also responsible for Ireland bulk order capture team.
How would you describe your team?
We all have a great sense of humor, We know how to have fun. After a difficult conversation with a customer, the manager and co-workers need to see that the other person is upset and help them get out of it with humor. When leading the team, I have to assess what everyone is capable of, what are his/hers strengths and weaknesses, so I can give tasks that they would like and be able to do.
Do you have any team goals?
Besides company goals, we have “the secret agreement” to make our customers happy. At the time when I myself worked in customer service, I was satisfied when you can open up a new world to a customer, tell them how our systems work and you feel that they are satisfied with the answer and improve their everyday life. Then you feel happy.
Tell us a funny story.
This is probably from the book “What not to do”. (laughs) When I worked at the gas station, around four in the morning I was cleaning the shop, I was almost done, only one corner by the door was left. I had put a fire extinguisher (NEVER EVER DO IT) in the door to keep it open, when I accidentally hit it. It fell over and the white powder started shooting out. The store was in fog. All the goods were white. Needless to say that my night shift didn't end there, I continued to clean the store until noon.
What is the best lesson you have learned?
Very simple - don't make promises to your customers that you can't fulfill yourself.
What is it that you would like others to know about your work, which is part of it?
Sometimes I can help to Circle K customers also outside working hours during weekends and nights 😉
Do you think there is a question that could surprise you?
I have experienced a lot over the years, but you can always surprise me. I have observed that during the change of the moon phases, people become more active, ask strange questions than they do everyday.
What inspires you to go to work every day?
First and foremost, my family and kids. As well as our team, because we know how to have fun. We don't do intrigues, our team is friendly, it makes you want to come to work. If it gets boring, we'll always come up with a joke
If you had to compare yourself to an animal, who would you be?
I guess I would be a rabbit because I think he runs a lot and I also like to run. It is important for me to be in motion.