As a porter at Miriam Corban, Qiannan Chen knew that ‘a bit of everything’ was on the job description.
Being a new village awaiting the opening of the village centre, there is just a core team of staff who do a range of tasks and often help each other out where needed.
This was the case when a car pulled up at the village one day with a Chinese couple looking to buy an apartment.
“I thought they were friends of the Taiwanese couple who live in the village but they had come to look at a showroom," says Qiannan.
“I’m not in charge of that part so I rang Craig, the sales advisor, but they couldn’t speak any English so Craig asked if I would be translator,” she laughs.
“They were holding my hand! Craig would tell me the sizes and prices and I would explain to the two visitors.
“And I was telling them it’s quite a different concept compared to the resthomes we have in China, it’s more like a five star hotel!”
Their combined efforts did the trick – the couple were very keen to move in, however they were too young!
But the encounter gave Qiannan some great experience: “I liked being able to help and now I’d like to do sales!”
Until then she is relishing just having a job she really enjoys helping the residents she describes as ‘funny, friendly and open-minded’ and working with a great team.
Qiannan originally graduated with a Diploma in Tourism with ambitions to become an international flight attendant, but was grateful to be selected for a job working in the cargo department of Air New Zealand.
Then, the pandemic hit and she was made redundant.
However, it was through a friend she met there, Jerry, who is now Activities Coordinator at Bruce McLaren village, that she heard about Ryman and how much he enjoyed working there.
“He told me to try Ryman and showed me some pictures and I thought it must be really fun to work there.”
The rest is history, and Qiannan is keen to grow with the village and Ryman.
“I’m an outgoing person and I like working with people and here I see people demonstrating how to care for our residents with such kindness.
“I really love it here, it’s brilliant.”