Theatre stage manager Charlotte takes on a starring role at Asda

November 16, 2020

A big well done to our friendly colleague Charlotte Dukes who's quickly become a favourite at our Aylesbury store for always delivering brilliant customer service with a smile.

Charlotte's a trained theatre stage manager and after leaving university last year she helped produce everything from comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to Shakespeare and panto. But with her day job on hold due to the pandemic, she joined us in May – and has quickly made a great impression on customers and colleagues alike

The 22 year-old was recently nominated for a service award by colleague Joanna Henderson, who says she delivers brilliant customer service with a friendly smile.

Joanna said: “Her customer service skills mean that she goes above and beyond and always has a happy smile on her face.

“This may be far from her chosen career which we will lose her to again all too soon, but she has embraced it. The theatre industry will definitely win in the end.”

Charlotte joined the store after hearing from her aunt Rachel Alson, who also works at Asda Aylesbury, that the store was recruiting for a number of temporary roles under lockdown.

Initially only joining for a few weeks, she’s been with us ever since and her can-do attitude has seen her work in nearly every role across the store.

She said: “Most of the work I do in my other role is freelance. When lockdown happened I was looking for another role then all jobs just stopped as the theatres closed.

“That’s when my auntie said that Asda were recruiting. Working with my auntie isn’t something I ever thought I’d get to do, so that’s quite fun.”

Charlotte says that her theatre work has stood her in good stead for her unexpected career change.

She said: “In my other role I have to be quite flexible, as one minute you can be setting the stage and the next you’re helping to dress the actors. Last year I did panto in Sevenoaks in Kent where they put me in a giant panda costume as I was the only one who could fit in it!

“I generally say yes if I’m asked to do something. If someone can show me how to do it, I’ll learn.

“When I’m working back stage I have to do a lot of quick thinking and problem solving and I feel like I’ve really benefited from that here.”

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Charlotte says that she wanted to be useful to the team, so set off on a mission to learn as much as possible to support her colleagues at the height of the pandemic.

“I was a bit nervous coming into this to be honest, as it had been a while since I’d been in a customer service role,” she said. “Once you’ve spoken to the first few customers and you know where things are, you’re fine.

“I just had to ask so many questions in those first few weeks as I had to learn things quickly. I wanted to be able to help as much as possible.”

Although Charlotte started on a temporary contract, she’s now become a semi-permanent member of staff.

Deputy store manager Elkin Ali says it’s not the obvious things she does that make her a great team member, but the positive effect she’s had on the store.

“If the pandemic had never happened, we’d potentially never have met her,” said Elkin.

“Originally she came to us on an eight hour contract, but she’s grown in value to the team.

“When it was Halloween she bought us all masks to cheer us up out of her own pocket. All of the colleagues got involved and we dressed up to bring a bit of fun to the store.

“There was a customer who came in with a little girl who couldn’t get a pumpkin, so Charlotte gave her one of the masks and it made her Halloween. It’s just the little things like that.”

He added: “She fell into the team so easily. It seems like no challenge is too big for her.”

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