User office guest registration “specialists” Angel Hernandez and Giselle Jiles play a unique role at the ALS—they are often the first line of face-to-face contact new users have when they arrive for their beamtime. As such, the two see themselves as the caregivers of the ALS user experience.
“We are here to do everything in our powers to make sure they get down to that beamline,” says Jiles. “And the best customer service we can offer produces the best results for the scientists,” adds Hernandez.
Hernandez manages guest registration, travel, stipends, and publications, while Jiles manages the reception desk in the mezzanine. When asked what they most enjoy about what they like to call their “meet and greet” role at the ALS, the two agree in their enthusiasm about supporting science. Hernandez has been in his role at the ALS for five years; Jiles for two.
That support starts long before users arrive at the ALS, with making sure that they everything they need to make the check-in process seamless. “They get every detail to make the transition as smooth as possible,” says Jiles. “We give them almost an overload of information!”
Once users arrive, they usually see Jiles first for processing of travel documents, then head over to Hernandez for badging and publications management. They both enjoy building relationships with users and are often rewarded for their customer service role with treats from all around the world, invitations to visit, and birth announcements. “The users know that I have a weakness for chocolate,” jokes Jiles.
Hernandez describes his job as “culturally infusing” because of the range of global visitors he regularly interacts with. “We get to see how each segment of the world reacts to us and, in a sense, we’re also representing the United States,” he says.
“It’s really interesting to hear about what users are researching and how it is going to affect our lives down the line,” says Hernandez. “We almost have a look into the future from that respect.”
“I tell some of the scientists: I want to get you down onto that floor, because I am going to benefit from what you do,” says Giselle. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked in an environment where people are as passionate about what they do,”