Today is “Bake a Biscuit Day” and so I did just that! We thought it would be nice to have some home-baked biscuits to welcome people into the Astra for this day, so we set up a stand on the table in the foyer. All day long people have been coming and going and grabbing a biscuit, as well as looking at the fun biscuit trivia that Aaron put together. We had a selection of chocolate chip cookies, shortbread and Anzac biscuits to satisfy any biscuit lover out there - and I’m sure we made a few new friends along the way too!
8:30am: Aaron arrives at the Astra bright and early to start his day at the Bondi Beach Astra. He opens up the office, switches the lights on above the lift and the seahorse statue, and opens the downstairs windows and doors to let the sea breeze flow through the ground floor.
9am: The office officially opens and Aaron, having gone through the important emails for the day, greets residents as they go out for their morning walk/swim. One resident comes down to ask Aaron for help with sending some pictures to a friend from her phone, another needs some printing done.
9:30am: There is a momentary lull, so Aaron takes advantage of this to conduct his first walk round of the week. Checking that everything is ok in the building after the weekend is all in a Monday's work - making sure the lights are all working, toilet rolls are in plentiful supply and there isn't too much mess anywhere. As this is the start of another month, 'The Senior' newspapers have arrived, and Aaron leaves a pile on each floor for residents to flick through.
10am: Back to the office and time to reply to the rest of the emails that have been piling up over the weekend.
11am: Some prospective residents arrive for a showround of the building. Aaron takes them through the available units and into the common areas, answering questions along the way. Towards the end, he shows them artist's impressions of the renovations that we are hoping to start this year in the communal spaces. We are all excited for a new and refreshed Astra... While this is happening, a call comes through that the NBN engineers are here to do some work on connecting up the Astra to the new network. Aaron takes them to where they need to be.
12pm: A number of new notices need to be put up for the week, advertising bingo and a movie night. Once designed and printed, Aaron goes round each of the three notice boards and adds them to the mix. Any out-of-date notices are removed.
12:30pm: It is a constant battle in the office to keep plants alive! The ones in the foyer area do not get as much light or air as they should, but Aaron continues to water them dutifully. The plants in the courtyard area fair better, and also need to be given a drink after the weekend. After the plants have had some food, Aaron can take some time to have his own lunch before the afternoon tasks get into full swing.
1pm: Aaron has collated forms for the residents for the week ordering meals from next door Trattoria. By 1pm he needs to take this information round to the Tratt so that they can be prepared.
1:15pm: The building Maintenance Manager, Nick, comes by to fit window locks in the building that are required by new regulations. He needs access to some of the units and Aaron has to liaise with the residents to make sure they are able to let him in.
2pm: Aaron checks the mail. Throughout the day he has had a number of parcels delivered by couriers for various residents, but now he is checking the main Australia Post delivery. Some residents are away at the moment, so he checks the notice on the office whiteboard so he knows whose mail to pick up. Some residents like their mail to be put out for them before they get back, others will pick it up when they are next in the office.
2:15pm: A resident comes down to ask if Aaron can change a light globe in their unit. He goes up to do so, and has a chat with a few different people on the way. Throughout the day people are coming and going through the Astra; residents, friends, family, postal workers, healthcare professionals and more...
2:30pm: More emails have come through, some with news about the Retirement Village industry. Aaron likes to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the aged care sector, and especially in the local area. It is always good to know about changes to the industry, and to have awareness of the competition!
3:30pm: A new resident is moving in today and she comes by to collect keys and ask questions about the village. Aaron gives her a tour of the major areas of note; the lounge room, pool and gym area, garbage rooms, courtyard and so on. It's always lovely to welcome to new people to the Astra, and we love to show off our wonderful, friendly Village.
4pm: The cleaner arrives and Aaron has to ask him to make sure he has cleaned certain areas that have got dirty over the weekend. The residents like to keep us informed about the state of the building, and it is helpful for us to have the perspective of someone who is living here all the time.
4:15pm: As it is the start of the month, the monthly newsletter is due. The comparative quiet of the final 45mins gives Aaron enough time to start writing some articles and compiling photos for this edition. It will get printed, folded and put into everyone's letterboxes tomorrow, so anyone who wants to can follow what's going on at the Astra in the coming month.
5pm: It's home time! When things have been happening constantly throughout the day, 5 o'clock can come around pretty quickly. Closing the office up is as simple as turning out the lights, closing the windows and locking the doors...that is, if you don't get a last-minute straggler come down to ask you something right on 5! It's all part of the service though and Aaron, being the consummate professional that he is, is happy to help whenever he's needed. Roll on tomorrow...!