When I first began at the Lord Elgin Hotel, Maxine was away on maternity leave. I was able to use her desk for my first three months and was grateful for this because it made me feel like part of the team. When I asked if Maxine would mind me sitting there, all her coworkers laughed and went on about how kind Max is and that she would absolutely not mind.
Every day I saw the beautiful photos of her two girls on her desk, and a stunning photo of Max and her husband on their wedding day. I looked forward to finally meeting her when she returned in April.
After meeting Maxine, I realized that you really cannot say enough good things about her. She is genuine, charismatic and funny. She is not only passionate about her work, but she also cares so much about the people surrounding her.
I first noticed her thoughtfulness when Max walked by my new desk, which is a large table in the centre of the office, used for meetings or sometimes group lunches. As I did my work, there were a couple of items left over from someone’s lunch and a few unwanted sheets of paper, on the desk. Maxine immediately started clearing it all off, confused as to why anyone would leave this on “my” desk. This small act gave me a large amount of respect for Maxine. My respect has since grown over the last month and even more so after interviewing her for our blog.
Hope you all enjoy!
1.Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Ottawa.
2. How did you get your job at The Lord Elgin? How long have you worked here for?
I have worked here going on eight years in July. That will be my anniversary! I worked at another hotel before, working in the same market. Whenever I would travel on business or meet my clients, I’d ask what hotels they used in Ottawa. They would ALWAYS say the Lord Elgin.
Sure enough, my friend worked in the Lord Elgin sales department at the time and she called me saying a position had become available. I came in almost right away for an interview with Ann and David and I got the job within a couple days. Like they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.
3. At work, what is your biggest daily challenge? What do you enjoy the most?
I’m pretty lucky because I don’t think I have too many obstacles that I can’t overcome. I think that I’ve learned with age not to take things so personally. Whether working with clients or your daily interaction with staff you have to remember that business is business. However, when you are so emotionally involved in something, and when you put you entire self into it, it can be a challenge not to take things personally.
It can sometimes be an obstacle telling a potential client that maybe we are not the best fit. Sometimes when you’re in courtship with a client you realize that what we have and what they want may not be the same thing. Since part of my job is to get new business and nurture relationships, that can be difficult.
What I enjoy the most is Ottawa, I love Ottawa. Even though I have been the Tour & Travel Sales Manager for eight years and in this market for ten years, I still get excited about what Ottawa has to offer. I get inspired. I also think the hotel is amazing so it makes my job a lot easier. I love my coworkers, our products and who we are within the community. I love my job.
5. If you could describe your ideal day off, what would it involve?
I think it would for sure be a family outing. It would be either going to my parents’ house on the lake with the girls and my husband, or just staying at home with my family.
6. What is a movie title that describes your life?
Right now it would be “Parenthood”, both the movie and the title.
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
I can’t stand it when you let someone go ahead of you on the road and they don’t give you the “thank you wave”- I hate that! I also don’t like when people don’t return their shopping cart to the proper spot, like when they leave it next to a car or something.
8. What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Right now my fun is my family. I think it would be playing with my girls, whatever it may be- that’s fun to me now. To relax, read a book, or if I’m lucky, watch a movie. I also love reality shows. They are so ludicrous that it really puts things into perspective in my life, and for me that’s relaxing.
9. How did use choose the name Maude for your daughter?
Okay, this is crazy. Even before I was pregnant, whenever I do something mindless (driving, going to the washroom) I just go through names constantly. It’s weird, just so bizarre.
So I had a name picked out for some time- Magalie. And we have really close friends who were pregnant before us and we had their baby shower for them. We were all talking about names and she said that she wanted to use the name Magalie. We had never discussed the name before! I was like “Oh man, as if!” She had a great story behind it and was also pregnant first, so I decided it wasn’t meant to be.
I wanted a name for my daughter that she would be proud of, and could do whatever she wants with, whether a restaurant server or a president. I wanted the name to be a strong and respected name but also soft and calm. When she was born, we still went a day without calling her Maude. But we are happy now, her name really suits her.
10. Do you find it hard to balance your work life and home life since you’ve had your baby girl?
No because when I’m at work, it’s work. The moment I’m out the door, it’s family. It’s tough when I travel because I’m away from my family, but I know it’s my job and I can switch it on and off if I want to.
11. What are three things you can’t live without?
My family, and food- I get excited about food. Everything revolves around food. Anything you celebrate there’s usually food- so it’s definitely up there. And the outdoors. I really enjoy being outside, in the fresh air and sunshine.
12. Describe yourself in one word.
This is hard because life is a quest to find out who you are, so we never really know. What I may think I am, people around me may not think I’m that person. One thing that would describe me pretty well is that I wear my heart on my sleeve.
It’s tricky because if I just say I’m passionate, or emotional, it can be construed as different things. I think with me what you see is what you get- maybe I’d say I’m “intense”.
13. If you could have any superpower what would it be, and what would you do with it?
I would want to be able to time leap back in time and into the future, for my own beneficial reasons. Also, I could probably help a lot of people with whatever cure.
14. If you could be any other person in the world, who would you be?
I want to say a person with some kind of statue- prime minister or celebrity- so I could make a difference. Then again, I’m Maxine, I’m not really anybody but I hope I can still make a difference in someone’s life. Why do we need statue? I over think things too much but I probably wouldn’t want to be President. It’s too much stress and responsibility-I just want to be me and hope I can be the best person, and change someone’s world or life- even if it’s just a little thing.
15. What is the last thing you regret buying?
Everything. I’m one of those shoppers that unfortunately like’s nice things, therefor I buy them. Then, I get home and have buyer’s remorse. And I hate returning things to the store! It’s uncomfortable! But I seem to have been doing that a lot lately.
16. If you were reincarnated as a food item, what would you be?
I’m thinking cheese, I love cheese. But the problem with cheese is you have one bite and then it’s gone!
17. What is your favourite quote or saying?
I don’t have one to be honest. The ones I find myself using more commonly are: “What comes around goes around”, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and “Blood is thicker than water.” I’m French too so the French sayings aren’t necessarily the same in English. I tell my girls in French “I love you more than the earth”, but it doesn’t really make sense in English.