Antoinette Arendse

Every month we feature an insight into one of our staff members lives to learn a little more about the people that make up the Ian Dickie Team. This month we interview Antoinette Arendse.

Customers and suppliers that regularly walk through the doors of our Cape Town Head Office will no doubt be familiar with Antoinette’s infectious smile and positive, professional demeanour. As a receptionist, Antoinette is the first point of contact with our customers, and her role is therefore crucial in maintaining the high service levels that Ian Dickie are renowned for in the marketplace. Despite the often frantic nature of her job as the front of the house for a very busy company, Antoinette always maintains her composure and professionalism, which is greatly appreciated.

Antoinette’s has kindly provided me with a well-worded insight into her life, and I feel it best to present her story as I have received it,.. in her own words.

“I am the youngest of 11 children (8 x brothers, 2 x sisters and myself) and grew up in the Cape Town suburb of Bonteheuwel to two wonderful parents, who sadly have since passed on. I was brought up in a Christian home and although never forced to attend church, was always reminded that God should be 1st in everything I do or set out to do in my life. My Dad was my mentor, friend and teacher and the one who taught me to cook, to catch fish and to fix a car, in case I should own one, one day.

My Dad was a backyard mechanic and fixed the cars of my school teachers, the pastor, friends, family and even on occasion a SAPS van or two. After school, I would eagerly change out of my school uniform into overalls to see what I could do to help him. Dad also inspired my passion for reading, as he would read books from a variety of genres, which we would discuss and share our thoughts.

I am happily married (still feels like a Honeymoon) to Alistair Arendse and we will celebrate our 28th year together this year! My husband works for a Sales & Marketing Company and also freelances for a Touring Company on some weekends. He celebrated his 50th birthday last year, an event that I am proud to say my daughter and I planned with great success. We have two children, our son Ravaughn who is 28 years old and daughter Robyn who turned 21 last year. I am a grandmother to Ranyah who is 9 years old and recently Levondre who will be 1 year old in March. Robyn studied and graduated in Events Management at Varsity College last year and is currently doing a bridging course for an Internship with an Insurance Company.

So, yes, our children are all grown up now, allowing my husband and me to have more time for ourselves. We love to take long drives together and enjoy visiting the Spice Route, Franschhoek; Stellenbosch and various other scenic and interesting locations when time allows.

I’ve recently become very involved with church activities and was appointed as Responsible for the Young 3rd Community of our Parish in Belhar. I thoroughly enjoy this position as I get to serve and learn about my saviour together with young ones and feel privileged to be able to share in their lives and hear their stories. I use this opportunity to encourage them about their faith and I, in turn, learn so much from them as well. It is quite fulfilling, and I feel honoured to be able to do this.

I started working at Ian Dickie on 29 May 2014 after having have gained invaluable experience in a variety of industries, namely: Recruitment, Courier Company, Events Management and Tourism. My role within all of these firms was to fulfil customer service requirements and meet or exceed customer expectations.

I attended Arcadia S.S.S. Bonteheuwel and subsequently attended various workshops in Customer Service, Personal Assistant; Excel Training etc. at various institutions. What are my passions, hobbies, sports?, mmm, my passions are my faith, my family and my work and my hobbies include cooking, reading and exploring the outdoors, my husband, and I have also recently started taking Ballroom Dance classes. I do not participate in any sports but enjoy watching cricket and support whatever sport my husband is interested in.

What milestones, people or events have influenced you while you have worked for ID?

Working at Ian Dickie has been an inspiring experience from the start. The staff are friendly, welcoming and helpful. When you walk in the door, and many customers have mentioned this, you step into an atmosphere that is not easy to explain, customers and even delivery guys have mentioned what a pleasure it is to come to ID & Co, everyone greets, smiles and seems happy.

There are many people I could mention, but the few that are top of mind are Mauricia Samuels, shy and elegant, yet strong, Mauricia encourages hard work and is always willing to assist or lend an understanding ear when needed. Ian Gie, what inspires me most about Mr Gie, is his love for his family and the Company as well. Ian Gie stands out in that he is a God-fearing man and not shy to show it and is also one of the few people who waits/listens for a response when he asks about your well-being.

Iain Fraser, always ready with a chuckle to share and a story to back it as well, you have to listen very carefully. Winston Robertson, down to earth and humble, yet stern when required, as his position demands it. His infectious laughter makes you join in even if you don’t know what the laughter was for and Ally Gaffor, a kind, soft-spoken man that always has a kind word and has an admirable work ethic.

What do you predict in terms of sales/ business/ technology in the future that might affect how Ian Dickie do business?

In terms of business, especially sales, the company has a reputation amongst our customers that speaks for itself.

Customer Service is VITAL in any business and is something I am passionate about. I therefore always ensure that our customers are attended to and assisted in any way that benefits our sales team and the company at large. Our informative website ensures that there is constant contact with customers and the stats we receive from Google Analytics ensure that we are aware of which products are most popular among our customers. I believe that growing our database will ensure we continue to reach new customers and match their needs with the best products.

Thank- you Antoinette, for your service and commitment to Ian Dickie and for providing us with these interesting insights into your life. We sincerely wish you, and your loved ones everything of the best for the year ahead. We are proud to count you as a member of the Ian Dickie ‘work-family’.

Staff Feature ANTOINETTE Final

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The Ian Dickie group is internationally recognized as one of Southern Africa’s most respected manufacturers and distributors of Construction and Municipal Equipment.

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