FIFA receives 40,000 to 50,000 faxes a year, and it is the job of Laurette Rodriguez and her seven-strong team to make sure that they swiftly reach their proper destination within the organisation. “The box fills up overnight,” says Laurette, “so it’s our first job in the morning.”
The door to Laurette’s office is open, and her vista on this sunny day is of the FIFA team going through their paces at lunchtime on the artificial pitch adjoining her office. Coffee in hand, she prepares for tomorrow’s employee performance review. Later, she talks with a colleague to create an overview of all the events that are taking place in the building. The work is centrally managed, and concerns the occupancy of the 36 rooms and spaces in and around the Home of FIFA, which include the capacious auditorium (200 seats), the 22 meeting rooms, the foyer, the terrace, the four changing rooms and the four pitches (two for football, one for beach soccer and one mini-pitch).
Planning is everything: as if organizing the use of the facilities to everyone’s satisfaction isn’t challenging enough, there is also the small matter of supporting and catering for the people using them. “Time is crucial where large workshops and forums are concerned,” says Laurette, “as we are often notified of a change at the last minute. A room is needed, and that has a knock-on effect on many others.” Coordinating seating plans and printing nameplates are among the department’s more straightforward tasks: arranging external caterers or suddenly having to find an interpreter for an out-of-the-ordinary language, on the other hand, is another matter. Laurette Rodriguez Her considerate multilingual team is part of the fabric of FIFA.
It’s afternoon, and Laurette looks at the document at the top of her pile. She recalls a medical emergency in the building three weeks previously: “It turned out okay because we all responded quickly.” Her team is also responsible for informing FIFA’s trained first-aiders immediately of any situation requiring their support.
Will it be somewhat less busy tomorrow morning, when Laurette is on Reception? She laughs, and says how much she enjoys the direct contact with callers and tourists. She speaks for her whole team, whose considerate and multilingual service has become part of the fabric of the Home of FIFA.
FIFA’s monthly magazine, FIFA 1904, provides insight into working at FIFA. Each edition includes FIFA team member profiles under the titles ‘Faces of FIFA’ (short interviews with three team members) and ‘A day in the life of’ (a more complete look into a day with a selected team member).
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