Thomas Lohberger is the Lead Receptionist at Prime Tower. Though he doesn’t care much for the word ‘lead’. The likable 59-year-old prefers to understate his role, insisting that he isn’t all that important really. We beg to differ. In fact, he and his team assist up to 700 visitors every day, ensuring that each get to their appointment inside the tower on time – and most importantly – with a positive feeling.
After completing his final school exams, the Bremen (D) native wasn’t sure what kind of career he wanted to pursue, so he ultimately decided to study hotel management. He spent the next 30 years working primarily at reception at 5-star hotels in Switzerland. A decision that he doesn’t regret to this day. Quite the contrary, he enjoys his work now as much as ever – and to him, that is the most important thing.
Herr Lohberger, how does one go about becoming the lead receptionist at Prime Tower?
Simple. I applied for the position, introduced myself and apparently impressed (he laughs). I wanted to get out of the hotel business but stay true to the job. And when I saw the advert for the lead receptionist role, it seemed to fit the bill. At first, I worried that I might be bored, but that certainly hasn’t been the case.
What are your responsibilities in the tower?
Our main responsibilities are greeting guests, signing them in and directing them to the relevant floors – and getting this done as efficiently as possible so that visitors arrive at their appointments in a positive frame of mind. What happens after is out of our control.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The interaction with colleagues from the different companies as well as with visitors. What I also enjoy is the challenge of directing the many visitors to their correct floors within a reasonable time frame. We ensure that even in the busiest periods, nobody has to wait longer than two minutes. It’s very satisfying when everything runs smoothly on our end.
And what about the less enjoyable aspects? Is there anything that annoys you?
Not really. Sometimes there’s a bit of thoughtlessness amongst colleagues. They end up crashing into each other when one tries to come in and the other wants to get out, that simply doesn’t work. I’d like to see a little less elbow mentality in those cases. Nobody’s time is more valuable than anybody else’s. But everybody’s friendly to me, I have no complaints.
What is the craziest thing that’s happened in your career so far?
You’ll have to wait for my memoirs for that (he laughs out loud). For reasons of discretion, I couldn’t possibly say. But rest assured that over many years on the job, I’ve seen and heard it all. For me, the most wonderful event was the Bilderberg Conference on the Bürgenstock in 1995. It was a huge gathering of notable personalities from politics and science that you wouldn’t recognise at first glance but that were important just the same.
We can’t wait. When is your book coming out?
Well, you know my birth year now (1959). Let’s say in ten years!