Cleaning up and sharing smiles

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It’s not hard to tell when Larry Richard is nearby at the Miramichi Campus of NBCC. Your first hint is the whistling; then, once a sightline has been established, you’re guaranteed a big smile and a cheerful greeting.

Richard, part of the facilities team at the Miramichi Campus, loves his job and it shows. For 28 years, he’s been keeping the halls and classrooms in tip top order, all with a smile on his face and a joke at the ready.

“All you’ve got to do is say hello,” said Richard. “If you’ve got a smile on your face, you’re going to bring out a conversation. A job is what you make of it; you can suck on lemons all day or you can come in and enjoy yourself.”

Richard is one of many NBCC support staff who work behind the scenes to keep the College running smoothly. With his upbeat attitude, he goes above and beyond the call of duty to make the NBCC experience a little friendlier for every student he encounters.

“The students are our clientele; they keep me working!” he quipped.

Students who come to NBCC right out of high school can sometimes find the experience a little overwhelming, and Richard does his best to put them at ease. Sometimes, he puts their parents at ease as well!

Before the beginning of the academic year, an international student visited the Campus with her mother. The mother was, understandably, worried about leaving her daughter to study in a strange country. Richard was there to provide reassurance and, after meeting with her, connected with her on social media so he could continue to let her know how her daughter was doing.

“Some of them, when they first get here, they’ve got nobody,” he said. “So if you can find an icebreaker and form a relationship with them, sometimes that can get them through that first month. And once they’re here for a month, they’re not leaving.”

For Richard, working at NBCC is a good way to earn a living. He enjoys his colleagues and his interactions with students, and “you get to work inside!” He doesn’t even mind if you walk on a floor he’s just mopped.

“If you didn’t dirty the floor, I wouldn’t have a job!”

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