Award-winning concierge service, Quintessentially Lifestyle, makes wishes come true – regardless of how weird or wacky – but has anyone ever stopped to think about the human cogs that make the proverbial QE clock tick? The Quintessentially Lifestyle Managers have often been described as something akin to superheroes by members and it’s a tag that became all the more apt as we sat down with Quintessentially Egypt Member Services & Membership Manager, Amira Tarkhan…
Tell us about a typical day at QE headquarters.
Amira: The greatest thing about Quintessentially Lifestyle Egypt is that there are NO typical days. We are at the mercy of our Members’ whims and desires. Every day, Lifestyle Managers receive diverse requests within Egypt and internationally; so, we might start our day working on organising a honeymoon, then booking a yacht in El Gouna, then a party in Ibiza, then football matches in London, then a Spa in Cairo, then source a rare item from Prague – and the requests go on. What is typical of everyday is the teamwork, jovial attitude and high spirits of the office – we are in the business of making people’s lives easier and more enjoyable – we can only do that if we are having fun ourselves.
What does it take to be a Lifestyle Manager at QE?
Amira: A Lifestyle Manager has to be someone who can multitask, is quick to think out of the box, ready to take on any challenge with a smile and a people person through and through. It’s quite a deceiving job too; many people assume it to be easy and fun –while it is fun, it’s far from easy. Our Members are busy people with active lifestyles, which can make them demanding – they need things done flawlessly and in a timely fashion and our job is to deliver just that. An eye for detail is essential – Lifestyle Managers handle different types of requests simultaneously, some simple and some complex, but all equally important. It’s also super important to have a good sense of humour – you wouldn’t survive without it.
We also picked the brains of Omar Abou El Gheit, Betty Farid and Rabab El Monofi…
What makes YOU a good Lifestyle Manager?
Omar: I’m patient and can keep my cool in stressful situations. Also, I’m organised.
Betty: I understand our Members’ needs and always manage their expectations. I take ownership of my requests and try to always be as professional as possible.
Rabab: I believe that what makes me a good lifestyle manager is the fact that I am dedicated to my work and to my Members. If there’s a job I have to do, then I will do it and I will make sure to go the extra mile.
What’s the maddest thing you’ve ever been asked to do?
Omar: Buying belly-dancing costumes for one of our Members…
Betty: I handled ALL nightlife requests this summer for the North Coast – that was MAD!
Rabab: Recently I had to turn down an S-600 Maybach 2015 for an S-Class (because it was what the Member wanted) and was told off by the supplier about how luxurious the Maybach is in comparison!
Many QE members refer to you as superheroes – if you could have a superpower to help with being a Lifestyle Manager, what would it be?
Omar: The ability of forcing members to make a decision.
Betty: If I had a superpower, I’d want to be able to read people’s minds so I could see into the Members’ minds and be fully aware of what exactly they are looking for. I could easily understand people’s personality and their expectations.
Rabab: The one superpower I would want is to be able to get any request done without hearing ‘unavailable’ or ‘not possible’ from the suppliers
Who would be your ideal celebrity member? International & Local?
Omar: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Bassem Youssef.
Betty: Johnny Depp and Mohamed Sobhy!
Rabab: George Clooney and Khaled El Sawy.
If you were a Quintessentially Member, and not a Lifestyle Manager, what would be your first request?
Omar: I would ask for a serviced apartment when I travel; it’s such a pain to do and Quintessentially have great contacts and insider knowledge.
Betty: I have a passion for Sinai, but ironically hate planning trips for me and my friends. I would ask Quintessentially to organise a trip with hotels, transport and activities so I wouldn’t have to worry about a single detail.
Rabab: Drive a Formula 1 car around the London track.
For more information on Quintessentially Egypt, click here.
By Kalam El Qahaira