She is known for her positive attitude, is not afraid of change, and loves to collect memories with her camera. With over 20 years of experience at Greencarrier Liner Agency taking on a number of different roles, it is fair to say she knows the shipping business. Please, meet Genebe Gomez-Paavola at Customer Service Import.
Hi, Genebe! You have been working at Greencarrier Liner Agency for over 20 years. What made you stay with the company for this long?
Yes, 21 years to be exact! What made me stay is my job, my colleagues, my supervisors, and the owners. But also the opportunities the company has brought me. Over the years, I have had the possibility to take on various roles and grow and learn from different experiences.
Please, describe the different roles you have had over the years?
When I first started working at Greencarrier Liner Agency back in 1998, I was juggling a bunch of different tasks. Among other things, I was working in the reception carrying out administrative work and with equipment control making sure customers were provided with the right type of containers.
After a few years, I got a new role in the export department and was handling all of the invoices. During this period, I learned a lot about the shipping business. It was very much “learning by doing”. Actually, everything I know about shipping today, I learned at work!
Eventually, I became responsible for import as well as export for the US market. For a period of time, I was also working in the sales department.
Today, I work at the Customer Service Import department with responsibility for activities concerning the processing, documentation, and handling of containers. I solve queries, arrange transports, and communicate with customers as well as other departments.
With your wide work history, it seems like you are not afraid of changes?
No, I guess I am not! Change is important and I believe you should always embrace it. It is good to change things up every now and then, both for personal growth and for the development of the company. Also, technical changes are often crucial for a company’s success. Change is part of our every-day-life and many times impossible to prevent. Instead of being reluctant, just go with the flow and see where it leads you!
I like that. Which part of your job is the most exciting versus challenging?
Every day, we are faced with new problems and we always try our best to solve them. I find it exciting to provide our customers with really good customer service. It is nice to respond quickly to enquiries and then receive positive feedback. I also enjoy visiting our customers.
The most challenging part of my job has been the language barrier. I am from the Philippines and came to Finland in 1980. Key to learning a new language is to speak that language as much as possible. And so, initially, I didn’t use my mother language at all but only spoke Finnish. However, working at Greencarrier Liner Agency means communicating with different parties across the globe and, therefore, our business language is English.
You are known for your positive attitude. Working with customer service import, how does that reflect on the customers?
It is very important to have a “problem-solving attitude” when communicating with customers.
I always try to stay positive because nothing good ever comes from negative energy. When I receive customer inquiries, I try to be calm and have patience. There are always ways to find solutions. If I can’t figure it out myself, I can always ask my colleagues or supervisors for ideas or input. I think having a positive attitude automatically reflects on customers.
Sustainable shipping is close to the heart of Greencarrier Liner Agency. What inspires you to contribute to a greener future?
Actually, Greta Thunberg was recently on the news initiating another school strike for the climate. It is impressive how this movement started with this young girl who made such an impact spreading the message across the world that we have to act, not just talk. To me, she is very inspiring and what she does is so admirable. Actions can be taken on many levels. To Greencarrier Liner Agency, it is really important to set an example for what companies actually can do to contribute to a greener future.
I happen to know that you have taken the majority of the pictures at the Finnish office. Where does your passion for photography come from?
Photographs are memories. We are getting older by the minute and taking pictures is a way of capturing memories from our lives. A photo is not beautiful based on whether a person looks good or bad in the picture, it is beautiful because it brings memories back to you.
That is lovely. I heard you are planning on retiring in a few years?
Yes, I am turning 60 in May. I am the oldest person and, proudly, the only grandmother at Greencarrier Liner Agency. I have been working with logistics for the majority of my life and been with Greencarrier Liner Agency for a fair amount of time. I am very grateful for all the amazing people I have had the opportunity to work with over the years. The different roles have given me a great deal of knowledge, experience, and insight into the shipping business. I have learnt so much – and I am still learning! And learning is an important part of life, I think.
The feeling is mutual, Genebe! Thank you so much for a really nice chat.
Do you want to get to know more of our Greencarrier employees? Visit our Greencarrier Blog to find more employee portraits.