Front Desk Volunteer Expectations

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Artisan's Asylum Front Desk Volunteer ("Deskie") Expectations

Serving as a Deskie for Artisan’s Asylum is a privilege and a responsibility that is of great value to the Artisan’s Asylum community. Thank you for being a part of our Deskie program!

Front Desk Volunteers (Deskies) at the Asylum staff our front desk during ‘staffed’ hours and are the face of the Asylum to the public walking through the door. You are a representative of Artisan’s Asylum and are often the first point of contact that guests have with our organization. So, whether greeting someone who walks through the front door, taking a phone call or responding to an email, you are both a community liaison and a brand ambassador. First impressions are important, and you’re a big part of that experience. How people experience Artisan’s Asylum often determines whether and how they elect to join us. That same welcoming, thoughtful and respectful experience will drive our community growth and sustainability. We expect all Deskies to embrace this responsibility wholeheartedly! To follow are shared expectations the deskies co-authored and agree to in order to ensure an enjoyable and successful experience for guests, members, staff, and other volunteers.


Deskies are expected to maintain at least one regular four (4) hour shift per week. You are also expected to make reasonable effort to attend any additional meetings, trainings and deskie related events. You are expected to update the shared Deskie calendar with your availability and absences on a regular basis. This includes partial shifts (if you need to be late or leave early) and missed shifts. If you need to drop a shift for any reason do it at the earliest possible moment. Front desk volunteers are expected to make all available effort to cover their shift by:

  1. removing your name from the shared schedule
  2. emailing deskies@ for coverage
  3. contacting individual deskies for coverage from the emergency coverage sheet
    • minimum 24 hours except for emergencies.

If either you do not update your schedule or you need to cancel more than one shift a month (without substituting for others) Artisan’s Asylum may:

  1. Cancel Deskie membership discounts for that month
  2. Ask the Deskie to step down from their role


Because you are the first point of contact with whom many guests (and members) interact, it is important that you are able to effectively communicate the energy of Artisan’s Asylum. This means that you should always aim to be respectful, helpful, aware and present.

In short, this means that you should always assume good intentions, offer help and answers to questions even when they might seem obvious (or even if the info is listed on the website), and spread the creative and inspiring spirit of Artisan’s!

Focus and Attention

Shifts can be slow, and we understand that. Nonetheless, even if you’re into a book or screen of code during your shift, as soon as someone walks through the front door or calls Artisan’s, you are expected to be 100 percent “on.” This means you look up from the page or screen, try and make eye contact, greet people (say “hello”), and present a welcoming and open disposition.


To the best of your ability, try and take meal breaks away from the front desk. If there are two of you on shift, coordinate your meals around each others’ schedules and around any special events. For example, try not to break into a meal near or during regularly scheduled tours (2PM and 8PM M-TH, 3PM Fridays and 2PM and 4PM Saturday and Sunday). If you must take a meal at the front desk, please accommodate options that minimize smells and messes, and don’t get your hands too messy either!


All Deskies are required to attend our orientation/on-boarding and training process and are expected to regularly refer to the front desk manual, FAQs, website, wikis, deskies@ mailing list and other documentation to seek out answers to questions as they come up. Please be proactive.

Of course, systems change, new questions arise, and details can be forgotten. It is better to get back to the person later instead of giving inaccurate information. If you are presented with a task or question that you do not know how to perform, please:

  1. ask another Deskie for help
  2. Email one of the mailing lists for the shops. Mailing Lists: Which List for What
  3. Email deskies@ list to ask what to do
  4. Email a staff member at one of the email addresses listed on the staff directory.
  5. Email the entire staff at
  6. If the issue/task is not resolved by the end of your shift, leave an email to front-desk@ in the inbox with all the details of the issue to help the next deskie.
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