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Q & A with Terri Tessama, Marketeria

Toronto, July 25, 2014

By Kaylea Forde

Terri Tessama
Terri Tessama (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

Tiruwork Tessama, better known as Terri, came to work at the Marketeria at St. Michael’s Hospital more than five years ago. One of three cashiers, Tessama is known for her contagious smile and her passion for helping people. The Marketeria opened in 1997, seats up to 200 people and is one of three retail food outlets in the hospital whose proceeds support patient services.

Q. Tell us about your role – what do you do in the Marketeria?
I provide general help; we have to work with everything. Most of the time I’m on cash, but if management asks me to do anything, if I can, I will do it. All of us will.

Q. What does a stressful/busy day look like?
I try to make people happy, even if it is a stressful day. I enjoy everything about working here. I try to make anything possible, to make my customers happy. The people at St. Michael's hospital are great to serve, and I am happy to serve every department. I try my best to help everyone. We all try our best to provide nice things, with good service. Our staff are all good helpers. And I look forward to helping, too.

Q. What brought you to St. Michael’s? What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I think that the environment is nice. The St. Michael's staff does a lot of things for other people, the doctors and nurses. And I am so happy to serve the other people, too. If I can make them happy, then I am happy. I like the logos too. Inspired care. I like that. I have to follow that at my workplace, too. I’ve been here for over five years and my favourite part is the customer service. I don’t have any problems at all. I love everybody here.

Q. What’s the most popular food item bought?
You know, we have a lot of different stations here with many sections. Hot food, pizza, pasta, salad bar and coffee. But we sell everything the same. The salad bar is popular though, because everything we have here is fresh.

Q. What is your favourite thing to eat when you get home?
Sweets. I like sweets. Fruit and sweets. But I like to cook spicy food at home. Traditional spicy food.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.