Alumni Profile : Pat Leblanc
43-year journey with Deloitte
This past July, Deloitte’s cherished Halifax receptionist Pat Leblanc retired after 43 years with the firm. The office and regional managing partner held an alumni reception in her honour that was very well-attended by both alumni and current Halifax staff. People came to cheer Pat and wish her a long and happy retirement. We sat with Pat later to get a glimpse into her career.
Tell us about your Deloitte journey.
I joined Deloitte in Halifax on October 13, 1971, as a typist. During those days, I wore mini-skirts and smoked at my desk. A few years later, as the firm grew, I moved to proofing and processing financial statements and when Deloitte merged with Haskins & Sells, I became the receptionist of the merged firm. I continued in this role until my retirement 43 years later, on July 31, 2014.
“What happens at reception stays at reception.”
At first it was like I was ‘stuck’ at reception, but then everybody started coming to see me and I got to meet and know everyone. I was like the Office Mom. Colleagues came to me for help always. I even gave romantic tips to some young men over the years. Later, I got to know the kids’ kids – all of whom were excited to see me when they visited with their parents, and happy to check the treats drawer, which I always kept well stocked.
I’m very passionate about customer service, helping my colleagues and clients in whatever way I can. Nothing frustrates me more than a client who can’t reach someone in the office, so I’ve been known to walk down the halls looking for people to connect them to callers. My customer-service motto: ‘Treat people the way you want to be treated.’
One time, a client was in the office and was leaving for another meeting when I noticed the hem of his overcoat was coming down. I pointed it out to him, had him take the coat off and fixed it. He couldn’t go to his next meeting looking like that! Another time, one of the young audit analysts had a button come off his shirt. I said, “I’ll fix it for you, but you’ll have to take your shirt off for me!” [Pat had a twinkle in her eyes when she shared this]. We had a good chuckle and the young employee sat in one of the meeting rooms half-dressed while I did a swift repair at the front desk.
What’s your favourite holiday?
My husband Joe and I used to go away for a few nights at cozy little cottages throughout Nova Scotia, and I’d take a few things along to make it “like home”. And by a few things, I don’t mean candles and fairy lights – only pillows, blankets, lamps, knives, cutting boards, paper towels (well, they might not have any) and the list goes on. Then I thought it’s just easier to stay at home and do picnics on the deck, where Joe and I can have romantic dinners just steps away from everything we need.
Your favourite place in the world is…?
Wherever Joe is!
What’s your favourite pastime?
Nesting and cooking and baking for the three of us – myself, Joe and our son Shawn. When we married and moved into our first apartment, I was not interested in a honeymoon trip, but rather in turning our apartment into a home.
What was your most special Deloitte experience?
In the last year, Joe, my husband and best friend since high school, had some worrying health problems and I needed to take care of him. My most important experience with Deloitte was how they made me feel when Joe was ill. I felt safe. They made me feel safe – like my family.
I think you get out what you put in. They look after their people. I’ve seen it.