The Uplifting Receptionist
By Shree Baphna
At 59 years old, Eva Molden works as a receptionist and doorman at the apartment on 1000 West Adams St. in Chicago, Illinois. For the past five years and counting, Eva is at her desk every Saturday and Sunday without fail, greeting people with smiles and an uplifting attitude.
Eva has always put personal interaction first, which aptly fits her day job as a receptionist. Nothing about Eva lacks radiance, not even the seemingly drab desk where she works at, or the unimaginative uniform she wears everyday--black dress pants, white dress shirt and a black blazer. She is all about what is on the inside and whenever she gives out one of her famous hugs, the lucky recipient is immediately enveloped in warmth, happiness, and the lovely scent of her perfume.
When asked why she chose to be a receptionist, she shrugs her shoulders and replies effortlessly that it was the opportunity to build relationships with people and to see the best in everyone that made her choose this path. “In addition to my job, the three other things that are most important to me are karma, optimism and immaterial gifts.” She ticks each one off her finger as she speaks of them, pausing in between as if to allow time for it to sink in. Eva passionately explains her belief in karma. She states with an air of absolute conviction that how you act presently directly influences how your life will be in the future. You can see it in her eyes when she says, “You know, I think God put me here for a reason. And I firmly believe that if you do good, you’re going to get good back.” Doing good is an everyday task that Eva thoroughly enjoys.
Eva’s actions speak for themselves. The way she stops families as they come in through the door, greeting them by name and asking them about the specific events in their lives- “Hey there beautiful, how was Noah’s party?”- exudes nothing but authenticity. Eva has an aura of positive energy and warmth that washes over anyone who stands near her. One can’t help but smile and laugh upon interacting with Eva.
Eva knows the names, ages and birthdays of all the little children living at the apartment on 1000 West Adams St., and she always keeps a bowl of treats for canine friends who enter into the building. She even knows the friends of the people who live there, despite the fact that she only sees them every so often. She says with complete certainty, “It’s the small things that matter, sweetheart.” To Eva, what is important is being kind to everyone she meets. She strives to be unconditionally kind and free of judgement.
Despite worries and troubles in her personal life, she never lets on anything about unhappiness, stress, anger, or frustration. She never falters for a moment in her optimism. Eva spreads positivity to everyone who walks through the doors of 1000 West Adams St.