Waiheke postal worker Sonia Quazi was caught by surprise when a film crew from New Zealand Post contacted her about being featured in a video for its Facebook page.
Highlighting her exemplary customer service, the online video has now amassed more than 94,000 views and made Sonia, from Sweden, a minor celebrity.
The two and a half minute clip gives viewers a glimpse into her life and winning personality, showing her scenic on-foot commute, her brood of chickens and her involvement with the community, including the monthly pub knitting night at The Cove, hosted by the Spinners and Weavers club.
Nominated for being a team superstar by colleague Helen Massie, Sonia says, “It was really unexpected. It’s really humbling. I didn’t know I had all these people who like how I work.”
When asked about handling difficult customers, Sonia displays the gentle and compassionate disposition she’s known for.
“Anybody can be a bit disgruntled or have a bad day. Sometimes people who weren’t that happy when they came have come in the next day and been like, ‘Hi, I’m really sorry. I had a bad day,’ and that takes guts. But most people are amazing.”
One of these people was even more amazing than most. “On my birthday last week, this gentleman came in with a cardboard box and said, ‘I heard it was your birthday today. This is for you.’ And there was a live chicken in the box.”
On her lunch break, Sonia had run home to see how her new hen, Fanny, was settling in.
“She’s really smart so she’s now sitting on top of the house, and all the big, fat chickens are underneath just looking at her.” • Anna Ngo