Monday, October 08, 2007

Pick-me-up

Well, recently there have been some changes going on where I work. Changes that make me think I might not have a job for much longer. I’m pretty much just taking it one day at a time and hoping for the best. The first thing that happened - and as I posted previously - we were acquired by another company. As like with any other merger, there are going to be some duplicate people within the organization and I guess everyone here is uncertain what their role will be once the merger is complete. (The sale is final, but they said it could take up to a year to assess the situation.)

The second thing that happened - we almost lost our biggest customer. I say almost because when faced with that, a lot of the higher up corporate people descended upon our little branch to try to figure out a way to prevent this from happening. This customer is, in my opinion, the BEST customer anyone could ever hope to work with. And they have been a customer of ours for 11 years. Way before I started here in 2000.

It’s not that they don’t like us anymore, but they were acquired by a larger company that has their own technical support system. They were acquired 3 years ago, but did not want to move away from the tech support provided by us because our guys at their site are THAT good. They are seriously excellent.

But, when contract renewals came up, the customer had to look at the fact that their parent company was now going to hit them with the charges for the help desk provided by them – whether they use it or not. So now they were looking at paying twice as much out for tech support. Their budget did not support that.

So, the corporate suit-and-tie people came into the office to meet with the customer and try to sort out some deal that would cost them less money, but allow us to remain their service provider for at least another year.

It was all very stressful. We have reached an agreement with them, but we will be making a lot LESS revenue (and a bunch of other boring accounting words that I will skip) and they will be gone in one year.

So – our sales team has one year to try to increase our revenue. Even with that fact, the smaller amount we are making from them right now does mean that our branch may not be profitable enough to support having the administrative people we currently have.

Add to that – there are people researching and writing processes that will eliminate some of my job, as well as some of the duties of the other admin person here. So.. it is possible that the administrative duties here could be condensed into one person. Which one of us will that be? I really don’t know.

While looking through some of my old emails (you know.. looking for a resume and some reference emails should I have to go pound the pavement), I came across one that will always be a pick-me-up for me.

And I thought I would post it here.. just to make you all aware of how awesome I am! OK, not really. Actually, it is so I can always have it – if it is in my company email and I do lose my job, who knows if I will actually remember or have time to get all this stuff together. I do have to think ahead you know. And by publishing it here, it also makes me look good. :)

I was having a particularly bad day at work due to my company letting someone go in another location and asking me to "take over" until they could figure out what else to do. So, I emailed all the people at this location to let them know that I would be taking the responsibilities of the person who left, and that they could contact me with any problems or needs that they had. I got an email from one of them asking what exactly it was that I could do for them. At the same time, I got an email from one of our employees stating that I was "the best!" So, in a non-serious, joking email to our employee, I sent him the following request:

Ummmmm, I've been meaning to ask you.... could you write a reference for me? As to what I do to help you as an employee here? I ask not for the purpose of getting another job, but because the employees at the other location are not real happy with my assistance - when I wrote to let them know that I was available to help them with anything they needed help with, one responded "Well, actually, I don't know what you could possibly do to help me. What is it that you do that you think would be of help to us?" OK, not that rude, but that was the gist of it. They seem to resent me because their go-to person got let go and I took her place. So, they are making me feel, ummm, slightly bad. I feel like saying "but, the employees here appreciate me!! I do stuff for them!!" :) It's been HE double hockey sticks since I took on this other site. :( Thanks for appreciating me.... Me

I was not expecting his response; I thought he would just write back, commiserate with me, and let me vent a little. But his response is something I will keep forever as a "pick-me-up" and it is as follows:

Katie - Here you go, let me know if this is what you are looking for. If not, I'll be happy to revamp. The people in the other location should feel lucky to have you, I know I do. Once they get to know you I'm sure you will change their minds....

Katie is the type of person who enjoys challenges, and our company has definitely provided her with plenty of challenges to enjoy. Being out of the office, working on site with a customer, Katie is my link at the branch to the complex world of logistics and billing and does a marvelous job of keeping me informed of the vital information I need in order to keep my customers happy and well informed. Without Katie's constant communication of events, it would be next to impossible for me to schedule repair times with the complicated schedules of my accounts executives. Even under the most stressful of times, she is always able to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive while maintaining her award winning smile. (Insert comment: TOTALLY full of it! I have never won ANY awards for my smile!)

The amount of work she undertakes daily is unbelievable. But she is always willing and generous enough to push aside her mountain of paperwork to take the time to assist me with my problems while also training me in areas that I lack knowledge in to enhance my own job abilities. I have been able to learn and comprehend in a few minutes what it would take a normal trainer a few hours to teach someone, Katie is that good at making things clear and understandable. She also has the uncanny ability to make a person chuckle, even under the most stressful of times...a trait that comes in handy when tensions are running high. I feel her energy, dedication, and devotion to our company are qualities of an employee that any company should feel fortunate to have working for them. Some of the duties Katie has assisted us with are numerous and probably too many to list. Some of these aren't even technically in her job description, but that doesn't stop her from lending a helping hand. She is a tremendous asset in acting as a liaison between myself and corporate logistics, ironing out the problem before it has a chance to grow. She constantly monitors the system to catch any parts that may show up on back order and alerts me of this fact for client scheduling purposes. The customer I work for also has a lot of remote plants in other states that Katie helps to coordinate with other company branches or service centers to resolve their current technical issues. Time entry is another huge area that Katie stays on top of; alerting me to incorrect time entries by my team, ensuring everyone finalizes their time in a prompt manner. You add on top of this all her billing and dispatching duties and you see that she is a top notch employee.

Katie is truly my "go to person" at the office, and I can rest assured anything I ask her assistance on, she will come through for me…and then some. Like I said, her duties are many, and I'm sure I've forgotten to mention half of them. But rest assured, Katie will give her all to assist whoever is asking for it, and she'll do it with a smile.

I was surprised at the response because I was joking when I asked for the 'reference,' but it still made me feel good. I do think he went a little over-board with the 'award winning smile' thing, but I'll let that go. :)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

:)

barb said...

This is wonderful! I believe every word he said and I'm glad you have it in writing! You've always been a sweetheart and I'm sure that translates as well in the business world as it does personally. Way to go, Katie!

love you,
Barb