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August 24, 2018
Being at the front desk, my role is to provide support for Parker, Smith & Feek clients and personnel in whatever capacity that’s helpful. That can mean a lot of different things!
I started working here in 1999, and the idea was that I would work here until I was done with my degree from the University of Washington. When I graduated, I had the opportunity to go and tour Western Europe, so I left Parker, Smith & Feek for a while. I spent about a month traveling then I had to return home and “adult,” so to speak. Soon after my return, the person who took over for me at the front desk here at Parker, Smith & Feek decided to move out of state, so they asked me to come back. I’ve been here ever since.
I first traveled to London and made my way through Belgium, Amsterdam (although I’d visited previously because my sister lived there), Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and then back to London. I was there for about a month, and it was definitely not as long as I wanted. There were times when I was one of only a few Americans surrounded by Australians and Europeans. I really needed the break after college! I love to travel and wish I could see more of our beautiful planet.
That to determine an employee’s worth, watch them do something they love to do, and then watch them do something they dislike. If you can’t tell the difference, they’re a good employee. It just stuck out to me among all the other typical business maxims floating around out there. After I heard that, I thought, “No one can EVER know when I don’t like doing something!”
I’ve organized a food drive here at Parker, Smith & Feek for the past couple of years for them. I also do a few volunteering sessions at their downtown location, depending on the year. NW Harvest is a really great organization that believes in giving people dignity through their hard times. Basically, I love the cause because the need for food is universal. It’s easy to understand, and it’s easy to help.
I’d say my attitude. Parker, Smith & Feek is a highly specialized broker that works on very serious client issues and problems. If there’s a large loss or event, even just walking through our doors can be stressful for clients and employees alike. But, when people first come in and see me with my can-do attitude and offering to help and be of service, it’s encouraging to both groups to put on a smile and walk a bit lighter.
The way I remember is…simply that I’ve been here for so long (laughs). Length of employment can be very helpful for that.
You start to learn which business and industries tend to have more calls and when. Once again, my tenure helps on that. I pay attention to call volumes from previous years, and have started to notice when big renewals are coming up and can prepare for that. After doing this for so long, I’ve kind of internalized the intervals of change, what to expect, and who to connect with whom in order to solve problems.
Well, it’s either that the tone of my voice is pleasing, or that I successfully convey enough sincerity in wanting to help that it relaxes them. Oftentimes, they’ve been a client for a long time and already know that I will answer the phone and be able to get them connected to the right people. It’s not as if they’re connecting to an automated call tree or something random where they have no idea who they’ll end up talking to.
In some cases, there are clients who have been with us for so long that they just call and say, “It’s me, I need so-and-so,” and they’re taken care of. Just from the sound of their voice, I can recognize them. I can even anticipate who to send them to next, should the first person not be available, before they call back. We have a ton of great resources like maps, charts, list, etc., that makes it easy for me to be able to visualize that information in my head.
I don’t have a specific mentor. That’s kind of a funny question actually, because I would consider everyone a mentor. I learn a lot from every person who walks in the door. Everyone has something to teach.
That the level of sincere care between employees here (which is a lesson in and of itself, if you’re not used to it) translates into caring for the client. More times than I can count, coworkers here have come to me to say that a client was impressed with me for one reason or another. The fact that people here, who are very busy, take the time and energy to share that kind of feedback with me is really important and telling. It shows how much time and attention they really pay to the client, passing along small notes like that, and that time often translates into positive results. I think it’s important for us as a company to perpetuate that tradition of demonstrating that sincerity, both to our coworkers and clients.
I taught a women’s self-defense class for 6 months in high school.
I wish I could say that I run marathons and save the world…but really, I read a lot, specifically murder mysteries, and spend time with friends and family.
We moved to Capitol Hill when I was in 2nd grade because my father was an RN at the Group Health Hospital. At the time, Cap Hill was a fantastic place for being immersed in diversity. Socially, economically, even just people’s lifestyles were all over the board. If you went three blocks east of our house, there was public housing, while three blocks west was all million-dollar homes. We were in the middle, economically and literally. It was kind of like living on an island. When you left Cap Hill, people weren’t as open minded about a lot of the everyday things I was used to seeing.
My friends from outside of the city actually even made fun of me. They were mostly from the suburbs and thought Cap Hill was just a dirty place for transients. I mean, it’s always been dirty, but I really don’t feel like I missed out on things like…cul de sacs or having a big yard. Their lives sounded quiet, but I liked where I was from. I love meeting new and different people every day.
I wanted to be a veterinarian. But, I soon found out that in addition to petting the puppies and kitties, you have to put them down, and then I didn’t want to do it anymore.
Absolutely! Although, here’s the thing about me and sports. I don’t particularly care about the rules, stats, or why the game is being played. I like to learn about the players themselves, team dynamics, and how they got to be successful. I’m big into the Olympics and football, go Seahawks!
The people. We have excellent people here; I love my coworkers.