It was seventeen years ago today that I began my employment with a company in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. This company, going by the name Cellular One then, saw me grow from the young inexperienced young adult I was then into the still-learning person I am today.
The Kyle Jones Job Interview
I recall my interview vividly. It was either one or two days before my start date – I think one – and at the corporate center. The drive out to the office seemed like, to me, that I was driving out into the woods as there wasn’t any other businesses or ANYTHING for at least a mile. I passed a bank and then a Ward’s restaurant before coming to the Cellular One office – located by a Lake named Forgetful. (I’m not joking! There was a lake there named…Lake Forgetful!)
I arrived on time and was greeted by my interviewer. She informed me that something had come up and she would not be able to interview me that day but “I’m going to let you talk to Linda instead.” I remember meeting Linda and talking with her for a good 30-45 minutes. Do I recall the questions she asked? I do not. I do remember talking about the sign outside that had been recently built.
At the end of the “talk” she asked me if I would like to come to work for the company as a Customer Service Representative taking inbound calls. This was an on-the-spot offer and I can only speculate what she thought when I replied, “Can I let you know later this afternoon? I need to call and discuss it with my Mother.”
Suffice to say…I accepted. And, on a side note, I discovered during my tour of the building who this Linda was that I met and I’ll tell you who at the end of this post.
My original plan was to work at the company for one year and then move to Oxford, Mississippi while my Anthony attended college there. (I have an upcoming post about the Magee family if you wonder who Anthony is and do not know me personally.)
I think it would be safe to say that this plan didn’t quite turn out as…planned.
The Cellular One Years
I moved from position-to-position during the years we were Cellular One. And, as my positions changed, so too did my knowledge and growth as a professional.
Some of my jobs were:
- Customer Service Representative
- Customer Service Billing Team Leader
- Administrative Assistant
- Quality Assurance Coordinator
Which of these were my favorite? There were things I liked about all of them but the Quality Assurance Coordinator position would be my favorite. I was able to work directly with the Director of Customer Service and create a phone monitoring system. I was the person on the other end of the “your call may be monitored for quality assurance” message!
MegaGate Broadband Begins
The company named changed from CellularOne to MegaGate Broadband, Inc. during the Summer of 2003 when the company changed focus from wireless telephone to traditional wireline services. My position changed from Quality Assurance Coordinator to Customer Support Supervisor in the restructured company. Then, by 2005, my Road to HR ended.
The Human Resources Highway
Want to know what happened the day I accepted the job in Human Resources? Read the gracious interview by Victorio Milian on his blog by clicking here.
I’ve been on an HR Highway since 2005 and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. I’ve been a part of SHRM since the beginning of my HR career and hope that my service to the profession continues.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the past seventeen years. I’ve been far from perfect and I’ve not always done my best. I have seen many people come-and-go and seen several leave the company only to return. I’ve worked hard and learned that I have a voice – I just need to voice it more often.
I’ve made a mark on the local SHRM chapter and the State Council. I’ve made mistakes there, too.
But, I know that I’ve also done something right. I am, after all, still with the company and today reminds me to:
- Be grateful!
- Be better!
One thing to remember…..be humble. Accept when you do wrong and take ownership.
Most importantly…say “THANK YOU“, “I WAS WRONG” and/or “I’M SORRY” as you can never say them enough.
So, to the owners of MegaGate Broadband, Inc., THANK YOU!
To the South MS SHRM chapter, THANK YOU!
To the State Council Members and to Current Council Director, Chris Byrd, and former Directors during my time (Judy Nail, Teresa Boutwell, and Cindy Burnett), THANK YOU! I either loved working with you or look forward to continuing to do so! All four of you have taught me lessons that make me a better person today than I was even six months ago.
Oh, I almost forgot. I should tell you about the person who interviewed me! See, kindness never hurts. I assumed that the person who interviewed me was an assistant to the original interviewer. After all, she opted to give me an alternative person. My natural assumption – the boss is busy so I’ll talk with her assistant.
I was VERY wrong. Linda was actually the GM at the time. So, imagine what would have happened had I treated her with less respect because I assumed she was less than????
Maybe I wouldn’t be celebrating seventeen years today if I had!!!!