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Dear April, I hope Bank of America appreciates you as much as I do!
By Cheryl Smith


Just when I had almost given up on customer service I get to talk with April and she restored my faith in high ethical work standards.
When I tell you that April was outstanding, that is indeed an understatement. That woman is phenomenal.

I don’t know that much about her because she was taking care of business and being very courteous despite my constant interruptions to inquire about her life, how she liked her job, etc. I kept trying to interrupt her efforts because actually it was such a joy to get someone on the phone who was knowledgeable, enthusiastic focused on helping and displaying a pleasant disposition. I guess I was just so overjoyed that I wanted to know more about her and what made her tick.

My call to Bank of America customer service was about 9:30 on a Wednesday night. I was ready for someone to answer the phone sounding like they didn’t like their job or that they didn’t know or care that there were hundreds, no thousands, who would love to have their job and income.Instead I got a vibrant, energetic pleasing voice that immediately made me feel good about my experience, or what my experience was about to be.

April, who lives and works in the D/FW area (I did manage to get that much from her), has been with Bank of America about five years. She brought to mind a former co-worker, Antoinette, who is the receptionist at Service Broadcasting, the parent company of radio station powerhouses K104FM, KRNB-105.7 and then, Soul 73 KKDA-AM.

Now at times things could get pretty exciting around the station. Yu could expect the hottest entertainers in the industry to enter the door and there was Antoinette to greet them.

Actually we call her Toni, but I’m trying to be fancy here.

You see, even when I taught at Paul Quinn College, I would use Antoinette as an example of someone who loves her job, appreciates that she has a job and takes care of business.
She has never let on to me if my students were bothering her when they called and explained that I assigned them to call because I knew that whenever they got her, she was going to leave them with a positive, professional impression, no matter what kind of day she was having or what was going on in her life.

Surely you have run across someone before who you wondered why they even came to work. You know the person who seems like they have a miserable life and they are hellbent on making sure yours is the same.

Or, the employee who you practically have to beg to do their job. Then there’s the employee who thinks he or she is getting over on the company, by doing as little as they can; until they are shown the door. Why oh why do they have a surprised look on their face?

I know its probably out of order, but a business had a sign posted that read: “All employees are expected to bathe before come to work. Since we have to kiss your ass to get you to work, we want it free of germs!”

Now, I don’t think that April or Antoinette ever have to worry about a negative performance review, that is unless they have the misfortune to get a clueless supervisor. And if that ever happens, I hope someone of sound mind will speak up and support them.
Too often you hear that “good help is hard to find.”

It’s simple, says April: Your work is a reflection of who you are and what you are about. Sadly some people aren’t about la-dee-da. Or, in other words, as some say, “sugar honey ice tea!”

The doors swing both ways. Wouldn’t it be great if every employer participated in the hit television show, Undercover Boss? Since some folks act as though they have to governed 24-7 to get an honest effort out of them, well.

Good work ethic means that you don’t have to have someone watching over you for you to do your best. Good work ethic means that your performance level is not determined by your pay check. At least it shouldn’t be. If you don’t feel you’re getting paid what you are worth, seek employment elsewhere, don’t do a less than honorable job and blame your performance on what you are being paid.

Be and do your best. The rewards may not come when or how you want them, but they will come.

If Bank of America and Service Broadcasting have not said it to April or Antoinette, I will.
Ladies, you are absolutely wonderful. Thanks for all you do!