Employee Spotlight: Karen Wiker

Karen Wiker, our newest employee, is also our guinea pig for our newest blog installment called Employee Spotlight. Karen joined Escape on May 23, 2011 as an HR/Payroll representative in Escape Customer Care. What is your favorite part of working for Escape? — Well, I just started, but I would have to say that I love the mental challenge of learning something new every day.

Can you give us a quick play-by-play of your average work day?  — Because I am new, I spend most of my day learning Escape Online, SQL, and OnTime (Escape's change request management software).  I also spend a lot of time reading CRs and preparing for my bi-weekly software reviews, which is kind of like a test.

The software review is where I take up to two hours to go through a specific section of the software and explain — in my own words — to Jennifer Escamilla and Terri Hammond where the information in the software is coming from and where it is going to.  They get to ask me questions at the end and, hopefully, I have the answers.

What have been some of the highlights of your career (here or elsewhere)? — My highlights all seem to be related to transitions and the ongoing pursuit of learning.  My first "transition" was helping a public accounting office move to computer-based accounting and then taking that experience out to their customers.  Later, I was involved in the transition from a DOS-based software to Windows.

I began working in education because I wanted to work at a place that contributed in a way that I valued.  I feel like I have come full circle here at Escape, combining my enjoyment of transitions, learning, and education.

What are your favorite activities or things to do when not working? — I love to travel.  I also like to cook, read, and spend time in or near water as much as I can, including spending time at the pool in the summertime.  I also like to spend time with my family and my friends.

Where are you from originally? — I am originally from Texas.

If you weren’t an accountant or a customer care rep, what would you be? —  You can probably guess from my answer about career highlights.  I would want to be a teacher.

What is your favorite food? — Anything Greek.  I love the freshness and flavors of Greek food.  I like eating it and I enjoy participating in the cooking because it brings back fond memories of my travels in Greece.

What is your ringtone? — My ringtone varies by person.  I like to know who is calling when I am wandering around at home.

If you could meet one person, who and why? —  This is tough.  I think it would be an author because I love to read and when I really enjoy what someone puts on paper, I want to know how they think creatively.  Can I pick two?  I would pick Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.  I love their insight and use of language.  I love the vividness Toni's words bring to my mind, the flow and the fantasy.  And, Maya is one of those people whose energy is so soothing and calming, and her use of language is so beautiful and thought-provoking.  She is good for your soul.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? It would be the ability to magically transport somewhere, like Samantha on Bewitched.