The Perfect Customer

pic_news_melanie Houston, we have a problem.

No, this is not Jack Swiger on board Apollo 13, notifying that the oxygen tank blew up, this is the subject line from Melanie’s e-mail with a plea for help.  Her payroll is probably due in a few hours and she is desperate for help.  I minimize the screen with the e-mail I am drafting to a coworker and I immediately login to take a look at Melanie’s issue.  Her issues are usually complex – she looks at the problem from all kinds of different angles prior to reporting it.  As I type in the IP address of Trinity COE which I know off top my head, I think of how much I enjoy working with Melanie.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Melanie Holmes when she came to Trinity COE several years ago.  Even though she came from the private industry, it didn’t take her long to grasp the complex practices of public school payroll and retirement systems.  Melanie is amazing - smart, sharp, nice, and patient.  She is also a great communicator which makes my job as a support analyst much easier.   One of the things I love about being in front line support is having assigned customers and being able to get to know them on a personal level.  Throughout the years, Melanie has shared stories and pictures from her personal life which made it seem like I knew her personally, even though we have never actually met in person.   I started looking forward to her e-mails, they were always funny and never boring!

With added responsibilities of HR/Payroll team lead, I had to reassign Trinity COE to Dawn Tillman.  When Melanie got the news about being reassigned, she had her normal positive and upbeat attitude, and expressed her appreciation for the support she had received.

 I do want to say it’s truly been a pleasure working with you these last few years.  I have been spoiled by your unfaltering support, even when you have to get your crayons out to make me understand!  Your patience and ability to explain, in layman’s terms sometimes complex solutions has been invaluable.   In summary, even when I’m being a complete Dumbelina, you remain patient and responsive and effectively communicate with me and somehow make me feel that I really wasn’t being dumb at all!   Wherever you are going in your organization and whomever you are supporting after us, is lucky to have you Elen!

It was great getting to know you, Melanie, you are indeed one of MY favorite customers.