This month we sat down with Shalini Maharaj, our Remote Manager.
What is your role with the company?
Since 2014, I have been a Remote Manager. In this role, I work very closely with our Remote Agents throughout the U.S. (in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Washington, among others) and manage all of the aspects of their work with us. This includes coordinating their schedules, coaching and training them and monitoring their calls, logs and other job-related duties and activities. My job is to help our remote team work as efficiently and smoothly as possible. By having all of these remotes under one manager, we are able to provide consistency (both internally and to clients and their callers), and help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Prior to this position, I was a Regional Manager since 2011 and have worked with Answering Service Care since 2005, when I was still in high school. There was a period in 2006 when I left for college, but I still worked part-time as a telephone agent and maintained an “on-call status” during summers and long vacations from school. An On-Call Agent is one who doesn’t work a fixed shift, but picks his or her hours on a weekly basis and works on-site.
What is it like to work with this company?
Working here has been an incredible experience for me. I feel like I grew up with everyone here. This was my first “real” job even though I worked elsewhere. I am so grateful for every opportunity that has come my way here. The company has always been flexible with me, and has given me a firm foundation for everything I do in life. The team here also welcomed me back and helped me feel comfortable when I returned full-time in 2009.
My manager Joan (Harrell) is like a second mom to me, like a family member. There is truly a family atmosphere here, and I know you don’t find that everywhere. I’m so grateful to come to work every day and be appreciated in what I do. Right now, I am applying to medical school and everyone here, from (co-CEO) Michael (Shooster) on down is so supportive of me. They are all amazing.
Have you learned any important lessons while working here in this job?
When I first started as an agent, I learned patience. As a teenager, I had very little patience with some people. Being in this environment teaches you a lot about patience. I
have learned to put myself in people’s shoes and to better understand what they are going through when they are calling.
Being here as also taught me how to speak better, write better and type better. I have learned to have a smile on my face no matter what. A lot of people don’t understand that unless they have experienced it. Now when I try to get things done in my own life, I have a greater appreciation for people who answer phones.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of work?
Between my husband and myself, we have a very large family close by. We spend a lot of time with family, especially our twin niece and nephew, and our 5-year-old niece. I also have two dogs that are like my children – two poodles, Yogi and Sparky. When I am not at work or with family, I am working on a project in my recently-purchased house. I’m also a big TV binge-watcher!