It’s a Beautiful Day!

You love this town
Even if that doesn’t ring true
You’ve been all over
And it’s been all over you

It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away

It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day

~U2: It’s a Beautiful Day

I walked outside this morning and simply thought, “beautiful”.

The day is beautiful, my city is beautiful, and my mind is beautiful. In fact, my life is beautiful.

Friday was my official last day at iContact. I have nothing hostile or hateful or even harsh to say about my four 1/2 year tenure there. In fact, it was an incredible period of growth and recovery for me. It was my first position in North Carolina and the last true holdover from a life I no longer want to lead.

As everyone knows, I came to this city to rebuild a marriage and “find” a person that had been buried beneath a lot of unfulfilled desires and unmet expectations. Instead, I quickly found myself fulfilled and met with a mountain of debt, a cheating husband, a half-finished historic house, a dog with cancer, and this really weird job with this little weird startup.

It’s unnecessary and honestly irrelevant to talk about what the company was like when I joined in 2008. What is relevant, is that the Support department I acquired was filled with mostly good-meaning people who simply lacked consistent knowledge and direction. There was very little understanding of what a contact center was actually supposed to do or operate like, and a high percentage of the management had arrived into their positions by default or tenacity. They wanted it to work, they just weren’t sure how.  So it’s no surprise that everyone else was just doing what they thought was best or what they felt like doing at that moment.  For some, that was really fun and creative, for others it was an excuse to screw around and get paid, and for quite a few it was exhausting and stressful. Like I said, inconsistent.

In order to create consistency, one must instill change. And change we did. Metrics, processes, training, quality, workforce, schedules, career paths, technology, reporting…we changed EVERYTHING. And every change I introduced was met with pushback. Every change was met with anonymous hate mail to our CEO. Every change was met with resignations.  Every change cemented my newly acquired moniker as “The Culture Killer”. I had many moments that first year where I just wanted to walk away. The monster pay cut I had incurred to take this job did not readily support the angry gnome that often sat hammering behind my left eyeball.

And then something happened. The change started to resonate throughout the department, and then into the rest of the company. The Support team “got it”, and once they did, there was no turning them back. They became accountable and passionate and had immense pride in the interactions they had with customers and with each other. They became award-wining and a force to be reckoned with. And customers noticed too. Our CSAT scores went through the roof…all because of this incredible team of people. They knew what to do and how to it, and they did it well.

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I know I was not always the best I could be. You all saw me through an acclimation to NC, a separation, a dramatic and crazy weight loss, more than a few hangovers, dating, divorce, a breakup with the love of my life, more dating, a reconnection of a lifetime, an engagement, and then a devastating deployment. Most people don’t get to be plastered to the windshield of their bosses’ most critical life moments. Thank you for letting me periodically meltdown and be human, and for you all still doing what you needed to do.

I honestly could not have come across a better group of people. We did amazing things! You DO amazing things! Please know, you are all the reason I stayed that first year, and the second, and the third, and the fourth… 

Admittedly, my relevance has felt far less significant since the acquisition by Vocus earlier this year. And for that I had to leave. I did what I came to do, and I left with knowing that it was done.

What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now

It was a beautiful day

I’m embarking on some incredibly new and slightly terrifying territory. Change. I’m going to do what I love and be with the person I adore. Change. I am grateful and appreciative for every interaction and every teaching moment. Change. Don’t be strangers. Change. Thank you for my beautiful day.