On January 5th, 2015 AnswerPlus said bittersweet goodbyes to one of our team members. Meg, who worked in our Toronto office, retired.
It has been a week since Meg has left us and the impact of her departure has been felt in every department. AnswerPlus does not lose team members often so we tend to feel the negative consequences when even one virtual receptionists moves on. (I say this because for many Ontario Answering Services, losing an employee can be a weekly occurrence).
Just how has Megs retirement effected us?
Well, let’s begin with the obvious. We all miss Meg. AnswerPlus is a Canadian Answering Service, our virtual receptionists come to the office the same as any other receptionist. And even though we all know that she is gone, that does not stop us from expecting to hear her voice as she answers calls. It’s to be expected, the average tenure of an AnswerPlus Virtual Receptionist is almost ten years. Meg was part of our the AnswerPlus team for 31 years, so I’m sure you can understand why we would still be listening for her.
Meg’s departure has effected our productivity as well. AnswerPlus runs like a well oiled machine, our virtual receptionists all get along, assist and respect each other. (Yes, you read that right) Losing Meg has meant that our team members have had to adapt to her absence. Even in an environment such as ours, where everyone pulls their weight, having to take on added work from losing Meg has meant some adjustments. By now everyone has settled into the new tasks but the first couple of days deciding who would do the small things that we took for granted were – admittedly – a bit confusing. I suppose that would be both the greatest asset and downfall of having such a fantastic team oriented work environment. Everyone steps up to help, but you never really know just how much work a team member has taken on without saying anything.
I want to point out that it not just the virtual receptionists who have felt the impact of Megs departure. Our programmers, account managers, marketing staff, financial team etc, almost all of them were virtual receptionists before being promoted and they were all good friends with Meg. Not that it would have mattered anyway, I came to our Toronto call centre from our Hamilton office but that does not mean that I didn’t know Meg. The environment at AnswerPlus, from the design of the call centre to the team building atmosphere, encourages every team member to seek another out for friendship and advice. Simply put, it does not take long become part of the team at AnswerPlus. It’s just the way we are.
Meg has many friends in the office so she isn’t gone from our lives. She will be back for visits, potlucks and other special events. We will send her an invite to the Toronto Dolly Awards, speak to her on social media and of course, call her. We didn’t say goodbye, we said see you in a few weeks.
Congratulations on your very deserved retirement Meg, we all miss you terribly and wish you all the very best.
ps. Where did you keep the extra copy paper again?