Donna Miller was fresh out of a technical training course offered by Texas Workforce Commission when she came to interview at CompUSA Call Center Services in November of 1999. Before taking that class, she had never touched a computer. She says that she was so nervous that she froze the first time she interviewed with a call center. She didn’t get the job.
Donna was surprised when she was hired at CompUSA. In her humble way, she says it was probably because the supervisor who interviewed her was busy and distracted. If you know Donna, you’ll agree that was not the reason at all. That supervisor most likely recognized her positive attitude, desire to learn and willingness to work hard to become one of the best.
Her first role here was providing DSL technical support for an east coast phone company. After completing training and a week of nesting she was still worried, “I thought I wasn’t going to last six months,” she remembered with a smile, “they’re going to find out about me and I’m going to be gone.”
Luckily the team worked together and helped each other. That’s something Donna still loves about her job here. “Once I got the hang of it, and realized I was helping customers, really helping them, I was fine.”
Initially she was supporting PCs and the work was far more complicated because agents had to configure the network, the modem and the actual PC during the call. To top it off, most customers weren’t very technical either. Donna was excited when she moved over to Macintosh support. It was great, because Mac’s were much less complicated than PCs. “We still had to do configuration but it was easy by comparison”
Donna used to have a 1967 Mustang. Much as she loved that car, she had to give it up because she couldn’t afford to keep repairing it. She used the money she earned from selling the car to buy her first personal computer for home – a Macintosh. It was great because her granddaughter, who she was raising, was in elementary school and they used Mac’s in the computer lab. The two of them figured out their first PC together.
That east coast DSL program eventually became a major triple-play broadband support program. Other programs she has supported include a major utility and a high-end troubleshooting technical support program both of which she worked with her favorite Telvista Leader, Gary Hague. They returned to the broadband tech support program together after that program ended. When asked about working with Donna, here’s what Gary had to say, “I could go on and on with nothing but praise for Donna. She is like family to me, we have worked together since 2004!” Today, Donna is a top performer in the program she serves.
“I have always tried to keep Donna on my teams because she’s so good,” Gary went on to say. “Donna displays a quality of work that reflects high professional standards and I have the highest respect for her. She is soft-spoken, very polite, respectful and always displays personal pride. Most of all, Donna has put up with me for all this time! I know that takes a lot of patience.”
One thing that always comes across when speaking with Donna is her humility. She says she’s just doing her job but her performance has been outstanding year after year. She learned her work ethic from her parents. Her mom and dad made it clear you went to work to do your job. Her grandmother did too. That’s exactly what she has done in her life. “We need good people to show us what to do in life. Someone has to teach you to do what you need to do and take care of yourself.”
Donna’s granddaughter is 21 now. She’s a full-time student and working too. She’s an artist, a gift Donna recognized when she was in fourth grade. She wants to become an animator. Donna has always told her to pursue a career following her talent. Art skills run in the family. “Do what you enjoy and everything else will follow.”
Longevity is a habit for Donna Miller. Before spending 18 years here, she spent 16 years with the same company in the clothing design and manufacturing industry. They went out of business on the Monday before Thanksgiving 1996. Back in the 90s, when many US manufacturing companies closed their doors or moved offshore, this became a common occurrence. Donna was hired at three different companies that didn’t make it before she decided it was time to get into a new field. Telvista is very lucky that she made that choice.
We asked Donna what has changed the most over the years, and she said, “We didn’t used to have the structure and help we have now. The Wizard is very good, it didn’t used to be nearly as intuitive. The work is a lot easier. The testing has improved. Computers are a whole lot better. There’s so much less to do now; you just turn them on. We used to have to configure TCP/IP, NICs, things we don’t even talk about any more.”
Donna’s favorite thing about the job is still the opportunity to help people. “A lot of people call in frustrated, if you can get with them and get things resolved, they may not end up happy but they feel better if everything is working when the call ends. That’s a good day”
“Most people are pretty nice, they just call in mad because they’re frustrated” “Any time that they feel like you’re trying is good.
Donna’s advice to new team members is, “Keep at it. Keep asking questions. The more you ask today the less you’ll need tomorrow. You’ll learn! If you have a bad day, tomorrow is another day. Things get easier over time.”
She ended the conversation with a bit of wisdom that is true for all of us. “If you care about helping people, they will feel good because they will know you are trying. They need to feel like you care and so do you.”
Donna Miller is a real Telvista treasure. Congratulations on your 18th Anniversary, Donna!!