Employee Spotlight: Helen Strecker
In April, 2005, Helen took a leap of faith and applied for the receptionist's job at Chicago Communications. During the interview, she said, "It was interesting explaining why my last 'paid position' had been in 1972." That's what happens when you are a stay at home mom for 33 years.
Helen’s first job after graduating from secretarial college in New Jersey was with a major retail company. She was a secretary (yes, that's what they were called then) to a vice president; and she did it all. Correspondence, advertising, budgets, scheduling and yes, even his personal shopping. When she got married, her husband's job took them out of their hometown and across the country to Illinois. Then, along came three boys, a house and a station wagon - suburbia at its best. And once again, she was doing it all - school committees, charity organizations, Scouts, sports and car-pooling. They went through a station wagon and two mini-vans during that time. When asked, "What do you do?" her polite answer was usually "how much time do you have?" She was fortunate, she was able to stay at home to raise her children, run her home and contribute to her community. In 2000, Helen became a widow, the "children" were grown men and there was no need for her to be at home anymore. In 2004, she got married again, and decided to see what was out there.
Helen thought her secretarial skills were antiquated, but she had learned to use the computer at home and figured that some things just never change. When she was asked "Why do you think you would be a good receptionist for Chicago Communications?" She answered, "I know how I like to be treated as a customer, and I think I can translate that into how ChiComm's customers should be treated." She was very happy when she got the letter asking her to be a part of the ChiComm team.
After not much time, she was introduced to some of what makes ChiComm tick. She started out sorting and mailing invoices, eventually, she learned how to enter work orders, and how to pay the bills. When marketing needed mailings done, she learned to research prospective companies. Helen says, “Everyone here helps everyone else learn something every day. I certainly cannot do the jobs our techs do, but I have learned a lot about what they do and I admire every one of them.”
Every day, Helen helps callers and visitors connect with the ChiComm person that will be most helpful. When she was a stay at home mom, she used to say, "I’d wear the right hat for the right day, since I came to ChiComm, my "hat" collection has grown tenfold.”
Who would have thought that the "Jersey Girl" would find her niche at this time in her life? She sure did.