On May 12, 2018, I celebrated my ten-year anniversary at Eversource Energy. These years have been filled with learning, increasing my skills, and giving 100% to each job I am assigned. I am a senior customer service representative who utilizes Braille and text-to-speech technology to provide thorough assistance by phone and e-mail to colleagues and customers. By answering coworker’s questions about the adaptive methods I use, I strive to break down barriers, and make the workplace inclusive for everyone.
In the Eversource residential contact center, representatives handle three call types: moving, billing, and emergency. When I was hired, Eversource implemented the JAWS (Job Access with Speech) program and scripted it to translate the database screens used for moving calls. Typically, moving calls is not overly complex as it usually entails just cancelling service for a person leaving an address, or establishing service for a new resident. I realized moving calls could be monotonous, and requested that the database be programmed for billing calls. These calls are more involved as customers question their bills, and seek suggestions for lowering energy consumption. After feeling comfortable with billing scenarios, I asked to be trained on emergency calls. These calls are potentially life threatening as people could be reporting a gas leak, or a person could be trapped in a vehicle with wires resting on it. Each call is different which makes the workday pass quickly.
In 2017, the residential call center sought to hire a senior customer service representative. To be qualified, a person must be in the call center for three years, and must pass a stringent written/oral exam. I applied, worked collaboratively with management and human resources to make the study materials accessible, and began feverishly studying. When delivering the oral presentation, I used Braille notes, and ensured my notes corresponded with the slide on the screen. Fortunately, I passed the exams, and earned the position. As a senior customer service representative, I am now able to provide one-on-one training to other representatives, and handle escalated customer calls, which the original representative couldn’t resolve.
I am grateful Eversource chose to hire me in 2008. Their willingness to make software accessible, and openness to my opinions when I’m challenged accessing a program, are traits which I appreciate. According to a 2016 study by Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, people with disabilities are more likely to stay with a company, and frequently have lower absenteeism than employees who are not disabled. This same study indicates that employees with disabilities bring a unique perspective, and increase the diversity of a work place. I hope my commitment to diversity, and my overall career at Eversource continues for a long time to come.