Funeral Home Answering Service Training Supervisor Celebrates 25 Years

Congratulations Kelly Shaver!

Training Supervisor Kelly Shaver (pictured with President Brad French) is celebrating her 25-year anniversary with Director On Call this year! What an accomplishment. I had a chance to sit down with Kelly and discuss her secret for achieving this incredible milestone.

What’s your secret to this level of longevity with a company?

Enjoying what you do. Wanting to come to work and enjoying your job, enjoying the people you work with. Having the support of management. Feeling like you’re making a difference.

What about your career are you most proud of?

Probably moving into the position of Trainer and having the opportunity to meet the people that will be working for us initially, and helping them through the process. It’s a rather daunting process coming in and learning the new system. It’s a lot of information to take in in a short amount of time. And just trying to mentor them and reassure them that it’ll be okay and that they’ll enjoy it. If they like doing different things all the time then this is the job for them. Just encouraging them.

What has changed in the last 25 years?

Well, technology is the biggest thing. I mean, 25 years ago many people had Pagers. That was the mode of communication because texting was not around, cellphones were just barely coming out and they were the size of a small suitcase! So, there was a lot more to do with contacting people. It wasn’t as easy to contact people as it is today.

Going from cord boards to computers, so I was coming in just at the cusp of that new technology and it was all different and you know the old computer system and the screen was green. So now to be working off of a Windows-based program and using the internet to facilitate working with our clients, technology by far is the biggest change in 25 years.

Has the progression remained consistent?

It seems to go in spurts. You seem to have this two, three, four years of the status quo and then something new in the world of technology comes out and all of a sudden things are changing very rapidly for the next two years and then you have this status quo again. When it happens, it does happen quickly but it’s kind of this up and down type of thing.

 Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

When you have the right fit, you have the right fit. I love working for a family-based business, I find they’re very encouraging by giving me this opportunity to transition into Trainer. Not just with me but with other people if they show interest in wanting to do other things that they give you that opportunity. They make you feel proud of what you do, that it’s important. It’s very gratifying.

Did you think 25 years ago that this is something you’d be doing?

Absolutely not. When I applied here there was no testing or group interviews. There was: you came in, you saw one person and basically it was all about if you can type. “Please apply if you can type”. That’s what I was looking at because I could type. I had no idea what an answering service was, I had never heard of them. And I thought, “Oh I can type, I’ll go apply”. Initially, I really thought it was going to be a transition [job] and I just, I loved it. Like really from day one, I really enjoyed the work and the variety of clients. Always speaking to different people, you know, not just dealing with the same company, the same thing all the time. I like to multi-task so being busy and getting to know the clients…I have clients that I have spoken to for 25 years!

They could be in a room and I wouldn’t recognize them at all but in a crowded room if they spoke I would know who it is because for 25 years I’ve heard their voice. Occasionally you get an opportunity to meet some of them and that’s neat! Really getting to know the clients year after year, I’ve heard their children grow up. You know, when they used to call in as young kids and now they’re adults working for their parents.

Just [getting to know] the other Operators, there’s four core Operators here that I’ve known longer other than my parents. I’ve known them longer than my own family! They are like my family. We’ve all seen each other get married and have children and do different things in our lives and we really do care for each other and think of each other as family.

It sounds like it’s been a very rewarding 25 years!

I know, I still can’t believe it! As Brad [French] says, “I’d like to think I started off when I was 6!” In this day and age especially, you don’t hear as often as you did 25 years ago of people working for the same company for that length of time. I personally think it’s a testament to them [management], and how they’ve supported me and how they treat their employees because if it was not a good place to work people wouldn’t be here for that length of time.

Part of my job is I hope to mold some of these people to feel the same way I do and want to be here as a career.


Thank you Kelly Shaver for your hard work and dedication. You are at the forefront of our award winning service and we look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries with you!