Jun 27, 2022
Our new ASD Spotlight series introduces you to the dedicated Team ASD superstars you have been speaking with over the phone for the years to learn about the real people behind the voices you hear every day. In this post, we profile four of our dedicated Call Specialists and ask them a few questions about their experiences working for our company.
Joined ASD: September 2006
Positions Held: Bilingual Call Specialist & Training Specialist
What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? One of the most important things to remember that you have to accept that things change and communication is very important and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions to make your job more stress free.
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I love dancing, but due to COVID I barely go out to many social gatherings. I enjoy Latin music a lot. I enjoy staying in touch with family and friends. My passion is making people smile and doing good for others.
What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Always follow protocol, what you were taught in training. When you get an upset caller, listen to them with a nice tone and little more understanding and kindness. By the end of the call, the caller is thanking YOU for being there for them. It happens to me a lot. Focus on doing your best and being positive, don’t dwell on bad experiences but learn from them.
Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? My favorite ones are the friendly Funeral Directors that value all the tasks the ASD staff do for them and recognize ASD is a great resource for both their Funeral Homes and families.
What is your favorite memory from a Team ASD event in the past? The Media 5 Mile Race in 2019 when my granddaughter came with me. They were so excited about giving water to the runners. Marianne (5 yrs. old) was so happy when one of the runners grabbed her cup, her smile said it all. Kahlani (2 yrs. old) she was enjoying dumping the water on her feet. I really enjoy all the events ASD plans and how they are open to suggestions on future events. It’s awesome for me to interact with my coworkers, some of whom have become good friends, and to meet new staff.
What’s your motto or personal mantra? I like to treat everyone the way you want to be treated, with kindness and respect. Some people may be going through a difficult time and just may need someone to listen and not judge them. All this world needs is more kindness, love and a simple smile. They can make a difference.
Joined ASD: February 2020
Positions Held: Call Specialist & Training Specialist
What have you gained or learned since working at ASD?: I’m much more in tune with my senses of patience and compassion, and I’ve gotten invaluable practice separating myself and my ego, as to not take things personally when calls are hard. I’m also much more conscious about my own mental health and well-being thanks to the nature of the work.
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? I live to combine the worlds of art and activism through my passions; poetry, painting, and protest. I’ll eventually pursue full-time artistry and organizing. I love creating, and cultivating community.
What advice would you give a new trainee at ASD? Keep your head up, even when it’s difficult. Everything that you’re doing now is building toward something greater, all of it.
Do you have a favorite funeral director you enjoy talking with? What do you like about him/her? I’m not a fan of picking favorites, but any director who takes a moment on the line to small talk brightens my day. It’s nice to get a reminder that we’re not “just the answering service,” every now and again.
What is a fun fact about you people might not know? If I drive within a 3 mile radius of a 7-Eleven, I can’t resist the gravity and I will end up buying more taquitos than I’d like to admit. Every time. Every single time.
What’s your motto or personal mantra? I live by “Starve the ego, feed the soul,” and have it tattooed 🙂
Joined ASD: October 2014
Job Titles Held: Call Specialist, Training Specialist, Assistant Supervisor & Client Solutions Specialist
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? My family is everything to me! I love spending time my Family and friends. I am looking forward to a great summer at the pool, trying new restaurants and doing fun things with my kids.
What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? Take one day at a time, one call at a time. Not everyone we interact with is going to be friendly, but the people we get to help and the callers who are appreciative of what we do make the job worthwhile.
What is your motto or personal mantra? “This too shall pass”. My dad always told me this when I would ask for advice if I was struggling with something and I tell myself this whenever I’m having a difficult day.
Joined ASD: January 2019
Job Titles Held: Senior Bilingual Call Specialist
What have you gained or learned since working at ASD? I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started at ASD, at first I just thought of being just a call center but it’s more than that. It is learning how to grieve with someone that you don’t know for 5 minutes and discovering what sympathy really means. It’s also learning how cherish every second of your life and those who you surround yourself with because you don’t know when or where they will take their last breath or when you’ll take your last breath.
What are some of your hobbies, interests and passions outside of ASD? Something I do when I’m off the phones is run my small cheesecake business. I also keep myself active by going to the gym (thank you ASD for the free planet fitness membership!). I include my two boys busy by interacting in some type of active play or just go for long walks with our husky.
What advice would you give to a new trainee at ASD? One piece of advice that I would give a new trainee is just to take their time gathering all the information, follow the instructions on the accounts and verify the spelling.
What is your favorite memory from a Team ASD event in the past?
One of my favorite events with ASD was the Tough Mudder race that just passed. What really stood out was that no one was left behind, just a hand away. Laughs and positive energy.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
Don’t give up! You’re stronger than you think.
Be sure to check back next month for more Team ASD Staff Spotlights to help you get to know the dedicated individuals answering calls for your funeral home.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com