The First Headline About Festive Fleet

When deciding to leave a then-11-person organization for a Fortune 50 Company, I was most excited to see what an organization of that caliber could accomplish. What impact they could have on the communities they’re in.

I’ve been lucky to dive into that first hand, in my first quarter with Comcast, by being the Twin Cities Region lead for Festive Fleet. While I’m a woman of words, I’d rather show you just what Festive Fleet is:

Festive Fleet has given me the opportunity to empower a team of technicians and support staff to embrace the impact they’re capable of. We leverage the relationships they are building in homes every day, and asked them to nominate deserving customers for a special gift.

These are customers who are financially struggling, suffering from a loss in the family, encountering a difficult time, creating a pleasant experience for technicians in their home, or unfortunately having an unpleasant experience with Comcast.

Customers aren’t asking for these gifts, or reaching out to us with these stories. These stories are discovered by the Technician’s time in the home, and their ability to be there as a person, for a person, rather than completing a job for a customer and leaving.

I could talk for hours about the stories I read while choosing the 35 customers from the Twin Cities area to receive gifts. 

The only issue is, no one knows we do this.

While I was interviewing for Comcast, I didn’t think of Festive Fleet. I thought of many of the headlines that are probably racing through your mind now.

I decided to set up Google Alerts for Comcast so I could learn the company, but also keep tabs on the outside impression. I still read it everyday; it’s not always the most uplifting email, especially recently.

Today's Update, 12/18

But when I was about a week into my new role at Comcast, it was a different headline that made me pause. One from the Region VP down the hall, who I now often talk to while making coffee.

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Also new to his role in the Twin Cities Region, I was excited to see we were the first to admit where we have gone wrong, and also the first to bet on this team.

I have no desire to have my point of view outweigh these other headlines, rather I hope to capture the side of Comcast that no one hears about- the family that always puts the customer first.

Like peeling layers of an onion, I keep discovering new programs available to employees and customers, and new coworkers to connect with.

I was inspired by Internet Essentials, which offers low-cost Internet service, discounted computer equipment, and free digital literacy training to families with children in the National School Lunch Program. This was then expanded to eligible seniors and community college students in limited markets.

It’s solutions like these that motivate me to find creative solutions, because this fast-paced industry doesn’t allow time to say the words, “This is the way it’s always been done.”

Still, Comcast isn’t perfect. It’s a work in progress, an organization embracing new practices and priorities, and ensuring that cascades down to every single individual. And outside of an 11-person organization, there will be customer experiences and decisions that are out of my control. That’s difficult for a scrappy mind to accept.

So instead of being on the sidelines, I’ve used my scrappiness to make the Twin Cities Region close-knit and I’ve seen how this 159,000 person organization can still build partnerships across departments and regions. I’ve learned from collaborative leaders who are focused on a bigger picture that’s rooted in customer experience.

I’ve shared my experiences with others, and no longer hesitate when saying, “I’m a Marketing Specialist at Comcast” as I did my first week. Whatever reaction that brings, it’s just another opportunity to share why I am so proud to say #IAmComcast.  

 

 

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Give Not Get

At some point in the holiday season, despite all the decorations and upbeat music, it’s not uncommon for many to think I hate this. 

The crowded stores, searching for that perfect gift, and the stress of planning can set in for even the most spirited souls. Although there aren’t too many ways to fix this, we can avoid it.

Focusing on gifts that stray away from the material may be the key to putting the happy back in the holidays-

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 6.03.42 PM1. Fair Enough- Make your purchases count with sites like Ten Thousand Villages, which celebrate community arts and handmade goods while being completely Fair Trade. Items like this Mosaic Menorah ensure that every gift will be one of a kind and one to remember.

2. Wear it on your sleeve- Although Alex and Ani bracelets may be all the rage, Bead for Life allows you to support Ugandan women that make jewelry in their community. If sustainable jobs aren’t enough, the beads are easy on the environment as well!

3. Make it an experience– Skip the box and say it with a dayyoga coupon on the calendar. In an age of busy and busier, taking time of out your schedule is much more meaningful than taking your card out of your wallet. I’ve done this with special yoga classes with my mom, sushi dinners with my sister, and concert tickets for my parents’ 30th anniversary.

4. Cheers to that- turn beer to food, and food to good. Yes, with Finnegans beer you can support the Finnegans Community Fund, which purchases fresh produce from local farms. They then donate the produce to food shelves, giving meals to those who need it most. College kids, rejoice!

5. Share your light- As a candle-enthusiast, these are some of my favorites. Man-Cans are candles that are made in soup cans, after the soup is donated to a local food bank. The scents are targeted towards men, but don’t worry, they also have a line of SheCans. These add inspirational words below the label, like She Can Be fearless, which you can match to the receiver of this wonderful gift.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!