Working for Block Advisors this year has certainly been different! When I started working in my office, I was told that my boss, Victoria, has now been put in charge of two other offices in Tucson. Last year, she was about to tear her hair out at the end of the season with only one extra office besides the one I work at. Like she really needed more stress in her life!
For once this year, she has a full staff at my office, but the office is so full that there may not be room for me to work there during peak. The other two offices that she’s been put in charge of have private offices for everyone instead of the cubicles my office has, but most of their offices are empty. There was a woman who had been the manager of one of the other offices and she up and quit just before this tax season started. Then last night, one of the tax advisors with the most clients in that office suddenly quit. Last week, Victoria told me that her boss had hired another super caller and wanted me to train her, so I worked with the new woman on Tuesday night and had another evening of training to go through with her, but she quit on Wednesday. She apologized and cc-ed the district manager, Victoria, and me on her letter of resignation and said I was a really good teacher and was obviously excited about my job, but she had realized that it wasn’t going to work out for her.
The office that lost the former manager and just lost their best tax advisor basically has no one to take clients right now. The most responsible of the remaining tax advisors is a woman from the middle east, and she had to go back to her country for two weeks to maintain her residency here, so she’s gone until later in the month. There is an elderly woman who takes a bus to work, and she recently fell and hurt herself and has been out for a week or so. Hopefully, she’ll be back sometime next week. We have a man with a walker who is in and out of the hospital, and another one who has Parkinson’s and can’t guarantee that he can be in the office from one day to the next, or if he will even be able to work a full shift if he is. He doesn’t want clients who want to sit with him face-to-face. He will only do drop-offs. There is one receptionist, but she has young kids and can’t always stay a full shift.
So yesterday, today, and tomorrow, I am working in that office along with Victoria. Today, she brought her husband to help, and tomorrow, she’ll be bringing her dad as well as her husband and me. When I make client calls, I have to try to figure out how we can serve them. I either have to offer them ways to work with their tax advisor online, or I need to send them to one of our other offices.
Just before quitting time tonight, the phone rang and Victoria told me I could answer it if I wanted since the receptionist had already gone home. The man on the other end of the line sounded muffled and I could barely make out what he was saying. His tax advisor was the one who just quit last night and he was supposed to have had an appointment with him tomorrow. He sounded like the matter he was coming in for was urgent and he needed to be seen in person, so I told him I could either get him in with someone in his usual office by about the 26th, or I could make an appointment for him at the downtown office for tomorrow. He had a difficult time deciding which he wanted to do, but he finally decided to go to the other office tomorrow. I found an appointment for him at the time he wanted, but then he asked me to send him the address of the other office since he had never been there before. I said I would send it in an email. Then he was asking about making a second appointment with the woman who could see him on the 26th. I said, “Our office is closed now, so why don’t you take care of this other business at the downtown office, and then you can call to make an appointment to see her on the 26th?” He agreed to that. I hadn’t been aware that Victoria was listening to my end of the conversation until I got off the phone and she said, “I envy your patience!”
When it’s time for you to do your taxes, if you have a tax person you’ve been working with for a few years, thank him or her for their help. Sometimes, that little bit of encouragement can prevent them from feeling quite so burned out during peak season! If it’s in an office with a receptionist and she or he is doing a good job of taking care of you, let them know how much you appreciate what they do as well. They get to deal with all kinds of people and you might just help them make it through a rough day!