Fifteen years ago, if you’d have asked Bernedette Jackson, a CSR in Phoenix, what she would be doing today, she certainly wouldn’t have said it would involve helping customers in a call center. Why? Because Bernedette has earned three degrees (her B.A., M.A. and Doctorate) in the field of education and assumed that her work would consist of teaching, as she did for 11 years in Korea and several more in the United States. However, some physical challenges altered her career trajectory, and ultimately landed her at Peckham.
She first heard about Peckham during a visit to an Arizona employment agency, which was one of her first stops after moving to the state. Although she had been having a bit of trouble walking at the time, she wasn’t technically disabled, and took a pass on contacting the company about job opportunities. However, by early 2022, her circumstances had changed to the point where finding out more about Peckham made sense.
She said that during her interview, she opened up about her medical condition in a way she’d never done before. Following the interview, her first thought was, “Oh, that’s kind of weird.” But after accepting a CSR position and becoming part of the Peckham team, she realized that she’d make the right choice. Bernedette immense enjoys assisting the people who call in and said it’s gratifying to hear from them how much her assistance has helped them overcome what for them can seem like dire circumstances.
Early on, she admitted that having friends and family ask why someone with her credentials and education was working in a call center (she’d worked other call center jobs prior to coming to Peckham) was a little frustrating. Her response since starting at Peckham has been that she is still teaching, albeit outside of the traditional classroom setting. Shifting her mindset proved to be a key factor in first settling into, and then excelling in, her new career.
While at Peckham, Bernedette said she’s found support at every turn, from help with accommodations to assistance in putting her teaching skills to work in a customer service environment. She stressed how much she appreciates the attention paid to accessibility, and the tools afforded agents, most notably help desk for CSRs — something she’d only dreamed of at previous companies.
Bernedette said it’s very reassuring to work alongside people so ready and willing to advocate for her. She called her supervisors and VSS “awesome,” and summed up her Peckham experience to date by saying, “I can really trust that Peckham has my best interests at heart.”