August 18, 2006
Barbecue aroma wafted over hundreds of people sitting under the giant tent on the grounds of T-Mobile USA's FirstPark customer service center on Thursday.
Copyright © 2006 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
OAKLAND -- Barbecue aroma wafted over hundreds of people sitting under the giant tent on the grounds of T-Mobile USA's FirstPark customer service center on Thursday.
Politicians mingled with T-Mobile executives and employees as members of the company celebrated 12 months of operations at the FirstPark customer service center.
Various speakers congratulated one another, gave interviews and posed for photos to the applause of the customer service representatives, all of whom had been hired from surrounding towns.
One employee participating in the festivities, Barry Peabody, said he doesn't mind commuting 50 minutes from Jefferson to work as a T-Mobile coach.
"It's been fabulous," he said. "T-Mobile has pretty much given me all the tools that I need to be successful here."
Peabody moved through the ranks from customer service representative to coach in the past year.
Another employee, Nancy Stevens, a Fairfield Center resident who has worked at T-Mobile for about a year, works as a customer service representative. Taking a job with T-Mobile enabled her to stop making the hour-long commute to Belfast, where she had worked for MBNA.
"The great experience here is, we are all working for one cause, which is to make all of our customers feel like they're number one," she said. "They really push 'team.'"
Peabody and Stevens were two of the first of 645 people hired in the past year to fill customer service positions at T-Mobile's FirstPark.
With a reported hiring rate of about 25 people per month, T-Mobile is on track to meet its stated goal of hiring 700 employees during its first year and a half of operations.
The facility features a workout room, a computer room, a television lounge, ergonomic work stations, a room for mothers, cafeteria, a quiet room, game room, an outdoor patio and barbecue and a walking trail.
T-Mobile senior vice president Susan G. Nokes spoke at length, exhorting employees to strive for professionalism in their customer service.
"We have got to be maniacally focused on our customer, because without our customers, we're not going to continue to be here," she said. "And I like being here -- What do you all think?"
Here, as at many other points in her speech, the audience broke into applause.
Democratic Gov. John E. Baldacci and Sens. Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, both R-Maine, also spoke.
Joel Elliott -- 861-9252