A Day in the Life: Chelsey

Name: Chelsey Fairris

Program: 80/90 – Corporate/SATI

Job Title: Administrative Assistant


How long have you been with Service Alternatives?

June this year will be four years.

You are the Administrative Assistant for engagement programs and SATI (Service Alternatives Training Institute). Can you explain your job a little bit?

Yes, I split my time between those two entities within the company. In the training portion of my job I assist our internal trainers with internal classes and trainings. This includes anything from publishing the classes, coordinating registrations and rosters, preparing materials and certificates and everything in between.

The engagement work is the most fun portion of my job! I help with the SA Happenings, SA Value Awards, Mental Health Awareness Week, DSP Appreciation Week, company events, and more. Really, with all of the big company programs and items I usually have a role to play, and it is super fun. Every day is different, every project is different, I’m always changing and working with new and different people. It’s super fun all the time!

What does a typical day look like for you?

There is no typical day. I might get lucky once-in-a-while and have a couple of quiet days in a row, but changes very quickly. A typical day is a lot of administrative work, a lot of phone answering, email responding, follow-ups to meetings, working with my supervisors, working with my co-workers and working with other individuals who sometimes I don’t have a lot of opportunity to work with them. So, I really don’t have a typical day. Typical items might be training processing and publishing SA Deja Blue (our internal newsletter) and SA Happenings.

What was common or uncommon about your day yesterday?

Well, yesterday was not a unique day, full of emails, working in the learning management system and phone system. It was one of my in-office days which are always very heavy. And it was also a Monday. So, I had my standing meetings with my two supervisors and a lot of mail prep–I guess that’s something that’s been new in my position right now because of Covid-19 Protocols. Many of our classes do require physical copies of books as electronic are not always options. A big chunk of my day yesterday was mail prepping for all the different classes.

Are there other ways Covid-19 Protocols affects your work-flow?

Pre-2020, the trainers would send in a print request. I would print on their behalf and they would pick up the materials and bring it to the class and hand them out. And now, for the majority of our classes, we were able to move most of the material online but it is not always possible. So, my time distributing materials and mailing has increased.

What kind of challenges have you been experiencing?

Everyone’s day-to-day life has been changed but I feel like we’ve been adapting really well over the last year. The SA Happenings submissions have been impacted as people aren’t able to do group activities. They’re not able to be in the houses together. This has impacted my role and I see how it impacts others. It’s been a challenge just engaging with people and trying to draw more “oomph” to it.

You interface with so many different people. Do you work with clients or customers or staff?

I primarily work with staff. I have very little interaction with clients and customers. I would say 99% of my time is with staff and trainers. Once in a while clients came to the office, however throughout covid they haven’t been able to. Before covid I would be able to say hi to them which was really fun.

How do you make sure that you are showing a deep profound respect towards the individuals you work with?

I just always want to respect everyone else and their beliefs, their feelings, and their ownership. I want to respect what they want; I want to respect what they have and I want to I want to work with them. I want to get along with everyone. I want to help everyone. I want to hold everyone to the same amount of respect that I want them to hold me too. So, I always am trying my best to keep everyone else’s values in line with my own.

If I could talk to any one of your co-workers or the staff, what are ways that they would say you show respect towards them?

I am a doer, a helper, and a yes person. The yes person might have positive and negatives associated with it, but they know that if they need help, I’m there. I’m going to help do whatever I can to help them succeed. Whatever is in my power. Even if I have to go and talk to someone else in a higher position. I’ll do that with their blessing as well. My co-workers know that I want to help and keep the respect aspect in line with that.

Is there anything you love about your job?

Absolutely. I just love getting creative. I love having open-ended creation and picture collaging. I also love working with the trainers in SATI. I have such a good flow with them and I have great relationships with all of them. I love seeing them in person when the rare occasion nowadays presents itself. It’s just so refreshing to see them. I miss them. I love working with people and being able to slowly interact with more and more people I really love. I get so excited when I see people now I squeal!


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