Maya Roberts has just reached a milestone in terms of her employment at Southgate Coins: she’s been with the company for two years, ever since March 7, 2007.
The bosses took time to reminisce about Maya’s two-year stint with the company and wrote a heartfelt tribute to their senior staff member. Read on to hear what they had to say…
I (Marie) am going kick off this second anniversary tribute to Maya and then Rusty will finish it.
I’ve just got to say what a great two years it’s been having Maya with us. When she started, she was just 18 years old. We’ve watched her develop from her early days of learning about Red Books and statehood quarters, to now being an assistant store manager who loves coins and their history, and in so many ways puts her duties at the store at the top of her priority list. She’s so smart in my opinion; she’s just soaked up so much knowledge about coins and the intricacies of our business.
Rusty and I are amazed at how much she’s learned. Imagine that, a young girl that fell in love with the fascinating field of coin collecting!
To me, Maya exemplifies a team player. She immerses herself into what we do at Southgate Coins. She’s involved in every aspect of our business. She trains our other girls with thorough but kind guidance, making sure that each of them receives all the tools necessary to succeed here. Good training, we believe, makes the best employees, and it’s always been a big priority with Rusty and me.
One of Maya’s strongest traits that I admire most is how she makes it so easy to be around her. There’s always plenty going on around here with deadlines and customers, but Maya doesn’t react or get defensive when we’re under pressure. She stays on track and does her best to help us through to the end of each project. She understands Rusty and me, she understands what our end goals are, and they are her goals, too.
Maya is very responsible and she has learned that if she makes a mistake, she needs to own up to it and apologize. She also accepts apologies from us with the same graciousness. All this sounds simple enough but I’ve found it a rare quality, especially in young college-age girls. Of course, these qualities make for not only a great employee, but also most important, a close friend. Maya is someone we can trust and someone we enjoy being with every day she’s with us.
She also has a clever sense of humor that sometimes catches me off-guard. We all love to share a laugh around here and we always try to have a bit of good fun in the midst of our busy schedule.
Most of all, Maya is a genuine person who’s the same day after day. Rusty and I rely on seeing her lovely, sweet smiling face each morning to start our day. She doesn’t act moody or crabby and she doesn’t take us the wrong way, either. She knows who we are and how we feel about her. I love the fact that I don’t have to worry that she misunderstands us, and that’s a very comfortable place to be with the people around you.
She’s loyal and kind to her friends, and Rusty and I are glad she counts us among them. I look forward to having Maya with us as long as she wants to stay here. She’s No. 1 in our book!
Now here’s Rusty:
If someone asked me what I felt was the toughest challenge involved in running a business, my answer probably wouldn’t be the first thought that popped into most people’s heads. Things such as hard economic times, tight credit restrictions at the bank, unreasonable landlords, inaccessibility of inventory to meet customer demand, security against robbers and thieves, or technological difficulties, would probably first come to mind. Every one of these or a combination of any or all of them can surely make the going unpleasant. Still, the obstacle that has made being business owners most unbearable for my wife Marie and me has been a lack of good employees. This is something that can drain the life out of you and even cause you not to want to be in business.
Through the years, Marie and I have had our share of, let me just say, challenging times with our employees. On the other hand, God has also blessed us with girls that have actually made it a pleasure for us to come to work. Thankfully, this is our current situation. We’ve got five girls that really complement one another, and really show us their willingness to get their jobs done and lighten our stress loads. In the process, they express their appreciation of us as bosses in many ways. As a result, we managed to navigate through the unsteady final months of 2008, and hit the ground running so far, during the first couple months of 2009.
Leading this group of dedicated girls is Maya Roberts. Without her, I don’t know how Marie and I could have survived the bumpy road we rumbled and tumbled over during the last half of 2008. This weekend, we are celebrating Maya’s 2nd anniversary with us and when I look back over her two years as our employee, I see the personification of a person who has ascended the ladder of success the way it’s supposed to happen.
Before we even hired her, Maya showed great signs of potential. When she submitted her résumé, for instance, she also included a brief note to let us know why she wanted to work for us, and she even followed up with a courteous email after we scheduled her interview, to express her gratitude for giving her an opportunity. Although only 18 at the time, Maya had almost one and a half years of experience working in a bank. She convinced us that she was ready to handle the challenge of working with millions of dollars worth of rare coins and serving our exclusive clientele.
She entered our lives on the heels of a nerve-racking book project in 2007. There couldn’t have been a tougher testing time to see if she had what it takes to make it at Southgate Coins. Maya adapted to our culture and after one year, she’d become a fixture around here.
Like all good employees, Maya has made it through situations in which she’s made mistakes, humbly received her reproofs, and vowed to do better. No boss can ask for more. She’s got a great attitude, and she recognizes that she still has lots to learn. In her own words she sums it up by saying, “There are a million things to learn as an employee at Southgate Coins, and I learn 1,500 of them a year.” She realizes that mistakes are inevitable and the good news is, when she makes them she doesn’t get defensive; she accepts her scolding, and presses on.
During the past year, Maya has blossomed into a star performer. She’s even taken a much more active interest in the field of numismatics not required of our employees, but certainly welcomed. Maya really surprised Marie and me in the second half of 2008 when she voluntarily joined the Carson City Coin Collectors of America. She’s contributed articles to the club’s quarterly journal; she’s interacted with members; and she proudly encourages others to join. I can’t tell you what an added bonus this has been. All this and she’s always faithful to help in pulling together every issue of the club’s journal, Curry's Chronicle: from typing the manuscripts to updating the membership rosters, to monitoring the shipment and deliveries of it.
You can tell that an employee is really involved in your business when she knows all of your in-store and out-of-town clients, and Maya not only knows their names, she treats them like family just as Marie and I do. This and the fact that Maya knows the demands that Marie and I face every week is very comforting to us.
She’s always punctual and on the rare occasion that she’s sick, she gives us plenty of notice, or more likely she shows up for work anyway (if she’s not contagious that is).
Maya is always a willing participant in our company’s special events, whether it’s Kentucky Derby Day, Halloween Dress-up Day, movie nights, dinner celebrations, birthdays, Christmas events, or whatever. This really helps motivate Marie and me to keep scheduling activities such as these.
Although still relatively young (20 years old as of this writing), Maya displays maturity in her ability to train the other girls on our staff. They are her peers age-wise, but she serves as a wonderful role model for them. As a result, they look up to her and they recognize that she has learned her duties well. At times, I’m sure it’s difficult for them not to assume that Maya was born into our business. Yet, all she needs to do is remind them that two years ago she was a “newbie” herself, and that she’s advanced to where she is today from the ground up. It’s a living testimony to what a person can achieve through dedication and hard work.
Congratulations Maya: on your two years of loyal service at Southgate Coins and thank you, for showing Marie and me the bright side of having employees.