Stories of Excellence: “Thanks, SS”

by Heather Hughes on February 15, 2013

Susan Schroader

Sticky Note Thanks SS

My first serious job in college (although I thought of them all as serious) was at Parker Research Associates, working for Susan Schroader. I had the esteemed title of data collection manager. We worked in a real office and I had a real desk facing the front door. Susan managed the business and her husband Tom Parker was the bearded and brainy researcher who looked like a preoccupied professor. Lois, a particular statistician getting her Ph.D., ran the data and created client reports. She also rode her bike to work every day. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I oversaw data collection, sort of. I managed the very small call center for telephone surveys and did data entry. I had unofficially managed a call center before, at Utah Market Research, and that job helped me land the Parker Research gig.

Susan Schroader, like Sandy Blondino, was a happy person who wore a natural smile. She was excited to be there and to build a business. Motivated to gather data in order to discover answers to clients’ questions, Susan was incredibly efficient. I’d often come into the office in the evenings and Saturday mornings to bundled assignments with little sticky notes explaining what I needed to do. The notes were always signed, “Thanks, SS”. Susan always said thanks, and she never wasted words.

Susan showed diligence, organization and professional courtesy. Above all, she insisted upon quality. It’s from her that I learned the expression GIGO – garbage in, garbage out. I loved being treated as a professional and working in the environment that Susan Schroader created. Thanks SS.

Lessons in Excellence, for Leaders and Up and Comers

  • Treat all with respect
  • Be a professional
  • Create and oversee quality input and output

Do you remember a boss with a penchant for creating quality? Please share your experience in the comments section below.

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