More for her 85th birthday thing
She started her career at Michigan Bell in 1952 in the traffic department as a switchboard operator and then transferred to Illinois Bell, where she moved to the business office as a service representative. She retired as a junior supervisor 19 years later.
"It was awesome," said Natalie. "In retail, we have a direct impact on the customer's perception of AT&T. I've always had the mindset of: Take care of the customer, take care of the company. But I had no idea that we were also taking care of an AT&T family member."
"I am so grateful for my time with the company back in Illinois. I treasure the great friendships I made along the way, and I take pride in all the awards I received," Marilyn said. "For living in a new community, it was great to know that AT&T here in Georgia gave me such a thoughtful birthday.
"I don't have the friends down here like I do back in Illinois. But I was honored to celebrate with Natalie and the team, and I did feel like family that day."
That personal connection
Marilyn makes a purposeful trip to the store each month to pay her bill.
"It's good for our people to know that sometimes older folks really do need help, and Natalie and John and William know that," Marilyn said. "It is so important to say 'Hi' and 'How are you doing?' It's always been a part of the telephone company, you always treat the customer with the utmost courtesy."
And her monthly visits mean just as much to Natalie and her team – especially the birthday celebration.
"It was something that made me feel like I had impacted a person's life, even if just for a day," says Natalie. "Hearing Marilyn's story and seeing her bracelet made it even more personal for me and the team."
And there's more thing that never changes. Marilyn felt so moved that she sent a thank you note to the Alpharetta team – on original Illinois Bell letterhead that included the pre-printed phrase "a good place to work."