Down to the Day – 28 Years of Service
On October 31st, 2022, exactly twenty-eight (28) years from her first day at Pineland Telephone, Martha Sue Boyett began a new chapter – retirement. She kindly agreed to let us ask a few questions about her (almost) three-decade career in the telecommunications industry, and her bittersweet next step.
Tell us how you first came to Pineland and the positions you’ve held since you started?
I was working at a local bank when I heard about an opening at Pineland Telephone. I applied but did not get the position. Not long after another position opened, so I reapplied and was hired. My first day at Pineland was October 31, 1994.
I started as a switchboard operator – not the old switchboards with the plug-in jacks, the more current models. When calls came through, I would transfer them where they needed to go, and we had an intercom system that I would page employees over. A couple years after Pineland introduced dial up internet, management asked me to move to customer service. My job was to teach the customers how to connect to the internet. I would explain to them what a search engine was, how to navigate the web, access email, etc. I would also prepare the floppy disk drives that customers would take home to load the service on their computers.
When one of our dispatchers retired a few years later, I moved to the dispatch department – now our N.O.C.C. (Network Operations). My duties were to troubleshoot with customers, work service orders, dispatch technicians, and handle after-hours calls. At the time, there was no additional after-hours support, so all calls were routed directly to us. I’ve been in that department since.
What encouraged you to continue your career at Pineland?
The love of the job, and the love of the people that are here. The way that we care for each other – our Pineland family is very genuine.
What do you think you will miss most?
My Pineland family, and the customers that I have grown to know throughout the years. Pineland has been a wonderful place to work. There is nowhere else like it, and you couldn’t ask for a better family than the one here.
Are there any memorable moments or a story that you’d like to share about your time here?
Pat Gibson once said to me, that whenever he passed away one day, he was going to come back as one of my sons or my next dog. That meant a lot to me. That story was even included in his eulogy.
Do you have any plans for your retirement?
Nothing specific – I’m just going to do what I want to do.
Pineland is grateful for Martha Sue’s dedication and hopes she will enjoy her well-deserved retirement. We’d like her to know that her feelings about her Pineland family are reciprocated. We asked fellow colleagues what words came to mind when they thought of Martha Sue and their replies included: sweetheart, hugs, loving, always smiling, caring, and “hey baby!”.