04/13/2020|Inside Verizon

Envisioning a future together.

By: Jeremy Godwin

When a call center closes, Sylvia Bernert, who is legally blind, finds a way forward with the help of her V team.

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Sylvia Bernert is uniquely qualified as a tech consumer advocate. Though as a caller on her line, you might not ever know it.

That’s because Sylvia is legally blind.

She describes her process when taking a call: “I use a braille display and JAWS computer-screen-to-voice software, so I’m hearing the customer in one ear and JAWS in the other. It takes a lot of memorization, knowing what keys to hit and knowing shortcuts to read links or buttons on pages.”

Sylvia had only been working in the West Valley City, UT call center for seven months when the COVID-19 crisis closed the location for the foreseeable future.

“I thought my job would be terminated,” admitted Sylvia. “It was a hard time for me.”

But that’s not what the company had in mind.

“Verizon called and said ‘we’re coming over’,” she said. “‘We’re going to get you up and running from home.’”

Sylvia has been impressed at how the transition has been handled. “When I gave them my concerns that I wouldn’t be efficient, they said ‘we would never put you in a position where you would not feel supported.’ That meant a lot. They have been so amazingly accommodating.”

Sylvia is now working from home and taking calls. Motivation is not an issue. “It definitely has been my goal to really crush this job.”

As a naturally social person, Sylvia says she’ll be happy when the call center opens again, but for now, working from home is working - and that’s no small feat.

I am so grateful for Verizon sticking with me and believing I could do it. It’s been amazing and an absolute pleasure to be a part of this company.

About the author:

Jeremy Godwin is a member of the Verizon Corporate Communications team and a regular host of Up to Speed. He's the team's resident tech geek and media junkie.

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