Special to the Sun — Ron D. George
AAA Mid-Atlantic, Arnold
Years on the job --One
How he got started --George lived in Williamsburg, Va., working at a small airport and helping his mother open a bed and breakfast inn.
He then moved to the Annapolis area and began looking for a job. On a whim, he walked into the Arnold office of AAA to ask if they were hiring.
Typical day --As a membership specialist, George concentrates on selling and explaining the various benefits associated with the auto club.
He works Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and occasional Saturdays.
It takes about five to 10 minutes to set up a membership and he usually completes about two to four each day.
The rest of his time is spent answering questions and helping with various services such as the AAA credit card, travel agency and TripTiks, which are step-by-step driving directions for auto club members.
"People typically equate AAA with roadside service. I'm the person who explains to them that not only do we do that, we also offer discounts at hotels, on rental cars and at various stores."
Most common questions --"It varies. Much of it is explaining the differences between the various types of memberships."
Additional benefits --Although George says he's been a AAA member since he was 16 years old, he didn't realize until he started working there how many discounts are available to members, including those at LensCrafters, Payless ShoeSource and Hertz.
Favorite discount --Five percent at Barnes & Noble.com. "I'm a crazy bookworm."
The good --"I've worked in the customer service industry before and this is one of the best. And I like the fact that I still have interaction with people."
The bad --When spring and summer comes around he's inside an office instead of outside.
Customer service --"I answer the same questions a hundred times during the week."
He said it can it get tedious at times, but that comes with any job.
"I like being able to tell a nice old lady about a [discount]. I like the fact they feel a lot happier when they get off the phone."
Technology --Some services AAA offers are readily available on the Web. Members can go to www.aaamidatlantic.com to renew memberships, book vacations and find member discounts among other things.
No soliciting --George says he helps people who call in or walk in. His job does not involve any form of telemarketing.
"The product sells itself. You just have to tell them what the price is."
Good fit --"I'm pretty decent with people, and I can articulate what needs to be said. I want people to be able to come back and call me if they need anything."
Philosophy on the job --"My main focus is to make an enjoyable income for myself. And the perks are great."
Special to The Sun