Meet Jan Harless: Bell Electric Office Manager
If you've called the Bell Electric office sometime since 2010, chances are you've already spoken to Jan. As our office manager for the last eight years, Jan keeps our office running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Among other things, she coordinates daily operations, organizes payroll and accounts payable/receivable, communicates with customers and generally keeps our ship afloat!
Tell us a little about yourself: I'm from Wythe County, but I've lived in Giles County for 22 years. I've been married almost 22 years. I have a 21-year-old daughter and an almost 2-year-old grandson.
What drew you to Bell Electric originally, and how has the company changed since? I was looking for a change in careers. I had previously been in office management with another company, and I wanted to go back in that direction. It's what I loved to do. Anything with numbers and computers. Bell Electric was looking for an Office Manager, and I think we just found each other at the right time. I did not have any experience with the electrical or contracting side of things, so it was a learning experience. The first winter I was at Bell Electric it was slow, and that was probably a good thing because it gave me time to figure out a lot of things I didn't already know. In my early days, usually the mornings were busy with a few people in the office for half an hour or so before service calls would begin. Then the majority of the day was just me, Kirby (Steve's dog), and my radio. The office looks much different now, and there's a lot more people here during the day. Kirby has been gone for a while now, but his picture will always be at my desk so he will never be too far away.
Before working at Bell, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? Being a pet groomer was fun most of the time, because you're with dogs and cats all day.
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Something Italian.
If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring? A plane, a pilot, and fuel for the plane.
People would be surprised if they knew: I basically have an animal sanctuary. Two dogs, five cats, and a list of health problems. My husband knows the numbers of pets in our house is subject to change at any moment. I even showed up at work one afternoon with a kitten I picked up off the median of 460. No one left behind. I can't do it.
Whats the top item on your bucket list? To see the Northern Lights.
Your hidden talent: Other than 14 years of dance lessons - I can pick up things with my toes.
Your greatest fear: Anything with more than six legs.
You're happiest when: I'm sewing or babysitting my grandson.
Thanks for all your hard work Jan. We couldn't do it without you!