When office manager Lynn Garris says she has an open door policy, she means it.
“I can be in the middle of something on my computer or my calculator, but my door is always open,” says Lynn, office manager at Level Green Landscaping.
“I’ll hear a little knock, and I’ll turn around and smile,” she says. “I always smile when somebody comes in. Sometimes they feel a little guilty, like they're interrupting me, but I never want people to feel like that. I want people to always feel welcome. That’s my attitude.”
Lynn has worked at Level Green Landscaping for a decade, but has a longer history with owners Bill Hardy and Doug Delano. They all worked together for years at another landscaping company before Doug and Bill started Level Green.
Lynn was taking some time away from work to raise her young granddaughter, Heather, when she got a call from Bill. Would she come work at Level Green? They needed her.
“I like those guys a lot,” she says. “We have a long history together. And I missed working. I won volunteer of the year at Heather’s elementary school. I could do bulletin boards like you wouldn't believe.” She laughs.
“But I missed that feeling of accomplishment from a job well done.”
Sure, she said. Count her in.
“It was like I never left,” she says.
Wearing Many Hats
Lynn wears a lot of hats as office manager. She pays the bills, does human resources, shops for health insurance, manages the 401K accounts, answers questions about purchase orders.
“I know everything that goes on,” she says. “I’ve worked in the business a long time, so I know the industry well. When people have questions, they come to me.”
If Lynn doesn’t know it, it’s probably not important.
“I enjoy every aspect of this job,” she says. “It’s not the same thing every day. There’s always some new adventure. I get to interact with everybody, at every level. And I love that.
“It’s like a huge family here,” she says. “One guy comes in and shows me pictures of his girls in gymnastics and I watch their videos. Another guy came in to show me the sonogram of his baby. ‘If you can tell the sex, Lynn, don’t tell me,’ he said.”
She couldn't tell.
“I only saw a foot,” she says.
“That sense of family starts with the owners,” Lynn says. “They’ve always been family centered.”
An avid reader, she belongs to a book club and always has a couple books going.
And man, can she cook.
Ask anybody who's been treated to lunch when Lynn brings in a big pan of lasagna, a meat loaf or a vat of pulled barbecue pork.
Her grandmother taught her to cook when she was 11 and by age 13 she was skilled enough to fill in for a vacationing cook for two elderly priests who hired her for two weeks.
When Lynn brings in a holiday cookie tray, there could be 14 different types of cookies waiting to be munched.
A painstaking housekeeper, she even dusts her plants.
Back at work, she’s the office listener — patient, understanding. Everybody knows if you tell Lynn something, it stays between you.
If a vendor is cranky, she stays calm and straightens things out.
“Why let the small things bother you?” she says cheerfully. “Keep on smiling.”
Want to Join the Team?
Lynn is just one of the dedicated team members we have here at Level Green Landscaping. And we’re always looking for hard-working, talented people to join our team.
Are you ready to work for a company where smiling is a job skill?