Employee Spotlight: Christine Nunzio
Christine is a Senior Account Manager at Sapoznik Insurance and will be celebrating 11 years with the company this April.
After a brief medical leave, Christine is back full force with the same driving passion to help others that she’s had all along.
We sat down with Christine to hear about how she has been able to return to the office without missing a beat.
How has it been to be back?
Going out on leave was hard for me because I’m a worker. Working is a blessing as it distracts me from what’s going on. Coming back has been wonderful because Rachel really cared about if I was ready and well enough [to do so]. She didn’t want me to come back until I was sure I was ready physically, mentally and emotionally.
I like helping people and helping our clients. That’s one of the things people don’t understand… we don’t just sell insurance. We help employers and employees, and we care about people getting their medications and seeing the right doctors. Believe it or not, selling insurance is the easy part! Helping and educating our clients to ensure that they know their benefits is critical. I wake up every morning knowing that I’ve helped someone.
In returning, what were some of the strategies you employed on your first day back to help you reintegrate?
You have to make it like you never left. The office opens at 8:30am, but I am here at 7 as always. You go right back to work and let your clients know right away. You have to go back in full force. I came back and I was like, okay, what did I miss and what do you need? I also thanked my coworkers for carrying the extra load while I was out. They did an awesome job!
What did I miss and what do you need. I love that.
I’m getting our clients what they need and making sure our company has what it needs. I’m not going to lie, there were days when I was tired. I’m squeezing in physical therapy some days before I come to work and doing all the things I need to do to keep me healthy. Two o’clock is a struggle for me sometimes, so I take a break. I go upstairs to the gym to regroup for ten minutes, and then I get right back at it because it keeps me going. I can’t focus on not feeling well when I have a job to focus on.
How did you know when you were ready to come back?
I was ready two months before I came back to come back, but I wasn’t allowed because my doctors, and Rachel, wouldn’t let me! I knew I was ready when I could get up in the morning and didn’t need help from anybody else. I knew my work needed me and I needed them. They’re a part of your family, you know? It was just time to go back to work.
Can you talk me through how you delegated to your colleagues while you were away? What was that process like, and how were you able to manage it and your feelings around it?
It was hard emotionally because I like to be in control. The client is used to things being done in a certain way and you always worry that they might not like change. So that was a big worry for me. I’m lucky that I have a great team here. They allowed me to help pick and choose the team members that would be handling my specific clients.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I spend time with my husband, daughter and niece who I took legal guardianship of last year. We love all being outside in the pool and enjoying the ocean when we go on the boat as a family.
And also, I’m always on.
I’m not the employee who leaves at 5 o’clock and then my day is done. For example, I was in line at CVS and there was this poor mom in front of me with a sick, crying baby and the insurance had the date of birth wrong. I apologized for eavesdropping – CVS is a long line and we’re on top of each other — and said if you want my help, I’d be glad to help you because she was upset and couldn’t afford the medicine. I ended up getting the medication for her, I think it was 30-something dollars instead of a hundred, and she was like, oh my god, the customer in line at CVS was more helpful than the person behind the counter!
This is what I do for a living. You help people. It’s the right thing to do. And that’s what I like about my job.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
It’s like a family. We are a family, and that’s one of the big things I tell people who come to work at Sapoznik. We act like a family and we help each other. There’s no being above any job because we have to help each other all the time. And so, I try to do that with everyone I work with because we are stronger as a team. And that’s why I like it here because the company allows me to do that.