By Mark Smith
2-1-1 Disability Services Specialist

My head is still kind of spinning as I settle in at my new work station here at United Way 2-1-1 as the “Disability Specialist.” I have been so impressed at this transition and welcome. My last day at Access Utah Network was the last working day of June and I started at United Way 2-1-1 the following Monday July 2.

I am learning a new train schedule, new bus routes, and how to conquer the new office building–figuring out how to access the building, checking out the bathrooms, and learning new passwords and code pads on the doors. I am also learning everything needed to be on the other end of the 2-1-1 calls.  There are a lot of new people to work with seeing as the office I transitioned from was a small office with only four other staff members besides myself. The 2-1-1 staff seems large and the United Way of Salt Lake staff seems huge. I feel like it may me take forever to put names to faces!

I have been here at United Way 2-1-1 for one month, four weeks, two holidays, and a couple staff meetings (2-1-1 and United Way). I have completed all the introductions and have begun the process of settling in. I am beginning to understand and feel the rhythm of 2-1-1, the comings and goings of staff, and the process of the operation. I love the Monday morning “slam” when the phones are turned on and the calls are fast and furious and to feel the tension on the floor when all the operators are on line fielding the impossible needs with solutions.

I am excited to be here at United Way 2-1-1 and have the opportunity to continue the ability of practicing my craft of delivering disability information. I am also happy to be helping other 2-1-1 operators better meet the needs of callers who have a need for  disability information. I am excited to help those in our neighborhoods and communities who need it!