Profile of Paul Baines
October 12, 2007
Title: Customer service representative. Answers phone calls from subscribers and deals with anything ranging from subscription starts, missed papers and questions about billing. Also handles the automatic deduction accounts.
Sounds like that could be stressful. “Some people are clearly really frustrated because they’ve been missed by their carrier. I empathize. We have 500 newspaper carriers and 22,000 to 24,000 papers going out a day, depending on the day. So, I mean, mistakes are going to be made. I think most people understand that. And the carriers are not our employees. They’re contracted. If a carrier makes enough mistakes—it’s based on how many complaints per 1,000, which is the industry standard—the carrier can make quite a few errors until the statistics catch up with them. The poor person who gets missed three days in a row doesn’t understand that. They just want their paper.”
Will your job change with the new plant? A bit. The district managers will be at the new plant and customer service personnel will have to figure reliable ways to communicate.
Are you excited? “I’m looking forward to seeing how (the new press) works, what the new papers will look like and what the response is going to be to the newspaper, the new format, the new size.”
What do you like about working at the Gazette? “It’s small, and so it is more personable.”
Story: Born in Dallas, Paul is married with two children. He has worked at the Gazette for five years and is the brother-in-law of editor Scott Angus. Paul has been a musician most of his life, playing guitar since he was 5 and in clubs professionally since he was 15.
He also plays the saxophone, but hasn’t done so recently.
“We have a new dog that takes up half of my time.”