FastPay Employee Spotlight: ​Joni Smith

Name: Joni Smith


Position: Customer Service Representative


Location: Lubbock, TX


Job Description:

Customer service, first and foremost! The CSR is responsible for taking clients' phone calls and monitoring our support inbox to assist with payroll, garnishments, tax withholdings, financial reports, etc. The CSR is usually the first contact a client has with FastPay. I am also responsible for the daily creation of the bank file for all payrolls that are scheduled to process that day. It is a fantastic job and I love it! There is very little down time and never a dull moment! 


What is your personal background?

I am from Floydada, Texas, and I grew up helping my dad on the farms and driving the tractor. I was an Accounting major at Texas Tech, then I moved to Chicago after school for a job with American Airlines. I lived there for 18 years before coming back home to West Texas. I have 3 gorgeous and mostly well-behaved children - William Finn is 9, Conrad Joseph is 6, and Maddox Monroe just turned 1. They are the light of my life and I am so proud of them.


What was your first job?

My first "real" job was as a flight attendant for American Airlines. I had just turned 21 years old, and was hired to be based at Chicago O'Hare. I packed two suitcases and moved there in December. The cold and snow were quite a shock at first! I stayed with AA for 14 years, it was an amazing opportunity. I've been to 46 of the 50 states, and other countries as well. It was a great experience! 


How did you get your start at FastPay?

My dad was in Hurst Farm Supply one day (his favorite place in the world) talking with Joe Hurst. I had been looking for a new job for a while and Mr. Hurst was kind enough to reach out to Jerred. I was able to interview with the owner of FastPay, Kade Wilcox, soon after. My first role at FastPay was in distribution and as Administrative Assistant. I transitioned into the CSR role a few months later. 


What do you most enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy helping our clients find a solution to any issue they may be having that day. I'm happy that I've been able to build relationships with clients and can talk with them on a personal, as well as professional, level. 


I also enjoy my FastPay coworkers so much. We all have such strong skill sets that compliment each other so well. Every morning I wake up excited to go to work at FastPay. I love what I do and I enjoy the people I'm with each day. 


What is the most challenging part of your work?

Not knowing the answer to every question I am asked. I wish that I knew the answer to every single question about payroll, tax, insurance, labor laws, you name it. And guess what? I don't! This is a personal challenge that I need to work on. We have a wealth of knowledge in our FastPay team, where each member is more than willing to help. I definitely learn something new every day! 


What is one common misconception about working in payroll?

It's often misunderstood that we can cash payroll checks on site. We often receive calls asking to come to the office and cash paychecks. While we are able to create the checks, we do not keep cash on site and are unable to cash checks. 


Who do you admire and how have they influenced you and your work?

This may seem silly to some, but Mr. Rogers really made an impression on me since I was a very little girl. I grew up watching him on TV, and he has always been one of my favorite people. He was always so kind and gentle, and wanted only the best for people, especially for children. I'm not sure if he has a background in payroll, but he does inspire me to approach all situations with kindness, compassion, and respect.


What’s something not everyone knows about you?

I wish I could care for more babies. If I were in the right financial position (and maybe if I had another set of arms!) I would love to bring more children into our home and adopt them. There are so many children that need love and care, I wish my family and I could give a loving home to some.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I have been known to sing a song or two.... 


What is your favorite season?

Winter! I love dark, gray skies and cold temperatures. Shoveling snow or salting the walkways doesn't bother me at all. I'm just not a warm weather person - the sun makes me cranky! 


You’re stranded on a deserted island and can only have three items with you. What would they be?

Diet Coke, my favorite beat-up old Red Sox cap, and a paperback copy of The Handmaid's Tale. I've been trying to read that for months!

Fill in the blank: I can’t leave home without _____________.



If you had $10,000 to donate to any charity, who would you choose? Why?

It's not technically a charity, but I would give it all to our old church in Chicago, the Morton Grove Community Church. The majority of the congregation are in their 70's and 80's. The church was founded in 1951 and most repairs are done by one maintenance person and members of the church. These people are like family to me, I would love to help them as much as they helped me. 


In five words (or less) what advice would you give someone in your profession?

One thing at a time! 

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