By Kelley Barnes, Director of HR
If creating an incredible experience for PetRelocation’s clients and their fuzzy family members is like painting a masterpiece, then Tobi is the Georges Seurat of Client Care Specialists. Every ‘t’ is crossed and every ‘i’ is dotted when it comes to her communications and plans.
When she interviewed with PetRelocation in April 2013, one quality about Tobi that was immediately evident to the team was her meticulous attention to detail. Nothing slips past her when it comes to the logistics coordination that is an essential part of every pet move Tobi supervises.
Tobi has built strong partnerships with a select group of PetRelocation’s team of agents that she likes to use regularly. They know what she expects in terms of pet love and handling, and in turn she always keeps them apprised of any unexpected changes or hiccups that may occur (like the recent snow storms and weather issues that caused pet flight cancellations in New York, Chicago and Boston and affected several pet trips).
During a move when there is a sleepless pet parent anxious for an update, Tobi has been known to take late-night phone calls and send prompt emails with pet photos after a pet arrives in a foreign destination.
One previous coworker wrote, “She is always there to help the team and accomplish any task that is needed, and she comes up with out-of-the box and creative solutions when there is no clear solution at hand.” Teamwork is one of the core values we uphold at PetRelocation, and Tobi doesn’t try to live it, it just comes to her naturally.
We asked Tobi to share some of her thoughts in a series of questions below. Hope you enjoy the read!
Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?
After college, I worked at a computer company for 13 years. I became unfulfilled because I could not see the direct impact of my work. My husband encouraged me to find a job where I could make a difference and helped me do some research – he found the Client Care posting online and I applied for it the very next day.
Tobi, her husband Kris, and their Basset trio (Gus, Bluebonnet and Clementine)
What’s your favorite client story?
There are so many terrific reunion stories to choose from, but one that really stands out is a recent move of two English Bulldogs from California to Indonesia. The dogs (pictured below) started their journey on Sunday and reunited with their family on Friday. I shared every step of their trip with the entire office because every single person at PetRelocation cares about the journey of the pets we move.
Two of Tobi's most memorable clients
What’s it like to work at PetRelocation?
In a word – terrific. I feel like I am one of those lucky people who has a job they actually enjoy and works with people they like.
What has surprised you since working here?
I am most surprised by the remote locations that people move to for their work – places I had never heard of before working here such as Kuala Belait, Brunei and Ripailles, Mauritius.
What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?
My hope is that more airlines will establish actual pet travel programs, giving us more options to present to our clients. Pet travel is clearly becoming more common and airlines are bound to really start catering to animals as well as humans.
A few PetRelocation team members on 'Pajama Day'
What advice do you have for people who want to join the company?
Do not be afraid to ask questions. What we do is very unique – until you worked with us as an employee or a pet owner, you’ve probably never met a “pet relocator.” Between airport codes, animal import/export requirements, animal vaccines and countless other things there is an abundance of information to learn. This is not the kind of job where you can just assume you’ll figure something out later – questions are good!
What do you wish other people knew about the company?
We truly manage your pet's move from point A to point B and we specialize in problem solving. There are certain elements of travel that are unpredictable (weather delays, lost paperwork, etc.) – you can count on us to handle those unexpected events for you.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
So many things – that I am over 5 feet tall. That I am actually an android (Tobi spelled backward is iBot). Also, I am learning to play the mandolin. [Editor's Note: Tobi also has a hamster named Christmas, who is pictured below].
Christmas, Tobi's hamster
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would like to be invisible so that I could sneak into music concerts and Disney World.
Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?
I would have to insist on playing myself because I’m not sure anyone else could capture my strange and adorable accent that is half-Louisiana, half-Texas.
Thanks for all you do, Tobi! Find out more about the PetRelocation team in this "Meet the Office" video, and if you're interested in working with us, check out our Careers page.