Miriam Crutchfield: Helping OWASA Customers for More than 2 Decades

As one of the people on the receiving end, Customer Service Representative Miriam Crutchfield greatly enjoys helping customers, even if they’re not quite looking for OWASA to being with.

“We get calls for ONWASA, which is Onslow County,” Miriam said with a laugh. “I don’t know what they Google, but they call and give us the address, and I input that and ask, ‘Where is that?’ and when they say, ‘Hubert, NC,’ I say, ‘Oh, that’s not us.’ We even have people from Orange County, Calif. calling us. If we come up first, that’s who they call.”

A native of Burlington, Miriam came to OWASA while she was living with her grandmother in Hillsborough and working for PHE in the late 1990s.

“Big difference, right?” Miriam said. “That was one of them ‘dreading to go to work’ jobs, where I was thinking, ‘I gotta go in again today?’”

Someone working in OWASA Human Resources asked Miriam if she was interested in applying for a contract job with customer service. She agreed to apply, and, for 21 years, she’s worked the phones at OWASA.

“Some days are very busy, some days not so busy, which isn’t bad. I answer a lot of phone calls and deal with a lot of customers.

“Mondays get crazy sometimes,” Miriam added. “People always call in to set things up at the start of the week.”

While she’s a voracious reader — “I can read a whole book in one day if I have the time,” she said — Miriam also enjoys cooking in her offtime.

“I cook anything as long as it’s not too far out there,” Miriam said. “I cook cakes and pies; don’t do cookies because I end up overbaking those.”

As a longtime customer service rep, Miriam feels the appreciation customers show toward OWASA every day.

“I have customers I’ve dealt with over the years, and they call and ask specifically for me,” Miriam said. “They want my extension. They say, ‘You can’t retire, you can’t retire!’ But, even if you’re a new customer, we’re always here to take your call.”