Arlys Lankey and her husband Jim now live in the Sheboygan area in Wisconsin, but she was born and raised in Hudson. After high school, Arlys shared she spent one year in college in River Falls, but that didn’t work out. After, she went to school to train to become a travel agent. The school promised her a job in the industry but, she shared that didn’t work out either. Shortly after she took a part-time job as a bank teller. “That was over 30 years ago,” Arlys said. “I became a banker along the way.”
Arlys now works at Marine Credit Union (MCU) as a Sr. Contact Center Specialist. “I talk to people on the phone all day,” she said with a smile. She explained that senior specialists “take on extra roles,” including helping with escalated calls and some have specialties – one of hers being an IRA specialist. What makes her great at customer support? “People say that I have great empathy, patience, and understanding for the person on the phone,” she answered.
After 30 years in the banking industry, Arlys said she also believes that all her years of service has helped her to become good at what she does. “You learn so many different things,” she commented. She said that sometimes she feels she has an understanding of almost every part of the banking business. “You learn a lot as you mature,” she said.
Arlys grew up the oldest of three children. “I learned to be the responsible one,” she said. “I was put in charge.” And in her later years, she explained, “My great faith has changed me as well. When I grew up, we went to church. But now I’m reading the Bible and studying things. I want to be a better Christian … a better person. It was more of an obligation when I was young,” she explained.
Arlys’ interview inferred a character of both dedication and loyalty in her professional and personal life. She talked of her college years friends and how they still get together. “My parents met dancing,” she shared. “I have a love of music and dance from them.” Arlys and her friends used to go out dancing together, to a band called “Triad.” “They still have reunion tours,” Arlys shared with another smile.
Arlys, “technically” has been with MCU for 11 years, including working for Bent River Credit Union in Muscatine … where she worked when it merged with MCU. But previously, Arlys explained that her work was in banks and not credit unions. “Banks are big and corporate and credit unions are smaller and more personable. So that is different than a bank. You have a right at a credit union for your voice to be heard. It feels more like a small hometown thing to me,” she added, “not a big corporation.”
“It’s important for members,” she said, so that they “don’t feel like just a number.”
And, as an employee at MCU, Arlys added, “I feel very heard and I have the opportunity to do any job I want to here.”
Arlys explained that when COVID hit, it “brought working from home to my world. It used to be that to work in the contact center, you had to live in La Crosse.” But with the pandemic, she explained, that changed.
Does she enjoy the remote work environment? “Absolutely! This is exactly what I wanted to do and will do so until I retire. It’s so nice to not have to worry about weather,” she added.
Why customer service? “I love helping people solve problems,” she replied. “I love solving problems.” And she said that it helps that she has had so many years of experience.
“I’ve got six years to go until retirement,” she said with yet another smile. “I’m going to just let those six years roll by.”
In her spare time, Arlys shared that she likes to read and watch movies. “At Christmas time I watch Hallmark movies. I’m a sucker for romance.”
Her and her husband also enjoy spending time at Lake Michigan, (which is, conveniently, only five minutes from their home), driving through the park and sitting by the lake listening to the waves.