Before Brenda joined the Dental Depot team in November 2016, she was a bank teller. Changing jobs always comes with a learning curve, but Brenda found that being a patient account services representative (PASR) with Dental Depot provided her with independence and made her day-to-day more enjoyable.
“I like Dental Depot because I can do my own thing,” Brenda said. “As a teller, everyone shares responsibilities, but not everyone carries their weight. Here, my job is my job only. That’s what I really, really like about [Dental Depot]. I can carry my own weight.”
“[Being a single mom] can be really stressful at times,” Brenda continued. “But it’s important to stay calm and to have support outside and inside work. Dental Depot is really understanding about family.”
Brenda has two sons. Ethan is an outgoing, rambunctious 9-year-old, whereas Bradley is an organized, thoughtful 12-year-old. Together, they enjoy leaving the city behind in search of adventure.
“I’ve always wanted [a Jeep],” Brenda said. “It’s hard when you’re a single mom. It took me two years to save up for one and then a year and a half to build mine up.”
And Brenda’s preparation for each Jeepin’ trip is involved, as well. She starts by cooking breakfast and packing a lunch. Then she gets the Jeep ready to hit the trails. The doors and top come off, the tires are aired down to prevent punctures from the rocky slopes, and the sway bars are disconnected, which allows the Jeep’s suspensions to move independently. Then they’re ready to buckle up and go.
They don’t go alone, though. Brenda joined the family-friendly hobby club, Red Dirt Jeeps. It’s a group that focuses on off-roading and charity fundraisers, such as raising money for childhood cancer research and law enforcement memorials.
“I had seen Red Dirt Jeep stickers so I looked into the group on Facebook,” Brenda said. “I got into the group and over time I started making friends. I have a lot of good friends in the group.”
“It’s an all-day thing,” Brenda said. “We’ll take a break and we’ll eat. We’ll watch people get stuck and then we have to pull them out. It happens with people who aren’t very familiar with off-roading or their Jeeps aren’t fully capable.”
Becoming a seasoned off-roader takes work and a certain amount of bravery. Brenda recalled a particularly scary off-road experience that she had while on a trip to Crossbar Ranch in Davis, Okla. The ranch is famous among off-road enthusiasts for its “Dead Man’s Slide,” a steep, slippery down-hill filled with spindly trees and shifting terrain.
A group of 20 Jeeps had gone on the trip and several members went ahead to scout out the trail. They came back and said it was safe for everyone to cross, including those with unmodified Jeeps. Unsure of the trail, four drivers stayed behind.
“I was the second in line,” Brenda said. “The guy in front of me was going down and sliding. Then it’s my turn and as I’m going down, I noticed it was sliding from side to side. I had no control.”
“I had my foot on the brake and I was just trying to stop it,” Brenda continued. “I told my kids to get off, but Bradley stayed. I finally went down it. I eventually hit a tree and cracked my hard-top. We weren’t going very fast, but it was really scary.”
Brenda and her boys have been all over Oklahoma, from Robber’s Cave to Buzzard Canyon and Disney, Okla. Their most memorable trip, though, was a week-long camping trip in Colorado that Brenda described as, “exhausting, but absolutely worth it.”
Brenda makes time to hit the trails at least once a month. And while her sons often go along, they’re not her only passengers. She’s also brought along her youngest sister and best friend, 14-year-old Yaritza, as well as Dental Depot assistant manager, Misty Cannon.
“Brenda is awesome at climbing big rocks and normally outmaneuvers the guys,” Misty said. “I thought I would get a little scared at times but Brenda is such a good driver that she put me completely at ease!”
Brenda’s Jeep gives her the freedom to go out and live the adventurous life she craves with the people she loves. She doesn’t take that freedom for granted, though. She works hard every day, which makes the time she gets in her Jeep and with her family and friends that much better.
As for the ending to this piece, Brenda put it best: “Mic drop. Queen B out.”
When Brenda isn’t at work or hitting the trails in her Jeep, she can be found binge watching The Office or getting a nap in when she can find a minute. She also spends a lot of time with her mom, catching up, shopping, and eating out or cooking together. Brenda was nominated for Employee of the Month by her manager, Miriska Garcia, and assistant manager, Misty Cannon of Dental Depot Southwest OKC.
“Brenda never makes excuses and always takes initiative. She is always willing to help other people even though she already has a lot on her plate. Brenda checks on her teammates not only to see if they need help job-wise, but as a friend. She is also the funniest person on the planet” – Miriska
“Brenda is one of the best PASR’s I have had the pleasure of working with. She works hard to make sure everything she does is done correctly and helps others to do the same. Brenda has great leadership qualities!” – Misty
Dental Depot is a locally owned and operated family company. As such, we believe that the incredible group of doctors, hygienists, assistants and staff that make up Dental Depot are more than their job titles; they’re members of our extended family. In our family, we like to recognize when someone goes above and beyond, living the Dental Depot values. This April, we are proud to shine a spotlight on Employee of the Month Brenda Aranda.