Cheyenne McArthur has always learned by doing. Where others might not risk failure, Cheyenne puts aside that fear and dares to try. Each stumble is just another lesson to learn and will ultimately make her next attempt even better. It’s this same resiliency and willingness to learn that has made such a positive impact on her dozens of coworkers at Dental Depot’s Executive Leadership Office (ELO).
Like many at ELO, Cheyenne’s role is multifaceted, working as both a receptionist for all of ELO as well as the clinical administrative assistant. While the customer service aspect is a skill that Cheyenne mastered at her previous job, the clinical component has been a completely new challenge. Regardless, Cheyenne has diligently worked to understand the ins and outs of not only clinical dentistry but of Dental Depot as a whole. She’s become a sort of central hub at ELO and often is the first interaction many visitors, vendors, callers, and candidates have with Dental Depot.
As if that weren’t enough to make her coworkers nominate her for Employee of the Month, Cheyenne’s positivity, compassion, and occasional baked goods pushed her into the win. So, we sat down to better understand what it is Cheyenne does for Dental Depot, as well as what she’s learned from her experience so far:
DD: What’s a normal day like for you?
CM: It’s a lot of checking people in! We get vendors and people who are here for meetings, events, and interviews –people dropping off different foods. When I’m not letting people in the doors, I’m answering phones and transferring calls to their respective parties. I also sort and deliver mail and packages, handle clinical stuff, and proof lots and lots of clinical invoices.
DD: And that’s for all of the Dental Depots?
CM: Yup! All of the offices, including Arizona and Missouri. Anything that’s ordered from a dental lab or the dental offices gets approved through me, as well as lab statements. Any appliances or prosthodontics, those statements get audited and approved by me to make sure that the labs get paid.
DD: So you’re handling bridging the communication gap between our labs and our offices?
CM: Yeah, so the labs send the offices their invoices and statements, and then our office puts it together and gives them to me. From there I audit them and I make sure nothing is missing. The last thing is just to make sure that I get them what they need. The labs are really good about communicating to me if they’ve been paid or if they’re short or overpaid, so we keep track of that.
DD: How do you manage all of that?
CM: From the outside looking in, it is a lot, but once you get a grasp on the moving parts, doing it gets a lot easier to manage because it’s not one big, catastrophic mess; everything has a place. As I’ve gone along, it’s gotten easier to prioritize these things.
DD: What was the biggest learning curve for you?
CM: Definitely the clinical stuff. Prior to this, I’d only ever worked in office settings, like call centers and insurance. Figuring out what is what and doing these invoices and statements, I’ve had to figure out what goes where, if it’s a repair or actual office supplies. It’s been a whole new vocabulary. Figuring out what was going on in clinical has been super challenging but it’s fun because I’m always learning something new. Or if I do make a mistake, I can reevaluate what I did wrong and what I could do better going forward, and that keeps me on my toes.
DD: What has been the most enjoyable part of this workplace?
CM: The people – and that sounds so cheesy, but everyone here is so kind. Each individual department is like its own small little community. Everyone knows each other and is friendly with each other, and everyone is so nice to me. It’s so nice. Like, I literally cannot pick out a single person that I genuinely disliked or that has been mean to me. It’s nice to feel so welcomed and everyone respects my time and understands what I do. Even though I work with a lot of very seasoned professionals and people with college degrees and who have worked really hard to get where they are – no one looks at me like I’m lesser than they are just because I’m the receptionist. And so it’s really nice to feel welcome and to be a part of something.
DD: What have you gained in your time here?
CM: I’ve gained so much experience already. Where I worked before it was very much, ‘put your head down and work,’ and there really wasn’t a lot of room for growth. Here, I’m learning a whole new vernacular with being a part of the clinical team. I also have my hands in so many different departments and their inner-workings, I feel like if I were to ever move within Depot – even if it happened tomorrow – that there’s still so much that I can take away from the time I’ve spent here since August .
DD: It sounds like you’ve gained a lot of valuable skills and better yet, have gotten in lots of reps to hone them. Are you someone who prefers to learn by doing?
CM: Oh yeah. I can be told all day how to do something, but it’s not going to click until I do it. It clicks even better if I mess up because then I have to undo my mistake. Because I’m really bad at telling someone I’ve messed up, I’d rather figure out how to fix it and then go on about my day. So I’ve definitely learned best by doing and by making mistakes and correcting mistakes, as well as being told how to do better. I feel like that’s definitely how I was able to catch up so quickly. I learned everything by hitting the ground running.
DD: How do you feel about it now? Pretty confident?
CM: Oh yeah. I often get feedback from the office managers like, ‘You’re so quick!’ or ‘You already had it figured out!’ or ‘I wasn’t expecting a response by now!’ and so I feel like I am able to juggle things really well. I can be in the middle of calculating statements and double-checking the totals while I’m solving someone else’s office supply or order issue. It feels like it’s definitely gotten so much better than when I started. There isn’t that ‘deer in the headlights,’ kind of overwhelmed feeling. I feel like I have the majority of things figured out.
DD: What career opportunities or ambitions do you have, either with Depot or for yourself?
CM: I really genuinely enjoy working here. I can’t really think of anything I’d rather be doing. As I gained control over the workload, more things got scooped on top and I’m looking forward to the day when I have full hands. I want to have things that like, the managers no longer have to handle because I can get it done, or if lines of communications have stopped, they can be given to me and I can start taking out the middleman. I like taking chunks off people’s stuff because they can trust me with it now. And so I’m looking forward to the day when I’m genuinely the central hub at ELO.
DD: What sort of interactions do you have with people who aren’t your coworkers here at ELO?
CM: Occasionally I’ll get a patient complaint, but they aren’t so bad. I came from two call centers and people can be really nasty over the phone. So far the worst patient complaint I’ve heard doesn’t compare. With all of the customer service experience I have, it’s not hard for me to deescalate them and give them that empathy while I take down the details.
Outside of upset patients, there’s everyone like potential employees who are coming to interview. For a lot of them, I’m their first point of contact if they haven’t spoken with anybody in HR yet. We also get a lot of people coming in for meetings and potential vendors, and it’s nice that I’ve been entrusted with being that first good experience. We’ve all been in a place with a bad receptionist and you think, ‘Oh I really don’t want to be here. They’re kind of rude, I wonder what the rest of this is going to be like.’ So yeah, it’s nice to have that trust, but everyone is really pleasant.
DD: What are some of the most valuable feedback you’ve received from people at Depot?
CM: People constantly tell me that they appreciate all that I do for them. A lot of it is just stuff that, from the outside, looks like something somebody could handle themselves – but everyone here is always so busy that anything I can do to help them just makes sense. A lot of the valuable feedback I’ve received has not only helped me to do my job but to communicate better and prioritize better.
There were a lot of Depot-specific things that, when I first got here, I didn’t know what was most important. Being here and knowing what is truly the top priority is so important. That makes work really nice and it’s given me a really good handle on how to do my job so that no one is waiting on me. Being able to have this environment of warmth and understanding, this ‘It’s fine, she made a mistake,’ it’s been nice knowing that means, ‘Here’s what you can do better next time.’
DD: What did it feel like for your EOM celebration? What went through your head at the whole surprise of it?
CM: I was bombarded. I definitely didn’t expect it! It’s crazy because I’m normally so suspicious of like, everything. But you guys did a good job of keeping me out of the loop. It was a nice thing because like, people are really good at sharing their appreciation for me, but for it to be recognized on such a large scale is really nice. It just generally feels good to know that the work I’m putting in is genuinely appreciated.
From all of us at ELO and from across our offices, we want to give a big “Thank you!” to Cheyenne for all of the hard work she puts in! We’re thrilled to celebrate her as our Employee of the Month and look forward to watching her continue to grow in her role. Here’s to you, Cheyenne, may you always know how much you’re appreciated!
When Cheyenne isn’t at work, she enjoys spending time at home with her husband and their three pets: Mabel the bunny, Catherine the cat, and Magnet the dog. Cheyenne is originally from sunny California and enjoys talking to her sisters back home every day. She regularly bakes and does embroidery, and enjoys visiting apothecaries, antique malls, and oddity shops to search for unique finds. Cheyenne and her husband have been together for five years and recently celebrated their second wedding anniversary.
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. We are proud to shine a spotlight on Employee of the Month Cheyenne McArthur.