This week’s edition of Beyond the Cupola features a letter from Janis Edwards, an employee at Oconee State Bank. Janis will officially be retiring this week, so we asked her to reflect on her time with OSB and some of the most important things she’s learned over these incredible 13 years. 

Reflections by Janis Edwards

I’ve had some very interesting jobs throughout my career but I believe God saved the nearly, very best job for last in my work season.  By all rights, I should not have been given the opportunity to work here because of logistics at the time when I was hired, but at the last moment, when it seemed I would not be offered the job, I was.  I am grateful for this opportunity.

Co-Workers have made Oconee State Bank the Bank for me through the years.  Being in HR limited my exposure to external customers but I am blessed to say that internally, I’ve worked with some of the best.  As I enter my thirteenth year at OSB, I have very fond memories, and maybe one or two not so fond, and will treasure them all.  Thank you for loving me through thick and thin.

What has my tenure at OSB taught me?

Just because I have the authority to do something, doesn’t mean doing it is the right thing to do.  Truly believing the other person in the conversation is the most important person in the conversation is not always easy, but perspectives and expectations are more realistic and most times much kinder with this approach.  Wish I could say I’ve been 100% on track with this, but I haven’t, so please forgive me.

People have a lot of hidden talents and the only way to know what they are is to get to know people and sit back and let them be themselves.  And it’s very humbling to realize that what I think is not always appreciated nor the best approach to something.  However, if you have a strong feeling you are right in a certain situation, stand firm.  There are people with high standards at OSB and I appreciate you very much!

From day one I felt cared about at OSB.  I may not have always understood why things happened as they did, but in the long run I always found out who had my best interests at heart and wanted me to succeed.  Thank you for all your patience and encouragement over the years.

Change . . . seems like my tenure at OSB has been all about change.  While in HR at OSB, I’ve worked my way through retirements, personnel changes, new computer programs, integration systems, and lots of HR policy changes. IT/Operations has been there for me as well as Retail, Loans and Operations, Financial and each team member when I needed them.  You are the reason I was able to persevere.

Being allowed to work with Shareholders was a great opportunity and brought much enjoyment, not to mention how much I learned about the people and the structure and history of Oconee State Bank.

Bless all of you and be kind to each other.  In the end, being kind to each other is one of the greatest legacies to leave!

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