It’s true of every job – there can be difficult days and difficult people. Sometimes, it takes real effort to smile and carry on.
But, spend a few minutes around Kimberly Moore, and it’s a good bet you’ll walk away beaming with a smile that can’t be wiped off, because it’s real. A joyful, bubbly administrative assistant, Moore makes every person who walks into the Rural Studies Institute (RSI) or her previous job in the Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIE) feel as if she’s known them all her life.
“I am a naturally happy person, and I’m a natural talker,” Moore said. “Being in a support staff role can mean listening. Support can be, ‘Oh, girl, let me go get you a cola.’ It’s just trying to figure out what each particular person needs.”
She’s a hometown girl – born and raised in Milledgeville, who can’t imagine thriving anywhere else. COVID-19 caused a delay in her wedding plans, but she’ll soon marry her better half, Jeff, who’s as quiet as she is vibrant. This is best, she explains, because she “likes to do all the talking all the time.” They have three children, ages 18, 14 and 12 – the “three stooges” as Moore calls them. It’s her family that keeps Moore rooted.
She started working at Georgia College in 2012 as a scholarship coordinator and financial advisor in the Office of Financial Aid. Then, she worked in accounting and ended up trying something new four years ago as an administrative assistant to Dr. Veronica Womack in OIE. It was a big change for Moore. Something she had never done before. Prior to managing an office, she had been a “numbers cruncher.” But the diversity office was intriguing, so she left her comfort zone to give it a try.
It was “something new every day and exciting.” But dealing with diversity issues meant helping faculty, staff and students who came in with concerns. Moore learned to compartmentalize troubling things and keep her sunny disposition. She keeps a close eye on Womack’s busy calendar, making sure her boss is where she needs to be at the right time. Womack says Moore is “more than an administrative assistant,” constantly going “above and beyond.” She became so indispensable that Womack brought Moore along, when she became executive director of RSI.
Moore also got involved outside the office by serving two years on the university Staff Council. She joined as the treasurer and staff development chair were both resigning. Moore took on both positions. There were no formal instructions, nothing written down. She just jumped in and went with it—becoming, as usual, indispensable. Her chirpy demeanor at staff council events – like ice cream socials – helped other staffers feel special and important.
It’s not that Moore doesn’t have bad days. On campus, she talks all day, answering the phone and communicating by email. It can be demanding. But she’s anchored in what matters, her family, and has hobbies that relax and calm her. She loves giant 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles. It’s her time, when
Moore is content to be quiet and alone. Her advice to other staffers is: Find an outlet and let problems dissolve.
“It’s not personal. It’s your job,” Moore said. “That’s something I can truly say Dr. Womack taught me. You’ve got to remove ‘you’ out of it. Everybody has their job and the agenda they need to do. So, it’s not really about you. Don’t take it home with you.”