13 Mar Meet Our Staff: Bessie Petty, Queen of the Front Desk
Within the first 10 seconds of entering the 1OKC office, Bessie will greet you with the warmest smile that you’ve ever seen. She’ll offer you something to drink, make sure you’re completely taken care, then quietly get back to her business at the front desk.
“About four years ago, I was out on a job site with my husband,” Bessie began explaining. Her husband, Donny also works for 1st Oklahoma Construction’s owner Ali Farzaneh performing final gradings on houses.
“I had just been laid off almost a year before when Ali came over to me. He looked at me and offered me a job on the spot.” Don’t think it was luck that she just got offered the job on the spot, either.
Living in the small Oklahoma town of Chattanooga (her graduating class was 28), Bessie lived on a farm. After attending Cameron University for a spell, she moved to Walters where she continued the farm life. In addition, she also worked at Cotton Electric, a power company in southeast Oklahoma.
As she was rounding her 20th year of working for Cotton Electric, Bessie and her husband decided it was time for a change.
“We wanted to come to a more urban environment,” said Bessie, explaining their move to Norman. They still had a little bit of a culture shock when they arrived.
“I don’t wanna say anything bad,” she coyly replied. “Well, there’s so much more traffic but it was worth it.”
In the middle of the interview Ali stepped in for a little bit of business. Like a switch, the sweet, southern girl flipped to business mode. Her sentences became more clipped as she addressed the boss. It’s clear that Bessie still loves working, even after she’s “retired.”
“I enjoy life,” she explained. “I love having contact with the homeowners and love it when I get to go out to the model homes in the afternoon.”
Of course, it’s not hard to find out that Bessie is a people person. “Maybe I inherited it from my dad, but I just enjoy finding out about them. So many times there’s so many things we can learn about other people. Most people are just easy to live with.”