Life in the security industry for H&S Protection’s Lonnie Miescke can be described as “never a dull moment.” For 36 years she’s been focused on customer issues, and it keeps her on her toes — for 19 years at Central Control and the past 17 years at H&S Protection (previously known as Sentra Protective Systems).
The customers keep her hopping. When she started as a night shift central station operator at Central Control, she followed in the footsteps of a good friend who recruited her to the position. One night she found herself in a scary position.
“We used to stay in touch on 2-way radios. A guy I worked with – Harold – walked in on a break-in. He was hollering over the radio for us to call the cops as he tried to keep the bad guys in by pushing on the door, while they tried to push out. It was scary.”
“There were some spooky times back then, but we were also buddy buddy with the cops. That was always fun,” Lonnie laughed.
At Central Control, Lonnie answered phones when a customer’s alarm went off. She eventually moved up to a supervisory position.
“I still have nightmares about all the buzzing and humming that went on at the central station,” she chuckled. “But we had so much fun. Everything was manual. When a customer would close at night, a light would come on and we’d have to twist a button three times to close the alarm when they left the premises.”
Much has changed since then in the electronic security industry. Lonnie preceded H&S co-owner Steve Garritson at Central Control, but followed him to Sentra Protective when Steve left to start his own business, after he reached out to her.
At H&S, Lonnie continues to work closely with customers on many fronts. She inputs customer data, serves as the point person for customer inquiries to the Pewaukee office, helps people over the phone to work through issues and avoid a service call, and troubleshoots customer problems.
“The job is never boring. It’s never just one thing. There are a lot of moving parts. There’s always some excitement. I like the customers we have here. I can be buddy buddy with them over the phone,” she observed.
Lonnie enjoys heading up north in Wisconsin for relaxation to a cabin to “chill out, lay on the beach and float in the water.”
“The industry is a lot more complicated now. But there’s never a dull moment – then or now,” she said.