When life throws him something new, this technical support representative doesn't miss a beat.
If you’re facing near-constant change, you have to learn how to adapt quickly. That’s certainly true for Tommy Mead, a technical support representative at Cox Communications.
Born in central America, he came to the United States at a very young age. His parents’ divorce left him with one parent on the West Coast and one on the East. He ended up living with an aunt in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during junior high, and would eventually be adopted by his Spanish teacher there.
That’s a lot for anyone, and especially for someone not even in high school yet. But his teenage years would bring even more challenges.
Tommy was an excellent athlete. But just before graduation, he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
“That kind of forced me to re-evaluate what’s important and how to be successful,” Tommy said, “Because up to that point it was all physical for me.”
Doctors told Tommy he only had a 5 percent chance of graduating college, having a successful career, feeling any part of his body again or having kids.
But Tommy beat the odds.
“I got married,” he said. “I feel pretty much my entire body; I just can’t move it. I got two degrees and then I got a master’s degree. I bought a house. The only thing we’re short of right now is having a kid and I’ve got a plan for that too.”
Tommy started his journey with Cox Communications in December 2021 as a technical support representative in Baton Rouge. As he’s a fully remote employee, he jokes that the commute isn’t too taxing on his mind or body.
“I try not to bring it up, because it doesn’t impact my life as much as it used to,” he said. “I mean, if there’s only stairs and no elevator, the only thing hurt will be my ego, because I’ll have to ask for help.”
Helping others is what Tommy loves best, though. His master’s degree is in rehabilitation and counseling, and after a stint in the insurance game, he’s happy with his job here at Cox.
“It gives me the opportunity to still help people, grow and learn.”
In his role, Tommy works with people who are having trouble with their Cox products and services. He helps people who are having connectivity issues, and helps people understand their products. Most problems he deals with are a simple settings issue or an issue with the customer’s device. He likes to present information in a helpful, educating way so the customer can tie everything together and be more comfortable with their service.
He acknowledges this type of work isn’t always pretty but looks at it in a unique way.
“If you truly love helping people,” he said, “It’s like having your mom call and say, ‘Why can’t I see my camera on my phone?’ and then you’re like, ‘Okay, what did you do?’”
Tommy can’t say enough good things about his time at Cox so far.
“It’s an environment where you’re always given an opportunity to challenge yourself; to achieve your goals,” he said. “You feel connected with your coworkers, and that’s saying a lot especially since I’ve never met my supervisor face-to-face. It’s a very positive environment. Everyone is very open and supportive.”
Outside of work, Tommy can be found hanging with family and friends, having a barbecue, watching sports or going to the beach.
One couldn’t fault Tommy if he had a more cynical outlook on life, but that way of thinking just isn’t for him. If life has taught him anything so far, it’s to:
“Take a deep breath. If you don’t get it today, you’ll get it tomorrow. As long as your heart’s in the right place.”
That’s great advice from a great guy.