Turning Setbacks into Gifts: An Interview with Rebecca Morn
(The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Proofread Anywhere)
A woman of many trades, Rebecca Morn wields words with a knack unmatched by many, yet understood by lots more. A severe traumatic brain injury affected Rebecca’s ability to see and connect words, but her ability to read the page differently is her tool to help like-minded people succeed.
From critiquing punctuation and grammar to coaching fellow editors, writers, and wordsmiths in their profession, Rebecca connects the dots on what it means to run your own freelancing career and get down to business on the literal page. She’s a perfect fit on our customer support team at PA, and without her, we’d be at a loss for words (no pun intended!).
I hope you enjoy this interview with her, covering how she ran into PA, her healing journey, and how she’s turning a lifetime of service into a gift that keeps giving.
Let’s jump in!
Meet Rebecca Morn: Proofread Anywhere’s Customer Support Queen
Reyné: Can you introduce yourself and a bit about what you do at PA?
Rebecca: Hi! My name is Rebecca Morn, and I am a senior member of the PA Customer Support Team. I have the pleasure of answering our students’ and prospective students’ questions in regard to what freelance proofreading is all about and what our courses offer, and I provide assistance if a student has an issue like needing access to their course or a password reset.
I am also the General Proofreading tutor here at PA. Students who may be struggling with some of the grammar and punctuation rules can book a private tutoring session with me and I will help them with their questions while sharing my computer screen on a video call which we also record and provide to our students for future use (tutoring sessions do cost an additional fee per meeting).
Discovering the Proofread Anywhere Team
Reyné: How did you find this position, and PA in general?
Rebecca: Well, I was searching for online freelancing jobs back in the spring of 2020, and I found Proofread Anywhere’s blog and General Proofreading course through Pinterest. I researched the course every day for a couple of weeks to make sure it was legitimate, and, when I received my stimulus check during the pandemic, I bought the course, and completed it in May.
I believe it was June or July when I signed up for a subscription to a club that Caitlin (the creator of the course) had started. I emailed her to cheer her up about a romantic issue she was having that she had written about in one of the emails to the club members, and I guess she liked my sense of humor! So, we continued our correspondence, she asked me to do a podcast with her, and we became fast friends!
In the fall, she told me about an available customer support position here at PA so, I submitted my resume and cover letter, and Cody called me the same day, interviewed me, and hired me on the spot!
I let him know later that I was a friend of Caitlin’s but I was glad to know that I was hired based on my merits and experience in the service and hospitality industry.
How Rebecca Keeps PA Ticking
Reyné: What do you wish people knew about PA?
Rebecca: We really care about our students and we want them to succeed!
Our team is always researching and investigating new ways to provide the best information and resources to our students through the course content, the support and graduate groups, and the articles on our blog!
Reyné: I agree! I think people would be surprised about how much goes into a well-researched blog post lol.
Working With a Permanent Disability
Reyné: How did PA help you in your career?
Rebecca: To be honest, I didn’t have much of a career anymore when I first started here because, at the time, I was a permanently disabled person. I had also just graduated from UCF with my bachelor’s in psychology in 2019, but I couldn’t find work with a schedule that I could adhere to, because I deal with chronic back pain and I can’t sit or stand comfortably for eight or nine hours at a desk.
I am also the survivor of a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), which was caused by my fall from a near-fatal motorcycle wreck many years ago. I have some cognitive issues that I deal with but I’m pretty good at concealing them most of the time. Most people who don’t know me very well have no idea that I have a TBI until I tell them.
It’s really great to have a job where I can be myself, I can ask questions when I’m not sure or I don’t understand what I’m being asked about or asked to do, and no one gets irritated or loses their patience with me!
Reyné: I always appreciate that you’re so aware of your condition and are so clear about explaining exactly what you need. It’s so helpful for those of us who have no experience with TBIs.
Dreams of a Lifetime of Learning and Growing
Reyné: What are your dreams for this position?
Rebecca: I don’t know if I have any dreams per se for my customer support position because, I really do feel, after being here for almost three years now, I’m doing all I can to rise above and meet or exceed our students’ expectations. I come to work every day with a smile on my face and a ready-to-help attitude!
So, I guess my dream for my position here is that I would really love to learn more about the business side of PA in regard to all of the “parts” behind the course itself, and that makes PA tick.
I want to learn more about our marketing strategies, how to choose the right type of affiliate relationships, become more savvy with our website’s technology (and all the terminology!), and any other pieces of PA that I’m still unfamiliar with.
I didn’t study business or tech in college besides a couple of rudimentary intro courses, but I really love learning new information, especially when it makes me more useful. So, I want to know PA from front to back, top to bottom, and inside out!
Thoughts on AI and the Future of Real, Human Proofreaders
Reyné: Do you have any dreams for PA, as a company?
Rebecca: Actually, one of the dreams I’ve had in regard to PA has been about something developing and gaining a lot of popularity and press over the past year: AI.
AI has produced a lot of hype and so many fearful feelings for our students and prospective students who are concerned about AI eradicating jobs like proofreading. They write to us in Customer Support asking about AI, and I am pleased to tell them that proofreaders are not going to be replaced by AI for several reasons.
First, AI is incapable of detecting an author’s tone or use of nuance because AI doesn’t have sentient thoughts or emotions as we humans do. Words don’t affect AI as they affect us in regard to our opinions and feelings because AI doesn’t have a lifetime of experiences that create both good and bad memories as we humans have.
As a result, AI can’t detect the different meanings behind words and phrases that are based on the author’s tone and the context of the writing, so it can make a lot of incorrect corrections, which causes more work for the author.
Proofreaders can use AI as a tool for more common errors in a piece of writing, but human proofreaders are needed for the more complex errors. I’m excited to say that we have developed a new AI module in the course that explains AI and how we can use it as a tool in our work. So I feel like that is a dream come true for PA and for our proofreading students!
Check out our article about AI Tools to Improve Your Business
The Gift She Keeps On Giving
Reyné: What is your favorite thing about this job? Favorite memory?
I really love working in Customer Support, but my job as the tutor for our General Proofreading course really makes me feel proud about my grammar and punctuation teaching skills — especially when I teach a student a trick or tip to remember a rule. Then, I see the student’s face on my screen change from a confused and skeptical expression to one that’s smiling and understanding! That’s such a great feeling!
The Blocks that Built Rebecca’s Customer Service Career (And a Bit of Advice)
Reyné: What should our students and graduates know about you?
Rebecca: I’ve been involved with working in Customer Service and Support since I was 14, at my first retail job in my mother’s clothing boutique — many, many years ago! Since then, I have worked in the service and hospitality industries as a hostess, a cocktail server and a food server in several restaurants, as well as working at my family’s hotel. And, I’ve been a licensed cosmetologist and former salon owner! So, everything I’ve ever done involving my work [has] had to do with making people happy, making them feel good and want to return. And that continues with my work at PA Customer Support!
Reyné: You’re definitely a woman of the people and so easy to talk to! Any words of advice?
Rebecca: Well, okay, sure. Let me preface my advice: I graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and minor studies in English literature. I decided to go back to college almost eight years after I sustained my TBI.
It took me almost eight years of going, half-time, all year round, to achieve my bachelor’s degree, because I could only take two courses at the same time due to my inability to retain large amounts of new information all at once.
My short-term memory is extremely deficient, and I also have trouble with my reading comprehension. A lot of the time, when I hear or read words and there isn’t enough context or background information, I understand the syntax in a childlike way — literally, as the words are defined in the dictionary. I often miss cues and “hidden” meanings, and I can get confused about things, but I don’t let it stop me! I am not afraid to ask questions, and I ask a lot of them until I’m sure I understand! That’s how I earned A’s in my college classes, and it’s also how I completed the General Proofreading course on my own.
Thanks to Rebecca’s connection with people with minds like hers, PA offers Facebook Student Support Groups for both of our courses, as well as graduate groups for help and support after you complete the course.
Now that you know this, my advice is: There’s no such thing as a stupid question! ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS AND USE YOUR RESOURCES, AND YOU WILL SUCCEED IN YOUR GOAL!
Reyné: I completely agree! Never stop asking and never stop learning.
Reyné: Anything else that you’d like to add/plug?
Rebecca: Yes! I’d like to add that my family’s hotel is the Hotel Cassadaga Psychic Spiritual Center in Cassadaga, Florida. We have several psychic mediums who will do readings for you and we also have a fabulous restaurant inside called Sinatra’s with dueling pianos and delicious Italian cuisine!
Find the Morn family’s hotel on Instagram!
Reyné: If people want to get in touch with you, where can they find you?
Rebecca: You can write to me at [email protected]! Write to Rebecca, and I will do my best to answer your questions! If you’re a PA student or graduate, or are thinking of becoming one, you can find answers to nearly any question here.