Getting to Know Doug Lapointe of Annuity Health

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Arbeit. Arbeit is a powerful, and easy to use communications platform that empowers businesses to reach more consumers. Innovative by nature, we are constantly listening to and understanding the businesses we partner with and developing long term industry relationships that allow us to be proactive in anticipating industry needs.

Nothing upsets Doug Lapointe more than failing. Thankfully, it does not happen that often for the 16-year industry veteran who has worked his way up from collecting at a rent-to-own store to his current gig as Director of Operations. Being honest and upfront with his staff has helped make sure that there are never any surprises when bad news has to be shared. Read on to learn more about Doug and how close he came to becoming a police officer instead.

Name: Doug Lapointe
Job Title: Director of Operations
Company: Annuity Health
Length of Time at Current Position: 16 years
Length of Time in Industry: 16 years

How did you get your start in the industry?
I started collecting money years ago in — believe it or not — a rent-to-own store. I found it interesting seeing how different talk-offs worked on different people. I took pride in being good at it.

What is your career highlight so far?
Getting elevated to my current position. The position includes multiple departments in multiple states. It is challenging and exciting to see it all come together a little at a time.

When or how are you most productive?
I find the most productive time for me is before all the managers and reps get in the office. I can get so much done in a short amount of time without the interruptions. It also frees up some time later in the day so I can get on the floor (or Microsoft Teams these days) and talk to the reps face to face. That is so important.

Which industry professional do you admire most?
This is a tough one. There are a lot of people out there that have paved the way for me. Mary Rickman and her husband Senior probably stick out the most. They showed me a lot and always to the time to explain the why with the what. It helped tremendously.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Just one…LOL. Well I would say defining a standard. My definition of a standard is “Minimum Acceptable Level of Performance”. I have always been a firm believer in people knowing exactly what is expected, and exactly what to expect if they don’t achieve it. I have handled many, many, many, disciplinary actions in my career and pride myself on the fact that it has never been a surprise to the person. They understood the standards that are in place, and what happens if they are not met.

What do you like most about this industry?
Every day is different. Not many industries can say that. I am still shocked by the amount of questions I get to which I am not totally sure of the answer. I have to go somewhere and get it clarified and relay it to the original person. No shame in not knowing … admit it and go find out!

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
There is no real way to change this I know, but it is the frivolous lawsuits. We are providing an important service to our customers and some of these lawsuits just make you shake your head. All you can do is make sure you are between the lines and expect one here and there.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
Playing weak side cornerback for the New England Patriots. Clearly not true. I would probably be in law enforcement. When I started this career I was also toying with the idea of going to the police academy.

Describe a typical work day.
Typical during Covid. That’s funny. Currently I come into the office around 7:30am. That will give me time to analyze inventory and plan for the day. I go over numbers and see where we are at, check listings from prior day, clear emails, check the dialer functionality in all locations … all that fun stuff to make sure our reps can do their job. Typically around 1:00 I will transition to my home office and monitor performance from there. There are a million little things every day that need attention.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I do enjoy a cold beer and a comfy couch at the end of a day. Not too many though. Need to do it all again tomorrow.

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What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have two…”Don’t worry til it’s time to worry” and “Every little thing you do pushes you in one of two directions. Being great and getting everything you desire, or being freed up for another opportunity.”

What are you currently reading?
On The Road by Jack Kerouac. The original scroll. No chapters or paragraphs. How he originally intended it to be. Very good book.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you
That I am not the smartest. But I am a hard worker, and determined to get the results. Failing makes me furious and therefore can’t be an option.

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Surprise me. It’s good to see people I don’t know and get new information.

The “Getting to Know” series is sponsored by Arbeit. Arbeit is a powerful, and easy to use communications platform that empowers businesses to reach more consumers. Innovative by nature, we are constantly listening to and understanding the businesses we partner with and developing long term industry relationships that allow us to be proactive in anticipating industry needs.

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