Triffie Parsons, PCP
Town of Indian Bay – Indian Bay, NL
Triffie Parsons is a payroll professional with a gift for understatement. After having survived two catastrophic car accidents, she simply says, “I always knew that someone had it worse than me. And I don’t let too much hold me back.”
She first started her payroll career in 1982 as a payroll/ timekeeper for Bechtel Canada. She had transitioned to finance and was working for a Calgary oil company in 1992, when her car was hit head-on by another car. “I smashed the window with my head,” she says, wryly adding that some of her facial lines are scars, not wrinkles. “I had a lot of glass in my face.”
She also had brain damage and injuries to her legs and spinal cord. Then, in 1995, she was rear-ended, causing further damage to the vertebrae in her neck. The drugs she was taking damaged her liver, for which she had to travel to B.C. for experimental treatment.
Then in the midst of these troubles, Triffie nursed her son, who had non-Hodgins Lymphoma, back to health. When he recovered, she returned to Newfoundland to work in finance. She also got her Payroll Compliance Practitioner designation.
Her own recovery has involved chronic pain, but an unseen obstacle was the damage to her brain; she struggled to express the words in her head. Of the early years, she says: “It was like a fog was over my brain. I couldn’t hold onto words – they would be like water flowing over rocks.”
But something happened that brought her back to working in payroll: “Dealing with the worst of it, I realized I could still pay my own bills and could help friends calculate HST and do US currency transfers,” she says. “Numbers are what I am good at. Then I remembered that I had worked in payroll at the beginning of my career and realized that I loved, loved, loved payroll!”
Triffie is now the Town Clerk/Manager for the Town of Indian Bay, Nfld., a community of 187 people. She wears many hats: her titles include Councillor for the Town of Centreville-Wareham-Trinity, Chair of the Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation, and Director for the Central Regional Service Board. Assisting the community is vital to Triffie and she sees how her payroll responsibilities truly help the town.
“Payroll in a small town is very personal, as you know the families and their financial situations,” she says, adding that she finds funding opportunities to employ people. “Getting funding for more employees takes the financial burden off the taxpayers and allows for much-needed improvements in town — and more importantly, it gives the employees opportunities to have skills that are needed to gain employment in this area.”
Even though it’s in her nature to understate her impact through payroll, one gets the feeling that nothing stops Triffie in her payroll responsibilities or her life.
“I have the will, so I’m going to find a way.”