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Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

This Is Me. Just Rox.

Rox @ HeadBladeLately I’ve been sorta struggling with “finding my voice” in this new gig at HeadBlade, primarily because I’ve been trying to keep the “tone” consistent with that of the guy who was previously in my position. Unsurprisingly, it hasn’t worked out all that well for me. Fact is, I’m not him… or even a “him” for that matter! I’m fortunate that the guys I work with, and even the HeadBlade customers and fans are nice enough to bear with me and answer my (often really dumb) questions. On the upside, my Bracket Challenge picks have provided quite a few people with a barrel of laughs!

So, I’ve gotta stop making things tough on myself, when no one else here is expecting me to be someone else! I’m me. Just Rox (please, in the name of all that’s good and proper, not “Roxy!” If I let you get away with it, you must be special). I’m a woman, though definitely not your typical one, due to some of my affinities (and even proclivities, hah!).

For instance, I love profanity. I can let loose with a blue streak of curses and vulgarities that would make a sailor blush. Unlike most women, I love the “C” word, too, although I’ll refrain from using it here in this blog. To me it’s not a denigration, put-down or otherwise “bad” word; it’s the essence of what women are! Personally, I believe it’s the seat of our power. But that’s a discussion for another post.

Since I was a kid, I’ve been a huge fan of fast cars, and most particularly American muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s. Some people dream of fancy new luxury or sports cars, but if a giant pile of money suddenly dropped in my lap, I’d run right out and buy something like a 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1970 Nova or 1969 Malibu SS. Screw it! Give me one of each! Yes, I’m partial to Chevys, but I’ve truly got nothing but love for ALL the old muscle cars. They’re just so beautiful.

Maybe I’m not a man, but oh my GAWD how I do love them! So I understand a lot about them that other women might not. And… I kinda think like one much of the time. I love guns, porn, tattoos, Harleys, bikers and heavy metal music. I have nothing but the deepest love, honor and respect for our men and women serving in the armed forces, and there’s a very special place in my heart for United States Marines (Semper Fi!), even though I lost my first love to the Corps way back when I was 18 (and the earth was still cooling, heh). I’m one lucky old broad though… we’ve come full circle. The old Devil Dog being as tenacious as he is, he cleared the hurdle of being rather technologically-challenged, found me on Facebook and is back in my life. This time, for good, dammit!

What made my attempts to keep the same tone of the “Voice of HeadBlade” from the previous guy to me most challenging for me is being – and writing like – a true sports fan… because as it’s defined, I don’t technically qualify. Cheering on the team you’ve got money on (even though you don’t know what the Hell you’re doing!), or thinking this or that team member, fighter, golfer, driver or sportsing dude of some type or another is so smokin’ hot I need to share him in my secret women’s Facebook group that exists solely for the purpose of objectifying, commenting upon the physical beauty of and drooling over various men, doesn’t actually count! In this, too, I have to express my appreciation for my oh-so-patient coworkers and HeadBladers for helping me out and letting me know which hot guys are chasing what kind of ball or beating up which other hot guy… and not teasing me TOO much about my vast ignorance, heh.

Politically, I’ve been characterized as a “flaming liberal” by some, but I’m more of a very-leftward-leaning libertarian (with a small “L,” because that party, like the Republican, has gone off the rails into Crazytown). Charity’s all well and good, but I don’t mind paying a little extra in taxes so that I might help my fellow human beings when they’re in need – I also don’t mind leaving the distribution of that assistance to the government. That’s what we hire those people to do; and they don’t require you to listen to a religious pitch to get help like some churches and other organizations might. I love the Constitution of the United States, and especially the First Amendment. It is what makes us free, and I am and always will be an advocate fighting for those whose protections are being violated.

When it comes to race, LGBTQ issues and marriage equality, I AM IN THE FRAY. I will fight til my dying breath to see that my minority, lesbian, gay, bi and trans* brothers and sisters are not denied the rights the rest of us have. Some of my dearest friends have been bullied, beaten down, berated, harassed and even disowned by their own families because of who they ARE, and it’s not right. I could die a happy woman if only the day would come when everyone – man, woman, straight, gay, black, white, yellow, brown, Christian, Muslim, atheist, liberal, conservative and anything else – enjoyed the same rights and privileges as everyone else. If we could be TRULY equal. I know we’ll never change the minds of bigots, but we need to keep having the public discussions anyway. At some point, all these old hetero white dudes will die off and more tolerant, less fucktarded people will win the day.

Being politically correct sucks sometimes; especially when you’re one of those funny types who’ll say anything for a laugh. I don’t use racial epithets or words & phrases that are really hurtful to people who’ve been oppressed or bullied, but I’m quite annoyed that there are people who insist I’m some kind of “ableist” with no empathy because I’m old school; I still use the word, “retard” as a noun sometimes and made-up variants like “fucktard.” I like that word, and sometimes, it’s exactly what someone is demonstrating themselves to be, and it just needs to be said.

So there it is. I love my job; and rather than continuing to beat myself up, trying to force myself into some mold and voice to live up to expectations I’ve created in my own head about who I “should” be or sound like, I’m just gonna relax and be who I really am and hope I’m not TOO offensive or “girly” (a word no one who knows me would use!) for the HeadBladers. Hopefully, they won’t hold it against me that they’re more likely to find me at the local car show than a fight or a ball game, or that I’d rather watch RuPaul’s Drag Race than NASCAR!

My New Job: More Head (Shaving)!

HeadBlade

HeadBlade

Yeah, I just couldn’t resist playing on that old saw, “It’s not less hair, it’s more head!” What can I say? My mind always goes straight into the gutter!

So… I just started working for HeadBlade and until now, I never noticed how many people shave their heads! Is it weird that every time I see a head-shaver, I want to ask, “What do you use to shave your head?” and if they don’t already know about it, tell them all the benefits of using a HeadBlade and our line of headcare products?

 For several years now head-shaving has been a trend, with more and more athletes and celebrities rockin’ their slick domes – and looking damned sexy doing it. Marianne Schaberg at The Date Report even gives us 6 Reasons Bald Guys Make Better Boyfriends. Even some women are going for the shaved head look, as InStyle UK reported in a November, 2014 piece, “Is Shaving Your Head the Latest Celeb Beauty Trend?” — and they’re still beautiful!

Delivering Happiness: Job, or purpose?

Delivering Happiness

Anatomy fascinates me. 😉

It’s a beautiful thing when your employer values the same things you do. Recently, we’ve started the mobileStorm Library, which is and will be stocked with books that have inspired us or helped us become better at our jobs (or at life!). A few weeks ago the boss, Jared, posted on Yammer that he’d bought several copies of “Delivering Happiness,” by  Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, and that it was required reading for those of us in Client Services.

That weekend I had no plans and was getting over a cold, so I figured I’d just relax over the weekend and read the book. It’s only 244 pages… I could’ve finished it in one day… but I actually savored it and took two days to finish it (then went back and reread a it a few chapters at a time, skipping around).

Today, I was happily surprised by a call from Jared to join him & Forrest at Tony’s stop at UCLA. We had an hour to get down there, so I grabbed the nearest – and newest – Trooper, Clifton and we jumped on the 405.

Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos

The GenX and Y kids inspire me, and Tony’s no different. At the tail end of my so-called career, I finally get it… and I work for and with people who totally get it too.  It really does make a difference when you love what you do to put food on the table, and you’re surrounded by passionate and creative people.

I’ve always joked that my role in life is “the gatherer of the tribe.” I love people and I talk to most everyone I meet. Chances are, somewhere down the road I’ll find some way to put one and another of my friends or family together to serve some mutual need. I’m a facilitator, a nurse-y type (yes, I’ve done it), a typical woman who must always in some way, somehow be taking care of someone somewhere. 🙂 Who better to provide Legendary Customer Service?

So, imagine how happy I am that I make my living helping all sorts of people simply by having a relationship with them, and doing tasks that utilize skills I’ve acquired and at the same time require me to learn new things every single day!

It’s for the good of the tribe, it’s a philosophy… you could even say a purpose. Everyone’s supposed to have one of those, right? 🙂

As for me and my house, we will serve humanity

What is “Legendary Customer Service,” anyway?

It's what I do

In part, it’s the ability for a team or a member to turn a stressful interaction with a pissed off customer into something positive, by exceeding expectations and responding appropriately.  It’s also “having your ears on” and being tuned into social media; then acknowledging your customers’ feedback no matter what it may be.

Jared recently asked us for some first-hand accounts and examples of Legendary Customer Service. Here’s mine…

Although I’d rather have a root canal than call into AT&T Tech Support when I’m having connectivity problems, I’ve got to give credit where it’s due. My most recent interaction with them restored my faith in their level of commitment to Customer Satisfaction. Here’s the story… and of course, the tweets I posted while it was in progress 🙂

One of my “Tweeps” had posted a link to his blog on August 11th, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get his site to load. Some other sites loaded just fine, while others, including Facebook, only loaded half the content (Facebook ads, unsurprisingly, remained unaffected). I did all the usual things any geek worth their salt would do to fix  the issue: Hard boot the computer, power down the modem/router, and even wander into the dark and scary land of CMD to release and renew the IP address, flush the DNS cache, and try to determine if there’s a pipe or switch down somewhere. Nothing worked.

I got home from work the next day, and still had serious issues. With dread, I dialed Tech Support – and started tweeting… if for no other reason than to track the length of the torment I anticipated having to endure…

OK I’ve HAD IT with this half-assed connectivity. Time to make a phone call to Customer Service to say #ATTSUCKS! 7:03 PM Aug 12th via TweetDeck

I sat on hold for 20 minutes before I got a human being on the line. I was quite frustrated and rather impatient, but I did my best to explain the “symptoms” to the TSR and hurried things along by confirming that I’d done all the things he’d normally walk a customer through on a Level 1 Support call. Then I walked HIM through a few things to show him why I thought he ought to just escalate me along to Level 2.

I just taught the #att #techsupport rep how to use Tracert – hahaha 7:34 PM Aug 12th via TweetDeck

After nearly an hour, he finally transferred me… but he failed to mention that in order to get on the phone with a Level 2 TSR, I’d have to enter a credit card number. No way!

53 mins w/Level 1 #ATT Support, transferred to L2, a PAY service. Called L1 again, ask 4 supv, give me L2 for FREE. #wtf #overit 8:13 PM Aug 12th via TweetDeck

Once I got back on the phone with them, I calmly but firmly informed them that I didn’t need their pay-service Tech Support (basically, their remotely accessing my computer), that the problem wasn’t with MY computer, but THEIR network somewhere and I just needed someone to escalate my call to the proper people to address it. Apparently I was sufficiently persuasive, because I got one of those pay-for-play ConnecTECH guys on the phone without having to give anyone my credit card information. Finally, he saw with his own eyes that indeed this was a problem beyond the scope of Level 1 and transferred me up the chain.

Oh #vindication! ConnecTECH finally sees the problem (He can’t get to @Daniel_Florien‘s site either!), escalating to L2 Network Tech 8:58 PM Aug 12th via TweetDeck

After another 15 minutes on hold, Finally… Level 2! I admit, I’m a tough customer to deal with, but each of the people I dealt with during this process did their best to empathize with me. More importantly, they responded to my need to know exactly what they saw, where, and how it might be relevant to my particular issues. They kept me informed, which is the single most important thing to me when I’m asking for Customer Service.

Nice Southern Belle, Rebecca L2 Tech is checking problem connecting to unreasonablefaith.com Wonder what she thinks, haha #atheist 9:15 PM Aug 12th via TweetDeck

After investigating, pinging and doing several other tasks to see the issues for herself, the Level 2 TSR  found and resolved the issue on their end, and walked me through the few steps necessary on my side to get everything up & running again. I was so happy I nearly cried.

Rebecca rebuilt the network. Finally, connectivity to all sites & content, but feeling anxiety like a mofo… ack! 9:46 PM Aug 12th via TweetDeck

Three hours is a LONG time to be on the “wrong end” of a Customer Service call, but in the end I was satisfied that AT&T’s Techs did everything I asked them to do while assuring me that my concerns mattered to them and they’d see it through to the end for me.

The following day I got a Direct Message on Twitter from one of AT&T’s reps, asking if there was any way she could help (the power of the #___SUCKS hashtag!). I DM’d her back that all was well, and I made a point to publicly laud them for what turned out to be Legendary Customer Service.

Big thanks to Rebecca for fixing my connectivity issues & to @ATTJulie for following up here on Twitter. Excellent #customerservice! Friday, August 13, 2010 4:43:28 PM via TweetDeck

If there’s one thing I think makes humans in general happy… it’s being acknowledged. AT&T’s TSRs recognized my particular issues as well as my level of emotional investment (frustration, impatience, distrust) in that call, and their service. It made all the difference in the world – and as a fellow human being, I recognize that a small acknowledgment of their taking such good care of their customers helps those TSRs be better at their jobs simply because it’s a nice boost to one’s morale to be recognized for a job well done.

Flyin’ High at Break Time

I work with a bunch of guys… most of whom are 15 or more years younger than I am. They like sports, music, women and TOYS!

mobileStorm is headquartered in a large, open space with high ceilings (think soundstage proportions). Since it’s a great place to fly remote control helicopters and hovercraft, we have a few around, and every now and then someone will pick up the controls and start flying one around. Consummate voyeur that I am, I carry my crappy little digital camera around everywhere and can capture some of the fun that goes on!

All legendary customer service and no play makes Rox a dull broad. So on a regular basis a light saber duel, the boss getting silly-stringed or a well-photoshopped prank posted to the Yammer wall provides a welcome belly-laugh and another memory that binds us as an organization. We’re StormTroopers, and this is how we roll… or fly… or somethin’ like that! 😉