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BLURGH! The ThinkGeek Blog... Grok It!

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Meet your Customer Service Monkeys!

In his natural habitat.

That raised brow either means a hug is going to happen, or he's about to shoot you. We suspect the latter here.

With the holiday season fast upon us, we know that lots of folks are going to contact our CS Monkeys for advice and with questions. We thought that you might want to get to know them a little. Put a face to the voice. A personality to the name in chat. So we whipped up a few deeply revealing interview questions, picked a "willing" participant and snapped some pictures for you.

Our first victim is Jimmy (aka JimJam). You might know him from such films as Portable Laundry Pod and Fridgeezoo and such images as Tribbles and Bits.

Our insightful interview:

Optimus Prime or Jean-Luc Picard. Who would be the best boss?
The leaderships styles seem to be both 'lead by example' which I really respect so I started thinking which day to day job would be the most fun. Sidekick to giant fighting robots that turn into awesome cars that can drive me places, or part of an elite team of intelligent, highly motivated people who explore the galaxy? Then I realized I'd totally get redshirted in either situation so it comes down to which job will afford the more incredible death. Do I want my afterlife to be an eternity of explaining "Yeah, some random plant killed me on this class M planet, but it was okay because that allowed the main cast to know what not to do," or do I want to say, "A GIANT ROBOT SMASHED ME. IT WAS AWESOME BECAUSE RIGHT AFTER IT TURNED INTO A GIANT TANK AND WAS BLOWN UP BY A ROBOT THAT TURNED INTO A JET THEN BACK INTO A ROBOT. THEN IT STARTED DANCING TO A WEIRD AL SONG."

What was your strangest/best experience at ThinkGeek HQ? Keep it work safe! (Aw.)
I always love giving tours. I feel all important and stuff and it gives me a chance to be the center of attention which I love. But I have to give special recognition to something that happened when we went on an officially unofficial ThinkGeek trip to Comic Con Baltimore. A kid recognized me from the catalog. I felt like a celebrity. It may have been my awesome Space Marine gear, but he wanted to take a photo with me, the goofy guy from the catalog. It was awesome.

Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, or Battlestar Galactica? Pick one and explain yourself!
This... is a most difficult question. When I was a kid, I would have said Star Wars, since that was my obsession until they killed off Chewbacca in one of the books. (Not a spoiler; he had an obituary in the Washington Post.) I played TIE Figher on my parent's old Gateway PC. (You remember Gateway computers? They came in cow boxes. How droll!) To this day it is still one of my favorite games. At the time I hadn't watched any Star Trek, Firefly, or Battlestar Galactica, because Star Wars was all I needed. So for nostalgia's sake I'll say Star Wars, but if you haven't seen Firefly, or the new BSG, please do! But don't finish the BSG series fully. It will just make you a sad panda. I will not say Star Trek because TOS just gets so... weird in the third season (Bones! They... stoleSpock'sbrain!) but the first two seasons were pretty awesome. I guess my point is don't let your love of one fandom keep you from any other. You just lose out if you play the 'my fandom is better than your fandom' game.

Seriously though, get your hands on TIE Fighter. That game is AWESOME.

What's your favorite thing of all the things we sell? Why?
My favorite thing changes daily. When I was marathoning my way through BSG I wanted all of our BSG things like the Viper Wall cling to the notebooks we just started carrying. I really want the Minecraft hoodie as that is my current obsession. Also, we need more TF2 stuff. For real.

If I had to pick one item from our site to have in my cube tomorrow though, it would be the Nerf Maverick. It has accuracy and range that I haven't gotten from any other Nerf Gun right out of the box.

How did you end up working at ThinkGeek?
I found a Craigslist posting for ThinkGeek Customer service temp. I came on in the fall of 2009 and have been in CS ever since. I became the go-to guy for product questions due to my enthusiasm for playing with all of the crazy stuff we have.

What's your favorite part of your workday as a CS Monkey?
Right now, I'm doing what is called floor walking. I go from person to person with our new seasonal customer service agents and answer any questions they have. This is very fun and I get to use my 2 years of working here to help out other people. Also, I get to do it with a Nerf Longshot strapped across my back, so that is kind of awesome. How many people get to walk around their office helping coworkers (which gives that warm fuzzy feeling) and shooting them when appropriately funny? It is probably, like, 3 people.

Sharks with lasers on their heads, or raptors wielding lightsabers?
Assuming you mean as animals to attack those that oppose me, I'll say raptors (assuming you mean the raptors from Jurassic Park and not the foot-and-a-half animals they really were). We aren't very close to the ocean, so I'd just have some big dead fish with lasers on their heads rotting on the ground, so I guess you could make some seared shark sushi pretty quickly, but still, you really can't beat raptor army. Plus, the raptors would probably realize they don't need lightsabers to be deadly and I'd be all like, "Hey raptor, why don't you let me hang onto that for you because you are already so deadly?" and the raptor would be all like "ROOOARRR" and tear me in half and eat my entrails because YOU CANNOT TRAIN A RAPTOR TO BE YOUR FRIENDLY LIGHTSABER WIELDING FRIEND. Raptors don't want to be fed--they want to hunt. Me. Because I'm out of shape and tubby so they don't have to work hard for a big meal.

Seriously though, raptors probably wouldn't be able to hold the sabers well so it would probably just be a bunch of terrified animals all like "WHAT ARE THESE BURNING LIGHT THINGS TIED TO MY ARMS? ROAAAARRRRR." I know raptors eat people, but that would be really mean. What kind of person came up with these questions?

What's the weirdest conversation you've ever had with a customer?
This story requires some background. I am a marching band geek. I marched baritone and euphonium in high school (fun fact: my HS mascot was the Atoms), again in College (GO THE BULLET), and I have gone pro and now march for a certain professional sports team (go... team that is in this area but I may not be allowed to say the name without paying the NFL, ESPN, and like 29 other organizations). As such, I've always been looking for a chance to play one of my horns in a video. We finally made a video where I was playing my euphonium and a customer who saw it and called me up just so we could geek out about euphoniums for 15 minutes. Turns out she was this awesome badass euphonium player at this huge conference. And I was in total awe of her coolness. For the record for any other euphonium and baritone players out there, I play a 4 valve compensating Besson Sovereign and I march a King 1124.

I just got a bit of a high from typing about marching band and euphoniums. For real.

Isn't he stunningly charismatic? We think so. This is why he was the obvious first choice for this dangerous social experiment.

We're done with Jimmy (for now) but we're not done with the experiment. Stay tuned, because next week we'll interview Dave. He's only a little undead, promise.

[ post a comment ]


meaningless icon! Can we hire him for immoral purposes, or even just decorative ones?
Rhyolight said this 2457 days ago.
meaningless icon! Band geeks rule! (I play French Horn, but it's the thought that counts!)
AllPowerfulRob said this 2457 days ago.
meaningless icon! Top reasons I bought the Portable Laundry Pod: 1. I was tired of my clothes getting pilfered from the laundry service here on my base in Afghanistan 2. Jimmy made is awesome ; ) More Jimmy vids Please!
heatherhobbit said this 2457 days ago.
meaningless icon! I remember when I finally sat down to watch BSG. I learned it not the best show to watch while one's hub man is deployed. It makes you all happy. Then it ends, and you are sad again. Luckly I had Doctor Who to cheer me up.
tehender said this 2457 days ago.
meaningless icon! Ah the Maverick! My best friend in Zombie LARP! :D
GeekyEm said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! Jimmy seems like a really awesome person. This must be why ThinkGeek is so awesome... it's staffed with awesome people! I feel like I just solved a very important puzzle. Also, I just said awesome a lot.
Pandi said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! Besson Sovereign, nice. I fix musical instruments for a living, so I'm always geeking out over the music stuff TG has on offer.
Chimera Dragonfang said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! Wooo, yay for euphoniums! Use to play in the marching band in high school, and I remember when we got the marching horns.. So cool but god my arms hated me. Unfortunately never found any avenue other than the occasional TUBACHRISTMAS to play in and haven't touched my horn in ages.
BassFerret said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! Woo! There need to be MOAR Euphonium players out there! (although.. I haven't touched mine in a while as sorta died down after finishing high school.) But awesome that still do it and such! Last public thing I played mine in was TUBACHRISTMAS a couple years ago.
BassFerret said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! <del>drums</del>percussion rock!
cottsak said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! Great idea to get to know you guys...especially when I live in a galaxy far far away called South Africa and will never get to meet you or even really talk on the phone. Enjoyed your Q&A JimJam!
onedotshort said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! Well hell, if I had know Customer Service was sooo cute I would have developed problems with my orders. And here I was thinking it was great that I never needed to contact y'all cuz you always got it right.
PACW said this 2456 days ago.
meaningless icon! Really proud of our Jimmy.
Chris M said this 2452 days ago.
meaningless icon! If I wasn't happily married and old enough to be Jimmy's..um...big sister...I could say that Jimmy is hot and that I would take a picture with him any time. Y'all need to go to GenCon because if you do I will come back and see you. The CS is awesome here. I wish you were in Texas because then I would want my son to be a Thinkgeek monkey.
lonestarslp said this 2450 days ago.
meaningless icon! @pacw way to take the words right out of my mouth
destroyah said this 2427 days ago.

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