What is your position at Swell-o-Phonic/chane.com?
What's your favorite thing about working here?
I am very thankful for the ability and freedom I have here. Chane gives us a good bit of autonomy in the decisions that are made. It really makes this place feel like it is my own.
We’ve got a great crew of people up here as well. I consider them family.
What's your least favorite?
I’m not exactly the best salesperson. I would generally rather be in the back making everything run smoothly then have to be the one to directly deal with customers.
Before working at Swell-O-Phonic/chane.com, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
I’ve definitely had some cool jobs like being in Colour Revolt and then touring Europe with Brand New as a guitar tech, but those aren’t as interesting to me as the stranger jobs I’ve had. Several come to mind:
My freshman year of college I was dating a girl I had been with since high school. It was your typical disaster relationship, but one of the …positives? that came from the experience was that she worked really hard. Sometimes she would have 2 or 3 jobs at once and if she couldn’t make a shift then she would just give it to me. When she was working at McAlister’s Deli and a local sno-cone place at the same time, I was being subbed in to sling sno-cones several times a week.
One day as I was working, the owner stopped by to pick up the cash for a deposit. He walked in and started talking to me for a few minutes before he stopped mid-sentence and said “wait…who are you?!” I told him that I worked there and had for a few weeks. He just shrugged, paid me cash out of the register (everything was done in cash under the table) and went on his way.
Also, when I was living in Memphis as a graduate student I had several hilarious jobs such as “distressing furniture” at a high end furniture factory where these artisans would spend a lot of time creating beautiful pieces of furniture and then I would find ways to beat the hell out of them. Most involved steel wool.
I then worked at a photography studio where I would make the proofs for the photographers after they would finish a shoot. They would hand me the memory stick and I’d put it in the computer. Then I would take a quarter and jam it into the keyboard by the enter key and everything would automate from there. Finally everything would print out and I’d bind it together all in one motion. This was all in the training. The quarter trick and all. A high functioning monkey could have done this job.
What's your most embarrassing moment at work?
Back in the height of the hover board craze someone brought one up to the store. I felt like it would be exciting to try and add some fun to some of the more mundane tasks of the day such as vacuuming. This, as you can imagine, ended in disaster, bruises, and a broken vacuum. It was all captured on the security camera.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I do have another job as the USA Director of the Hard Places Community (thehardplaces.org). We work with victims of sex trafficking around the world. As the USA Director I run our fundraising efforts and speak at events on behalf of HPC. However, being a non-profit, I do not make enough just doing that to survive. Chane has always been super cool and flexible to let me work here and still follow what is a huge part of my life.
If I wasn’t working here or with HPC though I think I’d want to teach. That had been my original ambition, but life had other plans…good plans.
Complete this sentence: When I'm not at work I can be found:
Well, I spend a couple of weeks every year in Cambodia. So if you don’t see me for a while, then that is probably where I am.
When we are in town though I love to hang at the Library at Fairview, Sneaky Beans, Deep South Pops, Barrelhouse, Apothecary, and my friend Anna Catherine’s porch.
How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
I’ve got some old, brown dress shoes that I hardly ever wear, but they are so comfortable I can’t get rid of them. They were a birthday present back in 2008. So that puts them at 9 years old.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
Either a dog (that wasn’t “fixed”) so I could just take it easy or something mythically badass like a dragon.
What, or who, are you a "closet" fan of?
My wife makes me listen to lots of Hamilton. I’m not ashamed of that though. Its legit as hell. I love history.
I guess I do watch a lot of Investigate Discovery shows. I like a good mystery. In another life I may have been a detective (my wife disagrees).
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Fish Amok. It is one of the traditional Khmer dishes of Cambodia.
What book did you read last?
A Selfish Plan to Change the World by Justin Dillon. It really is incredible and everyone should read it. It will change how you think about service and why we help other people.
Tell an interesting fact about yourself.
Tell me an interesting fact about yourself. This whole thing was about me.