You’re a UX Designer? No way. The startup I work for is looking for a UX Designer. Or, I should say, a “UX Grenadier.” Someone who can “drop crazy bombs down the hatch of traditional user analytics.” That’s actually a quote from our job ad. Pretty wacky, huh? Well, that’s only the beginning. Let me tell you just how quirky and unique the startup I work for really is.
First of all, there’s the workplace itself. It’s not some drab office with gray carpet and fluorescent lights. It’s a loft with exposed brick everywhere. And I mean everywhere. The walls? Exposed brick. The floors? Exposed brick. The ceiling? Exposed brick. The toilets? The filing cabinets? The windows? It’s all brick, and it’s all totally exposed. Even the dividers between our PODs are exposed brick.
Oh, sorry. I sometimes forget that our unconventional naming conventions don’t always make sense to people on the outside. My bad. PODs are “Productivity-Optimized Desques.” Not desks. Desques. D-e-s-q-u-e-s.
By spelling it differently, we’re able to free ourselves from the negative connotations that the word “desk” carries in today’s corporate culture. Desques aren’t prisons where we’re forced to toil away for eight hours a day. They’re positive places. They’re where we have a couple beers and make crafts on Craft Wednesdays. And where we have a couple beers and sell our crafts on Craft Fair Thursdays. And where we have a couple beers and disassemble the crafts we bought on De-Craft Fridays so that we can put all the pieces back into the craft supply pile for next week, because it was never really about the crafts, you know?
Also, just to be clear, desques aren’t desks. They’re ping-pong tables. Exposed brick ping-pong tables. An artist in Detroit builds each one out of bricks from buildings that’ve been knocked down, so they’re all a little different. Our CEO went out there just recently to visit the guy’s studio and watch him work. He told us all about it last week at Beer Tuesday, which is when we all come together at the end of the day to have a couple beers and just chill.
He’s cool like that, our CEO: always friendly, always down to Earth, not your traditional stuck-up businessman. Which makes sense considering he didn’t even study business in college. He studied horticulture. Until he dropped out, at least. After that he wrote songs and jumped trains for a while before it hit him: he belonged in the technology industry.
But of course, you’d know all about this if you’d read his profile in Tech Weekly’s “30 Under 30” or Startup Magazine’s “40 under 40” or The Journal of Innovation’s “50 under 50” or Digital Online’s “73 under 73” or InfoBlog’s “Several People Who Are Doing Pretty Well When You Consider How Old They Are.” But he doesn’t let all the exposure go to his head. He’s still the first to show up for Beer Tuesday and the last to leave.
Oh, and by the way, Beer Tuesday is actually every Monday. That’s an inside joke. We have a lot of inside jokes.
And you can be in on them too. All you need to do is apply. A word to the wise, though: don’t submit some boring old cover letter and resume. We look for people who really have fun with the application process. Like the woman who applied to join our team of In-Yo-Face Interface Specialist by sending a crossword puzzle where all the answers were different job skills she had. Seriously, we would’ve hired her in a heartbeat if anyone had been able to solve the “contact information” clue.
Or the guy who applied to be a Web Development Soothsayer by uploading a video of his mom talking about his skills and experience. She was so cute and funny, stuttering through all the advanced coding languages he knew and whatnot. In fact, we loved her so much that we decided to hire her instead of her son. And it’s worked out great. She really gives our web development team the outside perspective that they were missing.
So yeah, if you’re interested, let me know. I’ll put in a good word for you with our CEO next time we have a Wiffle Weekend. That’s when we all get together on a Saturday or Sunday, have a couple beers, and play Wiffle ball. Although, honestly, I can’t remember the last time we actually played Wiffle ball.
Sean Adams has had humor published on McSweeney's, The Bygone Bureau, the Barnes & Noble Review, and The Morning News. He lives in Seattle and works as a staff writer for Woot.com. His dog's name is Harold.