In case you didn’t know, Halloween is a big deal at Daxko. We go all out in decorating our offices with mummies, skeletons, and spiderwebs and dressing up for the annual costume contest. 2016 marks our Houston team’s first experience with Daxko Halloween craziness, and their Pac-Man costumes knocked it out of the park. Check out some of our great costumes from this year’s festivities.
Today, Daxko hits a milestone. It’s our 18th birthday! So in a way, we are now “officially” an adult, even though we don’t always act like it.
We mark our birthday by the start date of our first-ever team member, Wei Jiang on October 14, 1998. Wei remains a key member of our software development team, and he has played a critical role in our success and growth.
Wei has seen and done a lot over the past 18 years. Not only was he the creator and keeper of many of our software products, but he’s also experienced the highs and lows of being a part of a growth and change-oriented company.
One of the inventible changes is the coming and going of team members, and today marks the celebration of one of those departures — a “retirement” if you will.
Over her 16 years, 8 months and 13 days at Daxko, April Benetollo has led marketing, sales, product management, our People Team, career development, and more “assignments” I’m sure I’m forgetting.
We’ve experienced 14 straight years of double-digit growth, have a dominant position in our market and have built a very strong brand, and April has played an active, key role in all of it. We’re very thankful for her massive contributions and are excited for what lies ahead in her career.
April now joins an impressive alumni group, including Uncle Barry, Britney, JSides, Holly, Jeremy, Keefus, Toby, Susan, Austin, Tony, Anne and so many others.
But we also have a great group of remaining old-timers such as Wei, Ming, Saranda, Rick, Patrick, Dan Van, Josh, Bryan, Todd, Heather and several Matts to name but a few, as well as newer team members like Moses, Kelly, Emily, Gabby, Colby, Napo, Alex and Mike that are ready and able to keep the momentum going strong and take us into the future.
As we celebrate these milestones, it acts as a reminder of how the entire team — alumni, old-timers and relative newbies alike — are the reason behind our success.
Thanks Team Daxko!
How did I already make it to my 7th year at Daxko? If you didn’t know, reaching the 7th year in Daxkoland is kind of a big deal because you get a one-month paid sabbatical. Looking back on my 7-year career, I’ve had so many “learning opportunities,” misadventures, and hilarious stories that need to be shared. That’s why I’m gifting you 7 of my wildest Daxko moments. I hope you enjoy reading about my failures and triumphs!
#7: The Time I Bought a Haunted Doll
When we moved to a new office and I was tasked with designing fun themes for our meeting rooms, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to create a haunted house-themed room we named “Spooky.” That’s when I found Annabelle – an antique, porcelain doll with alien-green eyes (that see straight through to your dark soul) and a chipped pinky finger. She sits in Spooky, haunting anyone who dares to enter. I often find her turned around, covered up, or banished from the room, because she’s a little unsettling for some; but I think it’s nice to have her looking out for me. Annabelle’s always got my back!
#6: The Time I Threw an Awkward Costume Party
One year, our CEO asked me to organize a fun, fall-themed event for our Team Members. I’m pretty sure he just wanted a tailgate party, but because I always learn the hard way, I thought I’d shake things up with an Oktoberfest party! In the month of November. At a seedy bar. During a football game. Needless to say, no one was jazzed about breaking out the lederhosen (Ompa!) or playing my reindeer games (German trivia, anyone?) at my “Novemberfest” party. Alanis is right – you live, you learn. Just give the people what they want – beer, football, and ‘merican clothes.
#5: The Time I Hired a Magician… For Adults!
You know how to magically make all the enthusiasm in a room disappear? Hire a magician for your party of adults! This is an example of me “thinking outside the box” for events (you’re welcome, Daxko). The “magnificent” magician I hired donned a cape and did those pull-a-quarter-out-of-your-ear type “magic” tricks. The party flopped like rabbit ears out of a magic hat.
#4: The Time I Danced Like No One Was Watching (But They Totally Were)
As a kid, I really wished I was one of the Fly Girls on In Living Color. This is probably why I accepted (without hesitation) a teammate’s request to be a backup dancer in his Daxko talent show act. Two words: Gangnam Style. Two more words: We lost. On the plus side, I finally perfected my Gangnam Style pony prance.
#3: The Time I Became a Daxko Rap Star
Secret’s out – I’ve got some mad rhyming skills. I’m no Nicki Minaj, but I made Daxko pretty proud (or embarrassed) by writing a rap song called “It’s the DaxLife.” I also directed, produced, and stared in the music video. It’s off the chain. Or maybe just off. Check it out! It’s 3:20 minutes of your life you can never get back.
#2: The Time I Came Out
There’s nothing quite like waiting 5 years into your new job to come out. In case you’re not following, I mean out of the big ole gay closet. Lesbi-honest – it was one of the hardest and most awkward things I’ve ever had to do (outside of everything mentioned in this post). If you’re ever struggling for the right words, I recommend saying nothing. Just post your lesbian wedding photo Christmas card (“Merry and married!”) on the company bulletin board for all to behold. In all seriousness, I’m glad to work in a place where I can be myself.
#1: The Time I Partied Like a Daxko Celeb in Costa Rica
Achievers Club is the top award at Daxko. It’s awarded annually to the top 10% of the company – folks who were nominated by peers for their exemplary accomplishments during that year. I was shocked (and I’m betting you are, too!) to learn I won the award for my work in 2014. As a result, I got to enjoy a very adventurous, all-expenses-paid vacation to Costa Rica where I drank lots of delicious coffee and encountered many, many chill iguanas.
There are a lot of different schools of thought for how to best get through what the world has decided to call ‘busy work.’ You can see a lot of these different styles from just looking around the office at those on Customer Success…often to comedic effect. (Warning: this post has almost no shape and is just a humorous look into a few people’s mannerisms while focusing on work.)
Many folks, perhaps the majority, will simply go into an almost meditative like state where they focus on getting through it as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are lots of different terms for this, from going ‘heads down’ to ‘getting in the zone.’ These types find a groove and knock things out.
On the other hand, there are people like me who prefer to have white noise in their ear as they set about these tasks. It’s not unexpected that many teammates will listen to music as they’re taking care of this busy work and Spotify being open and gently playing soft background music is not uncommon. However, like in every office, there are some personalities that are too loud, so to speak, for background noise to satisfy them.
For example, it isn’t unlikely to walk into work and hear the dulcet tones of Colby, favoring us all with a rendition of ‘She’s a Lady.’ Meaning no disrespect to Tom Jones, but I think that this version is my favorite, as it means Colby’s spelunking through some finances and about to come up for air, having hopefully found a solution. What starts as humming softly eventuates in a full blown song while we cheer him on. Scientists haven’t yet discovered what makes Tom Jones and Colby work so well together, but there’s no denying that it gets the job done.
Less vocal about her busy work but perhaps more immediately apparent, you can at times look up to find Alex dancing in place as she goes through her tasks. A quick shimmy here, a spin in her chair or just some simple hand gestures, I think that Alex is usually dancing without even listening to music; the movement perhaps just helps her blood flow, letting her get through the tasks quicker.
Over the past month, with the 2016 Olympics going on, many have tuned into that in lieu of music. This busy work interspersed with conversation about how many medals the USA has secured or what events were taking place at what times throughout the day made the droll tasks go by more quickly.
More interesting to me was the championships going on before that. At the beginning of August, the sixth iteration of The International was going on. In this event, sixteen teams of five battled it out to see which was the very best at a video game called Dota 2. Not only glory was on the line, though, as the winning team took home just over nine million dollars.
My cheering and sudden (under my breath) chants of ‘U-S-A, U-S-A’ drew the attention of my neighboring teammate Josh. After a bit of explaining the premise, I had him listening as well. We were able to cheer for the good guys and boo the bad and we suffered defeats with the same sadness as when our Olympic team was narrowly edged out for the gold.
Busy work’s a lot more fun when you’ve got a friend to slog through it with.
McKee S. is a Customer Success Warlock who loves playing video games and kickin’ around a hacky sack.
Do you love to solve problems and provide stellar customer service? Work with McKee as a Customer Success Advocate!