The Fab 5: Workplace Friends

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Daxko is a great place to make friends. We’re with our coworkers a lot, so it’s easy to form bonds. That’s exactly what happened when I met Alex, Josh, Colby, and McKee working on our Customer Success team. We’ve been through a lot together; weddings, babies, and vacations, just to name a few. In this video, I give some background about how we became friends. Then, we play the Superlative Game to see how well we know one another!

Soundtrack to My Daxko Travel Life

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As a software trainer for Daxko, I travel a lot…and I mean a LOT. Before I started in this role, I’d been to eight states, and I’ve now been to 30. With a lot of travel comes the need for entertainment…how else can you face a long flight or drive from the airport?

Ever since I was young, my main source of entertainment has been music. I’m not easily pigeonholed into liking a certain genre – anyone who knows me can speak to the fact that I listen to almost everything. I’d like to share ten “must listens” that I always have on my travel playlists. These songs are some of my favorite in the world, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Artist: Josh Ritter

Song: Cumberland

Favorite Lyrics:

“So before you start talkin’ ’bout the wonders of the world again

The Taj Mahal, the Great Wall, the places that I never been

Take a little drive, take a little trip to Heaven and

Wonder for a while if it’s Paradise or Cumberland”

Josh Ritter is one of my all-time favorite artists, especially when it comes to live performances. He’s a total ball of joy when he’s on stage. This song reminds me of a Graceland era Paul Simon, and always makes me sing along.

 

Artist: Billy Joel

Song: We Didn’t Start the Fire

Favorite Lyrics:

“Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land

Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion”

This song is a total classic, and always reminds me of the “Ryan started the fire” episode of The Office. I learned all the lyrics to this song a few years ago, and can’t help myself from singing when it comes on. I chose my favorite lyrics because of the way Joel makes “dylANberLINbayofpigsinvasION” one big word. I sing it the exact way he does, and it makes me laugh every time.

 

Artist: The Beatles

Song: I Want to Hold Your Hand

Favorite Lyrics:

“Yeah, you got that somethin’

I think you’ll understand

When I say that somethin’

I want to hold your hand”

Come to our office and stop by my desk, or the favorites wall, and it will be pretty evident that The Beatles are my favorite band of all time (and you can reference this culture blog post for proof). This is one of those essential Beatles songs that I can’t help but love.

 

Artist: The Avett Brothers

Song: Ain’t No Man

Favorite Lyrics:

“There ain’t nobody here

Who can cause me pain or raise my fear ’cause I got only love to share

If you’re looking for truth I’m proof you’ll find it there”

The Avett Brothers are a long -time favorite band that I’ve seen perform more than once. The music video to this song is set in an airport/plane, which is pretty representative of my professional life, so you’ll often catch me listening to this as I’m speedily walking towards my gate.

 

Artist: Tears For Fears

Song: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Favorite Lyrics:

“I can’t stand this indecision

Married with a lack of vision

Everybody wants to rule the world”

I’m the daughter of a woman who grew up in the 80s and loves all 80s music, so I grew up knowing this song. It always reminds me of summertime and the bouncy beat puts me in a good mood, no matter what.

 

Artist: Joshua Radin

Song: Underwater

Favorite Lyrics:

“Everybody’s too loud, I can’t listen to myself.

I need somewhere I can go.

Underwater is where I’ll go.”

Joshua Radin is the first artist I remember really latching onto in my teens. I’ve seen him perform FIVE times, and I love him more each time. When the album this song is on came out, he explained to the crowd during his performance that when he was a kid, he had ear trouble that prevented him from going underwater. When he was an adult, he was finally able to do so, and wrote this song. This song reminds me of one of my favorite launches in Arizona. I took lots of videos and put them together, with this song playing over them. It still makes me a little teary!

 

Artist: My Morning Jacket

Song: Golden

Favorite Lyrics:

“And you always told me.

No matter how long it holds me

If it falls apart

Or makes us millionaires”

Maybe it’s the backing percussion that sounds like a train that makes this song such a “road trip” song for me, but you’ll find me listening to it no matter where I’ve traveled. I actually remember listening to this when I was at the Grand Canyon, so you can say it’s followed me everywhere.

 

Artist: Justin Townes Earle

Song: Wanderin’

Favorite Lyrics:

“Yes, oh lord, I’ve seen your oceans, I’ve seen your mountains high.

I’ve been lost inside your cities, I’ve seen the underside.

Yeah, I know the troubles that plague a troubled mind,

But they can’t catch me I’m a wanderin'”

I probably don’t have to explain this one, but man, I love Justin Townes Earle’s folksy sound. This song is more frequently played when I’m traveling somewhere down south, but it rings true wherever I am.

 

Artist: St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Song: All I Ever Wonder

Favorite Lyrics:

“I can’t tell what side I’m on

I can’t tell what’s right or wrong

We ain’t ever gonna sing one song”

You know I couldn’t leave out a hometown band. Enough said.

 

Artist: Cat Stevens

Song: Peace Train

Favorite Lyrics:

“Get your bags together,

Go bring your good friends, too

‘Cause it’s getting nearer,

It soon will be with you”

The first time I ever remember hearing this song was while watching Remember the Titans when I was a kid. My fiancé lived in Auburn, Alabama (about two hours from Birmingham) when we first started dating, and this song somehow ended up on the playlist I listened to when driving to visit him. Since then, it’s kind of been an “us” song, so it always reminds me of him when I’m traveling.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into music that I love. What are your favorite songs to listen to while traveling?


Deeanna is a Software Trainer, cat mom, and Tudor history buff who loves the outdoors.

525,600 Minutes: A Year of Training (By the Numbers)

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent | 4 Comments

If you read that title, you’re probably expecting me to burst into a musical number from Rent. While that isn’t unlikely, I’ll save that for later – this post is all about my last 365 days on Daxko’s training team.

I could spout off all the details of every place I’ve visited, from the beaches of Maine to the mountains of Flagstaff, but I decided to take a very logical, numbers driven approach. If you know me, and know how much I HATE math, you’re probably chuckling about the idea of me taking this approach.

So, what goes into 365 days of being a Software Trainer and spending 75% of my time on the road?

16 new states

3 states previously visited

84 boarding passes

2 flight cancellations

15 new refrigerator magnets

1 impromptu drive home after my flight from St. Louis to Birmingham was canceled

25 rental cars

54 books read on flights

14 plays of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”

 

We’ve got the numbers, but I can’t forget to give out some superlatives:

Most Visited State: Wisconsin (4 total trips)

Most Consecutive Days in a State: Arizona (two weeks straight)

Coldest State: Massachusetts (granted, I DID go in December)

Hottest State: ARIZONA

Favorite State: Virginia with Maine as a close second

Favorite City: Las Vegas with San Diego as a close second

First State Visited as a Trainer: South Dakota, if you can believe it

Most Recently Visited State: North Carolina

Weirdest Favorite Thing in a State: Mark Twain’s House in Hartford, CT

Traveling has been one of my most favorite things about my job. I started at Daxko on our Customer Success team, became a trainer in June of 2016, and quickly realized that my life was about to be almost exclusively on the road. The thought was scary, but also, exciting. Looking back over the last year, seeing all that I’ve seen, all that I’ve done, I can only feel incredibly blessed with the experiences that I have been granted.

I may be a wordsmith, but I can’t do this travel life justice without a few pictures from a year in the life of a traveling girl.


Deeanna S. is a Software Trainer, cat mom, and Tudor history buff who loves the outdoors.

Change Your Sound

By | Culture, Healthy Stuff, Professional Development, Rewarding Careers | One Comment

I recently went to Las Vegas with my fellow trainers, Kelly and Jill, for Professional Development. We attended the ATD training certificate program. There were several ATD sessions going on, so many of the rooms in Caesar’s Palace were full of people doing professional development. It was very cool to see so many people learning and furthering their careers.

For the training certificate program, we spent two days learning various training techniques from our instructor, Sardek (also known as Dr. Love, since that’s his last name). We spent a good part of the sessions doing group work, so I met lots of new people, including folks who work for Zappos and Hulu. On the third day, we actually had to give a presentation to our small group and they (as fellow trainers) gave us tips on our presentation techniques.

I learned many new ideas from the way Sardek facilitated our training and was able to think from different perspectives based on the feedback that my small group gave me. I was also able to build professional relationships and network with the new people I met, and we are all supposed to email one another at the end of March to talk about the ideas from the trainings that we’ve incorporated into our trainings.

The ATD conference taught me that pushing the envelope is important to making training unique to each attendee… which reminds me of something else – The Beatles (you know I have to put some pop culture knowledge into my blog posts!)

During our first night in Las Vegas, we went to see The Beatles: Love, a Cirque de Soleil show. If you’ve never seen it and you love The Beatles, please do yourself a favor and go see it. If you’re curious, here’s a snippet of some of the magic packed into an hour and a half of showtime.

I told Kelly and Jill that I would probably cry at some point during the show, because The Beatles are my favorite band and have been a longstanding love of mine. Abbey Road is my favorite album of all time and the first record I got on vinyl. Octopus’s Garden is my alarm song that wakes me up every morning. I’ve known the words to Hey Jude for as long as I can remember. Twist and Shout is in one of my favorite scenes of my favorite movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (see THAT blog post here).

As you’ve probably guessed by now, The Beatles are a huge part of my life. I know every song. When Paul McCartney (my personal favorite Beatle) sang Hey Jude at the London Olympics and the camera panned out to show the ENTIRE WORLD singing along with him…that’s all you need to know about the legacy that The Beatles left in their wake.

And that’s the word I’m hinging this post on – legacy. In your professional life, you have amazing opportunities to create a legacy for yourself. Legacy defines the mark that you make on your company, your team, even in just the work that you do.

When we think about The Beatles, we think about a band that changed musical history. These floppy haired boys from Liverpool sang songs about wanting to hold your hand, and everyone went wild for it. The Beatles were a phenomenon. They changed music. But, an important thing to remember – The Beatles changed THEIR music. I could find someone reading this post right now and ask them what Beatles album they prefer, and that will tell me everything I need to know. Some people want to hang on to the Twist and Shout era, some people flow along with The Beatles, no matter the sound. But what we can learn from The Beatles and their legacy (there’s that word again) is that they changed their sound. They weren’t afraid to take risks (and probably take a little more than risks, judging by the song I Am the Walrus).

The times changed. They 60s melted away from A-line dresses and perfectly coiffed hair into peace signs and bell bottoms. The Beatles changed.

We can’t be afraid to push the envelope and to change. Often times, I am guilty of wanting to stick with what is working, because I know that’s getting the job done… but what if I could get the job done better, by doing something a little differently? Circle back to what I mentioned above – I learned so many new training techniques at the conference I attended, and I know they are going to help me do my job better. Sometimes, that little difference is all it takes to both change your sound and cement your legacy.


Deeanna S. is a Software Trainer, cat mom, and Tudor history buff who loves the outdoors.