I haven’t posted for a while mainly because I am still not riding. Into my 8th month of recovery from my motorcycle accident back in October 2015, I am regaining strength and flexibility day by day. Yet, as hard as I have worked especially since March 21st, 2016-the day I became weight-bearing, I feel I have such a long way to go.
Here’s a short video I made celebrating my 50th belated birthday gift. Cross learning to fly off my bucket list. Interesting how many who ride seek other adventures as well.
We all need more employers like Revzilla. Read this article. Their philosophy rocks and it shows when you speak to the employees who at times even relocate to work at Revzilla’s state of the art facility in Philadelphia.
There’s $1,500 on the line. All Adam Ponzek has to do is keep his hairstyle decidedly mullet for one year.
“It is pretty ridiculous,” said Ponzek, remarking on the challenge — and his look.
The wager — and possible payout from management — speaks to the larger culture at RevZilla. A rapidly growing e-commerce company, RevZilla sells motorcycle gear and parts from its South Philadelphia headquarters.
The “gear geeks,” including Ponzek, serve as customer support, answering hundreds of daily calls and emails from bike enthusiasts. And they appear to have fun doing it.
From RevZilla’s earliest days as an e-commerce startup in 2007, customer service has been the priority.
“We were just starting out, with people getting on the phone saying, ‘I can’t believe you exist, I can’t believe how intelligent you are, and I can’t believe how much you knew, and the fact that you’d spend that much time with me,'” said co-founder and CEO Anthony Bucci.
“A heckuva foundation to build a brand on.”
Today, RevZilla has about 200 employees, nearly $100 million in annual sales, and 50 gear geeks working the phone lines.
And these are hard jobs to get: The call center staff earns 20 to 30 percent more in wages and benefits than the industry average.
“I am investing that dollar in making sure that every person who is potentially at the point of purchase, their expectations are beaten by talking to somebody that they wouldn’t expect to talk to,” said Bucci.
Decent salaries and a pipeline for promotion keep turnover low and morale high for the geeks, even during the holiday rush when phones are ringing nonstop.
“Right now, it is beginning to wane, but yeah, kinda nuts,” said Bucci. “All hands on deck for those guys, probably been for the past six weeks … and gals.”
Zen and the art of call centers
Occupying a brightly lit back corner of RevZilla’s offices in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the call center looks more Silicon Valley startup than cubicle farm. Everyone sits at open desks; the furniture is modern and clear of clutter.
“The design of our facility … is very non-traditional,” said Patrick Roscoe, RevZilla’s director of customer experience. “We’ve gotten away from the historically small 4-by-4 cubes that you’d see in any other contact center environment.”
Other startup touches are evident, including a gong to celebrate good online reviews, scooters to race around the hallways, and free lunch on Tuesdays.
To get a gear geek job, you need more than phone skills and endless patience. You’ve got to know the merchandise inside and out, and that means knowing bikes.
“Every gear geek here that supports customers rides a motorcycle. They know it, they are passionate about it, they are following forums, they are researching all the new products,” said Roscoe. “They geek out on everything new within the industry.”
The staff also gets to try out everything. RevZilla has a room full of gear staff members can use on weekend rides. It’s part of the culture here that separates this call center from some other area companies that don’t necessarily sport sterling reputations.
“Selling cable service all day long … I don’t know how passionate people truly are supporting cable box needs,” said Roscoe.
Heather Jarjisian, six months into the job as a geek, has a sticky note attached to her screen that reads “Be Annoyingly Thorough.”
“The people are awesome, the customers are awesome, it is just an excellent place to be,” she said. “Way better than any other job I’ve had.”
Life for the gear geeks calms down in mid-January, after all the holiday returns and exchanges are figured out. Then, in the spring, when bikers come out of hibernation, the phones will start ringing again.
By then, Adam Ponzek’s mullet will be even more ridiculous.
PS…any time anyone buys from Revzilla if you mention my blog, name or anything to do with FB page etc…it helps off set some of the costs running this hobby. 👍
New KLIM Latitude one of the most comfortable versatile suits on the market. Not too heavy, priced OK, for me a good suit for every riding I do. Highly recommend and I am sure KLIM will tweak this version yet again. I will keep this one for sure…as well as my Altitude. Love the new BLACK Altitude suit. KLIM said they did not make any changes regarding the style of the Altitude by releasing the black version but I swear the collar is more forgiving as well as the width of the chest. Could be wrong but sure feels different than my gray version. That’s for another review. 😉
My bike for testing was my 2013 BMW F800GS.
Soon I will be riding a 2015 BMW R1200GSW.
More about my new bike soon… Continue reading “KLIM LATITUDE take 3 = A lot of bang for the buck”
It’s that time to get to Long Island….😊 I am in Pennsylvania right now and will be heading out soon to finish this incredible X Country trip in my very fun Fiat 500L.
Love this car, it did well on this trip and it really reminds me of my F800GS on 4 wheels.
Canada back to the USA.
May 15 2015 (all picks can be clicked and enlarged)
Staying away from interstates is sure paying off with scenery and roads made for a NASCAR racer. Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia all have great roads, made for bikes and sporty cars, intense Spring smells, scenery and since it’s before Memorial Day peaceful driving. Continue reading “2015 Long Island or Bust Tour Days 21-22”
May 7 2015
I drove across the plains of Iowa pretty straight through as my goal for this day was Springfield, MO. It’s storm season around here and when I hit Kansas City, Kansas I got a taste of a wicked thunder, lightening and pouring rain storm cell. I was on the main highway and the pools of water were deep. My car was hit a few times with a “tsunami” like waves. Continue reading “2015 Long Island or Bust Tour – Day 16”
No words….just a feeling of relief. Continue reading “2015 Long Island or Bust Tour-Day 11-Cruizer’s good-bye”
April 30th 2015 (all pics in any of my posts can be clicked for HI REZ versions)
I feel like I am living the 2002 philosophical travel memoir by Neil Peart, Ghost Rider. I get why he kept going out for his rides.
Everyday the roads I travel are stunning and beautiful. Perfect for a bike or car. However, this day despite what I was seeing my drive felt labored. I knew at some point on this trip my head would give in to what I have left behind. As I get closer to taking my Beagles ashes back to his spot in Wyoming, Cruizer’s rock I call it, I seemed to be feeling quite emotional. Today he would have been 11. Continue reading “2015 Long Island or Bust Tour – Day 9 (My head)”
April 28th & 29th 2015
No commentary…just videos and pics…they will show how magical this area is much better than me…👍 I will return to this area one day with my bike. You need a bike for sure.
April 28th 2015
Spending time in my my car with me has been healing. The states of Nevada and Utah are so beautiful. I highly recommend riding your bike on the roads I have been taking or drive.
April 26th 2015
I ended my day seeing this pair of Great Horn Owls. Roosting by their nest. So uninhibited and so beautifully perched. Such an amazing creature and HUGE.