I am an active musician here in Austin and I’m usually out playing shows at least a couple nights a week. I often find myself surrounded by a very wide variety of people and the subject of jobs usually comes up at some point or another over the course of an evening. It’s always fun to learn how other people spend their time when they’re working and what they are really passionate about. It’s an unfortunate reality that most people’s passions do not intersect with their vocation, but for those of us that are lucky enough to work a job we love, there’s nothing better than relating to others the joy of doing something you love and getting paid for it!
Allow myself to introduce… myself. I am Kyle. No fancy nicknames here because that’s the kind of guy I am – no nonsense and to the point. I am responsible for making sure our Customer Service standards are consistently the best in the industry and for helping plan and execute our promotions and overall business plan, among many other daily tasks. We’re still a pretty small hookah company, so there are a lot of different hats I get to wear. I enjoy this aspect of my job because it’s never boring. Plus, I get to work with some great co-workers and I interact with the best customer base any company could hope for – YOU!
I had only smoked hookah once before coming to work for Hookah-Shisha.com. It was while I was going to college in L.A. and visiting some friends in Santa Barbara. I happened upon a smoky room with a hookah in the middle on the coffee table. Intimidated, I was hesitant to try it. But once one of the people smoking explained to me how the hookah works, and let me smell the delicious strawberry flavored tobacco they were smoking, I was very interested. And, I loved it.
The second time I smoked hookah was many years later, during my job interview for Hookah-Shisha.com. We smoked Romman Banana and I was instantly transported back to that first time I tried hookah. It rekindled my interest in this relaxing pastime and I knew I was in the right place. You see, that’s how we roll here. When we have meetings, we smoke the hookah. When we interview people, we smoke the hookah. When we’re working, be it packing boxes, or helping customers, we smoke the hookah. In addition to the hookah that sits beside my desk and is shared by our Retail Customer Service team, there’s one in the office next to ours for the guys in there, as well as two or three different ones in the warehouse where they package the orders. There’s also one in the break room next to the Nintendo 64 and the TV. It’s a good bet most of these hookahs are smoking at any given time. It’s such an integral part of our company culture, it would be weird to operate without it!
I started working in the warehouse packing orders. I wanted the job because it’s a great place for a musician to work and there’s always a great, eclectic selection of music blasting on the warehouse stereo. The people here are really cool, too – a large percentage of our employees practice some form of art or creative expression. As diverse and divergent as our interests are, we all share a common passion for creativity and originality. The schedule is pretty good, too. Plus, the company supports our endeavors – like last year in May when my band, The Murdocks, hit the road to tour out to L.A. for some shows and business meetings – they were 100% behind me. I love that!
So, in addition to smoking hookah all day, what do we do here? Well, if you have ever emailed, called, or chatted with us to ask a question about your order or resolve a hookah problem, you’ve spoken to me or one of my teammates. We spend a large portion of our day interacting with customers and answering the many emails we receive. Some customers call with questions or to place their order, while others prefer to communicate via our Live Person Hookah Help Chat. Chat is particularly helpful for our large international customer base and I’ve made friends with customers as far away as Australia, Japan, Germany and of course my good friend JuJu from Trinidad. Because we ship hookahs worldwide, we get to talk with a very wide range of customers, all of which are excited to be able to find such a great selection of hookahs and shisha beyond what is usually available in their own country.
We get all kinds of questions and problems… from the typical to the downright weird. As funny as some of the questions are, I don’t want to make light of any particular question because for many people a hookah is a fairly intimidating thing to set up and operate. We try to take the mystery out of it and help people understand their hookah, hopefully inspiring some love and passion for the artistry of hookah smoking along the way. That is one thing I can say for certain about the team of employees we have here – smoking hookah is a lifestyle and a passion for all of us and we love sharing this with our customers!
In addition to the daily customer service tasks we manage, we also get to do some pretty cool stuff like sample new products. For those of you that don’t know, we oversee the development, manufacture, import, and sale of Romman Shisha Tobacco. This means that whenever there are new flavors to sample, we get first crack at tasting and offering feedback to our factory in Jordan. I love this part of my job because some of these flavors are downright exciting and I can’t wait to share them with all of you out there. We’re also working on some other top secret projects that we can’t give away, but will be sure to blog about when they are done with testing. Lets just say, it has to do with smoking a hookah and tasting good.
As I settle in for another day of helping customers, I am reminded how lucky I am to really enjoy what I do every day. Next time you call, email, or chat with one of us, please make a point of saying hi and introducing yourself. We love making personal connections with our customers and enjoy the development of these relationships over time. Hopefully you will not have to call with problems, but should they arise, we’re always here to help make them right. Most importantly, we hope you know how much we value each and every one of you out there. Without you, our incredible customers, we would not be here doing what we do every day, nor would I have the pleasure of turning all my friends green with envy when I talk about my job.
Now, time for a bowl of Romman Strawberry. Happy smoking to all of you!