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Customer Service

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Paul Allison

January 2, 2014

Paul Allison | UncommonGoods

Paul Allison, UncommonGoods Quality Assurance Analyst 
My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY by way of Chicago and Boston.I’m inspired by…
Music, kindness, and fun!

An uncommon fact about me…
I had the good fortune to travel the world and sing, and got to travel the world one last time as a competitive Magic: the Gathering Card Gamer. (Magic: the Gathering is a fantasy based card game that has been around since the ’90s that has won numerous awards, and revolutionized gaming.)

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
I appreciate every time when I am able to allay my customers’ fears and make everything right.

When I’m not at work, you’ll find me…
I still have the gaming bug, so elbows deep in game geekery–all kinds of gaming, board games, computer games, miniatures and card games (but not the gambling kind).

Working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
It’s a wonderful thing to love you job again.

If I could meet anyone currently or formerly alive, it would be…
Benjamin Franklin. He is one of those people who were a pivot in the course of history. Without him the world, and the United States in particular, would be entirely different. He is an amazing figure of intelligence, creativity and diplomacy. Plus, history suggests he was just a plain groovy guy.

Would you rather… have the ability to read minds, or to tell the future?
Can’t I fly instead? To know the future would be an awful temptation to do some awfully selfish things, and a crush of responsibility to try to stop the ill of the world, while being able to read people’s thoughts is awful intrusive. But flying, just get a snuggly jacket to keep warm up there and you get to skip rush hour traffic and get a heckuva view! And maybe I could get over my fear of heights, although no doubt I would soon develop a fear of street lamps after running into a few.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Jeffrey Mayer

November 14, 2013
UncommonGoods Customer Service Team Lead Jeff Mayer
Jeffery Mayer, UncommonGoods Customer Service Team Lead

My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY.

My best customer interaction so far was…  
Alone one Friday night, a call from a distraught customer: Her Red Sox Baseball Bat bottle opener package was missing. The gift was for a lifelong friend of hers, needed for Sunday night. I knew we had one in our showroom. I polished it up, went to the P.O. on Saturday, and mailed it to her to arrive for Sunday myself. She was so happy, and that made me happy!

I’m inspired by…
Doing the right thing.

My guilty pleasure is…  
Swimming in the ocean late into the season; I hate the cold, but push myself to go as far into November as I can take.

An uncommon fact about me…  
I can prolifically compose a song in minutes, just give me any one note to start.

My favorite place to hang out in NYC is…
Of course, Coney Island beach and boardwalk.

My style is…
Super casual.

Since working here I have learned…  
You can really enjoy coming to work. I’ve worked at many places in my life, and many times simply dreaded getting up to go to work. Knowing that there are such friendly people here, and how everything I do is appreciated is an awesome feeling.

Would you rather…  have dinner with Mozart (or any other more contemporary composer), or play the piano solo at Carnegie Hall?
Tough one. While I would love to pick the brain of a legendary composer, I would not pass up the chance to play solo at Carnegie Hall.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Valerie Baloga

October 8, 2013

UncommonGoods Customer Service Team Lead Valerie BalogaValerie Baloga, UncommonGoods Customer Service Team Lead

My hometown is…
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
It’s always really fun when a customer calls expecting a fight and hangs up completely blown away by how easily their situation is resolved. One of the great things about working here is having enough freedom to really listen to what each customer needs and then being able to offer a solution that is really specific to the situation.

I’m inspired by…
Right now I find I am most inspired by people who take life into their own hands and live their dreams. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

My guilty pleasure is…
’90s pop music.

An uncommon fact about me…
Before moving to New York in 2010, I spent one summer in Upstate New York, three summers in Maine, and an entire year in Richmond, VA working in theatre. I built and painted scenery and worked on props.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Prospect Park in good weather – and at the risk of looking like a huge nerd, the library. I frequent the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Brooklyn Public Library.

My style is…
Casual. Comfortable. Colorful.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
I’ve learned so much, and I have acquired so many new skills – spreadsheets – they’re amazing! What I also learned, perhaps most importantly, is that some companies actually care about their customers and their employees. I’m so lucky to work for a B Corporation.

Would you rather… Tap dance OR ride your bike, in place of all of your walking?
I was all set to say bike, definitely. But then I thought, I might want to take the train sometimes, and how will I get up and down all those stairs on a bike? So I’m going to say tap dance.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Norma Medina

September 23, 2013
UncommonGoods Customer Service Representative Norma Medina
Norma Medina, UncommonGoods Customer Service Representative

My hometown is…
Tucson, AZ

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
A customer was once so pleased with the customer service I provided for him that he purchased a gift from UG and had it delivered to my desk.

I’m inspired by…
The unwavering dedication a person can have when they feel deep down inside their heart that what they are doing is right.

My guilty pleasure is…
Chocolate.

An uncommon fact about me…
I have been an invited guest at both Obama inaugurations.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
The Actors Studio on 44th–something magical happens there every day.

My style is…
At times embarrassingly casual.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
So much about myself, the skills I have learned are immeasurable and the window to my weaknesses is huge.

Would you rather…Direct a production of Cats in its Broadway revival OR live life as an actual cat for one week?
Direct. I lived with a cat for 21 years and hope as a director I could pull from the actor the secrets and nuances that make the kings and queens of domesticity be real.

The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Laura Frost

September 13, 2013
UncommonGoods Customer Service Assistant Manger Laura Frost
Laura Frost, UncommonGoods Assistant Manager – Customer Service

My hometown is…
Brooklyn, NY. (Before that is a list that’s way too long.)

The best customer interaction I’ve had at UncommonGoods was…
I had a customer who had a big Great Dane. Her dog was getting on in years, and the vet didn’t think her dog would have too much more time on this earth. She wanted to get the Custom Nose Print Necklace while her pooch was still around, but she wasn’t sure his nose would fit the mold since he’s such a big doggy. We figured out the dimensions on the phone, and it was super cute to hear him snuffle the phone and the ruler while she checked his nose-size. She was able to order the necklace with full confidence she’d be able to keep a token of her favorite dog’s nose forever.

I’m inspired by…
Farmer’s markets and flea markets.

My guilty pleasure is…
Action movies.

An uncommon fact about me…
I’ve lived in 9 states.

My favorite place to hang out in New York City is…
Brooklyn Ale House—the best little corner bar in Brooklyn.

My style is…
Casual, quirky, comfy.

Since working at UncommonGoods I’ve learned…
That Excel is my friend.

Would you rather… Have to sing everything you said out loud for a week or not be able to sing for a month?
While I do like to sing around the house, I’m not up for a solo act. So, I’d stick with no singing for a month.