About a year and a half ago, as I was nearing the end of a 20-year career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, I decided to leave government service and seek a career in the private sector. As a computer engineer and computer scientist by training, I wanted to focus on software development. I didn't have any particular company in mind or care much about what kind of software I worked on (except that it be legally, ethically, and morally sound). Instead, I had a vision of the kind of company, people, and environment that I could fall in love with. This vision became reality when I found Call-Em-All. What did I envision? I saw myself...
Being Close to the Customer
Work-wise, I've always felt best when I get to interact with the customer. The closer I am to the customer, the more motivated I am to do great work. Dealing directly with customers also provides insight into their mindset, which, in turn, results in a better product and a more satisfying experience.
Being a small company of just 16 people, it's just not possible for any one of us to be removed from the customer. In fact, Call-Em-All consciously strives to have everybody regularly interact with customers. For example, although we have dedicated customer service representatives, all of us, including our president, regularly answer customer calls.
Giving People Something They Want
I'm more than happy to pay for something I really like and want. Even better is to have a hand in making or delivering a product or service that other people want. Talk about feeling valued!
Call-Em-All was created because the company's co-founders realized that there was demand for an automated calling and texting service that could serve both small and large customers alike. Our customers' lives are improved and we save them time and money. I'm proud to write the software that makes that happen.
For a long time my wife and I had toyed with the idea of starting, or at least owning, our own business. However, the risks, pressure, and monetary investment made us uncomfortable.
One cool thing about Call-Em-All is that all employees are encouraged to think like business owners. We challenge the status quo, monitor costs and revenue, influence the direction of the company, and take initiative. It's almost like we owned the place. I get to have all the fun of being an owner without all the headaches.
Escaping the Bureaucracy
I think most everybody agrees that some amount of rules and regulations are needed. However, they can become overwhelming, stifle innovation, and work against good old common sense. After working for many years in one of the most bureaucratic institutions on earth, the U.S. military, I yearned to break free.
Call-Em-All's almost the complete opposite of the military in this regard. I can't think of even one rule or regulation that's not forced on us from the outside. Heck, we don't even have a formal vacation or sick policy. Need to buy something that's work related or that you think will improve the office? Just get approval from the boss and go! No committees, no forms to fill out, no cost-comparison studies.
Surrounded by Joyous Competency
I've had the pleasure of working with some truly outstanding people over the years: people that know their job, do it well, and are a pleasure to be around. I've also had the misfortune of having had to endure sourpusses and slackers. Too bad I had never worked in a place that was all of the former and none of the latter.
It didn't take long for me to realize that everybody at Call-Em-All is good at their job and pulls his or her own weight. We're genuinely happy, upbeat people who get along well and feed off of each other's energy. It may sound weird, but we generate a kind of positive peer pressure that makes us all want to do our best. We expect a lot from ourselves and each other because we care.