Shannon Sweeney is the content manager at Death Wish and talks about joining the team 9 months ago. She runs down her daily duties which include editing all the written copy for products and social media, and also content creation and execution. Shannon also talks about working for her school newspaper, The Daily Collegian at Penn State, and growing up with her father Jim Sweeney who played in the NFL for 16 seasons.
ON THIS WEEK'S COMPANION TV SHOW:
This week on Science we talk about Voyager 2 leaving interstellar space and how it is still transmitting to Earth. Plus, the NASA New Horizon spacecraft is on its way to a new destination in the Kuiper Belt and made the farthest course correction ever attempted in space. The history and origin of Christmas and its varied traditions are on The Roast, with some memories of Christmas morning and a special surprise from Dustin. Finally, see a brand new piece of merchandise for Valhalla Java coming in 2019.
DEATH STAR OF THE WEEK:
This week meet Daniel Rader, who got a tattoo of the Death Wish Coffee Logo, in the episode below:
Jeff: So, please name your least favorite employee. Go.
Shannon: Right now?
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jeff: Coming out swinging.
Dustin: How about your favorite? What's your favorite?
Shannon: It's 'cause you like to smash stuff and I like smashing stuff.
Dustin: We do have that in common.
Shannon: We do.
Dustin: You're always the first person to be like, "Hey, Dustin, I have a pumpkin. Would you like to smash it with me?" And I'm like, "Do I!"
Shannon: And then I whiff when I try to smash said pumpkin, but-
Dustin: You know, everybody thinks smashing's easy-
Shannon: It's really not.
Dustin: It's an art form, you know. It takes accuracy. It takes ruthlessness. It takes-
Dustin: Lots of anger. Insanity.
Shannon: Lots of anger.
Jeff: I'm very surprised of the time that I've been here, the amount of smashing that's went on at Death Wish Coffee and I always think, like, when we smash something big like pumpkins or cans of stuff or whatever it is. I always think, "Oh, man, this probably'll be the last time this'll happen, because the bosses'll get mad or something'll happen." And it's like, "Nope. We'll just go bigger and smash more things the next time, so ... "
Dustin: I think Mike likes smashing things, too.
Jeff: I think he does, too.
Shannon: I think he does, too.
Jeff: Hey, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, right?
Dustin: I feel like whenever, I don't know if you've experienced being out in the wild with our fearless leader, Mike Brown, but I feel like whenever we're out and about with him, it's always this sense of like, "I want to make trouble." I don't know why.
Jeff: I don't think it's that he wants to make trouble. I think-
Dustin: No, no. I want to make trouble-
Dustin: When I'm with him.
Jeff: I was gonna say, because I think Mike just enjoys the ... Mike just is one of those guys who just enjoys life. He's out and proud and he wants to enjoy that crowd.
Dustin: No, I think he's an enabler, is what I'm saying.
Jeff: So he waits for someone like you to go, "Let's start trouble." And he goes, "Sure. Go trouble-start."
Dustin: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So what I'm saying is that we'll never stop smashing things, Jeff.
Jeff: That's true.
Dustin: As long as we have Mike as our leader.
Jeff: Mike is a great leader.
Dustin: People like Shannon and I will thrive in the smashing department.
Jeff: So, Shannon, let's talk about how long ... You've been here now for nine months?
Shannon: I think around there. Since April.
Jeff: So about nine months and, I mean, what is exactly, for everybody who's watching, listening, what is your role here at Death Wish Coffee?
Shannon: Yes. So I am the content manager, which basically means anything that has any kind of like written word on it probably comes across my desk, so blogs, product copy, emails, social media. I help Sierra out with that as well. As well as video content, so we're trying to do more videos and Facebook lives, things like that. I play a role in that, too, so it's a little all-encompassing, kind of dip my toes in every aspect of marketing, but it's really fun.
Jeff: Dustin. We're gonna reset that. I can see it from here. You don't have ... Oh, you do have it.
Dustin: What are you talking about?
Jeff: It didn't look like those were selected. Check check. Okay. I'm sorry.
Shannon: Check check?
Jeff: I got a glare and I didn't see anything. I'll edit this, but I didn't see anything and I thought that's why you were having a problem, because you were going up on that and you weren't seeing it.
Dustin: I'll go up on you, bro.
Jeff: My bad. It's my bad. All right, all right, all right. So that seems like a lot.
Jeff: To do.
Jeff: Especially for a company like Death Wish Coffee. Did you do this before you came here? What were you doing before you came to Death Wish Coffee?
Shannon: So, I actually got a degree in in journalism and political science. I always forget about that one. Because I wanted to be a political reporter. That was my goal. So when I first got out of college, I worked as a reporter for a little bit, covering education, a little bit of health care. And then kind of decided, eh, I want to have a little more fun with stuff. So I switched to marketing, worked at an agency for a while ... But it was strictly as a copywriter.
Dustin: Yeah. Ah.
Shannon: So basically that was like writing advertisements.
Shannon: Writing blogs for clients. So that kind of all came together at Death Wish. I was like, "Wow, that seems like a lot of fun to work there." But I also have a lot more responsibility, so it kind of tied my journalism background with my marketing background a little bit and-
Dustin: What made you want to get out of politics?
Shannon: Oh, I don't know.
Dustin: But, so, well, I can think of 15 ways not to get into it in the first place.
Dustin: So why did you get into it in the first place and then find your way out?
Shannon: I don't know. It was always very interesting to me. I was a big history person in high school. I loved United States history and I think that and international relations, specifically. I got to take that as an elective in high school, which was really cool. And I kind of had this dream of like, "Oh, I want to travel the world and be a foreign correspondent and do all this cool stuff." But as we all know, journalism financially doesn't support a lot of foreign correspondents right now. So I think once I got into the industry and saw that, it's really hard to do that and it's a lot of self-funding to like travel and-
Shannon: Do that kind of stuff and you really have to be like a freelancer. And I just think that my personality shifted a lot in college. I mean, college was like, "Yeah! I want to travel the world. I don't want to settle anywhere." Like always be somewhere covering a news story and then when I got out of college, I was like, "No, I kind of wanna stay near family and I wanna be a little more settled. Nine to five doesn't sound too bad. Eight to five."
Dustin: Well, I think so many people are in that situation where they go to school thinking that they're gonna do this thing-
Dustin: But people change.
Shannon: Oh, my God. Like crazy.
Dustin: But you're a perfect example of, like, it doesn't matter.
Dustin: Go out, get started, get doing it. You never know what it's gonna turn into, because you can apply the skills that you're learning towards anything, and especially if it's somewhat related.
Shannon: Exactly and I think that's the story for everyone who works at Death Wish.
Shannon: Like I don't think anyone comes here saying, "I'm gonna do shipping logistics for Death Wish Coffee Company and it's gonna be great." Like you come in and you start or you have an idea for your career that's like, "Oh, I wanna do this." But then ...
Shannon: Depending on your experiences, it's totally different.
Jeff: Where did you go to college?
Shannon: I went to Penn State.
Jeff: So were you, I mean, you were going for journalism and political science like you said, were you working in the college for journalism as well?
Shannon: Yeah. So I worked for my college newspaper, The Daily Collegian, give them a nice little shout out.
Jeff: That's a pretty badass college paper, actually.
Shannon: Yeah. It's ranked pretty well and we did a pretty good job. So it was really cool, because I came into Penn State right after the Jerry Sandusky case broke.
Shannon: So I-
Jeff: That's actually how I know about that paper, because of that.
Dustin: Is that like walking into a beehive or-
Shannon: It was crazy. So I didn't ... I started the year after it all happened, so I missed when the immediate case broke out. But I got to cover all of the aftermath of it. So I got there and they took a famous statue of our football coach down.
Shannon: And I got to cover that a little bit.
Shannon: And it was like all of the fallout from the alumnae and everything that was going on. So I was pretty much kind of like baptized with fire into journalism. They were like, "Okay, we're gonna give you a notebook and you're gonna call football players' families to see if they're staying on the team."
Shannon: 'Cause they had the option to leave. So I was like, "Hi. Like I'm a little 18 year old reporter. Can you tell me if you're gonna-"
Male: What was that like?
Shannon: It was terrifying. But I didn't really have a choice, so it was kind of like, if I wanna make it at this newspaper and if I want to make it as a reporter, I gotta do what my editors tell me.
Dustin: Just curious and you don't have go into details. What was the response like when you're making those calls?
Shannon: It was a mix. A lot of people were very like, "We're gonna support Penn State. We're gonna support the football program, blah blah blah." And then I had some other parents hang up on me.
Shannon: [crosstalk] So you have to expect that when you're a reporter.
Jeff: That was the temperature of the country when that was going down.
Jeff: There was a lot of people who were behind Penn State and there were a lot of people who were like, "Burn it to the ground."
Shannon: Yeah. Exactly. And even when I told people I got into Penn State, it was like the best day of my life. I opened my acceptance letter, but it was the same exact ... It was November of 2011, when all that happened.
Dustin: Oh, my God.
Shannon: And people were like, "You're really gonna go to Penn State?" And I was like, "Well, I want a good education. It's a good school. I don't necessarily agree with what happened." But I was like, "Eh. I'll mind my business. You mind yours."
Dustin: Well, I think no matter what you're doing in life, you kind of have to pay no mind to stigmas.
Dustin: Right? You gotta figure out what's right for you and what may be like totally terrifying for somebody might be a perfect situation for you to walk into.
Dustin: And especially as a journalist walking into a mess, I mean, journalism seems to thrive off of chaos.
Dustin: And that was the center of chaos.
Dustin: At the time.
Shannon: And I wasn't going to Penn State to play football, so that-
Shannon: Didn't affect me as much. I wanted to go ... As soon as I toured campus. I think I was like a sophomore in high school, I was like, "I wanna go here." I just fell in love with the campus, fell in love with the College of Communications there and was like, "I want to be on the student newspaper." I toured their building when I was there as well. So that really gave me a really big head start. I think it put me a little bit ahead of other people. Getting a journalism degree. Because I had that advantage and I worked as an editor for that paper and was editor in chief my senior year, which was a crazy experience. I think I've gotten every job-
Male: Because of that.
Shannon: I've had since graduating because of that.
Shannon: Because they're like, "Wow. You ran a staff as a senior in college and still graduated on time." So it was the greatest four years of my life, as everyone says about college, but not from like a partying standpoint.
Shannon: It was like from an actual pure, educational standpoint, Dad.
Jeff: You did college wrong.
Dustin: The partying starts now.
Jeff: So, okay, so fast forward a little bit. Like you've been working in that and then you were working in marketing, like you said, like copyediting and stuff. When did you hear about Death Wish Coffee?
Shannon: Yeah, so I moved to the area right after college. So I'm originally from Pittsburgh, but my dad moved up here about five years ago, so after I graduated, I was like, "Oh, I'd like to live near my dad again." Came up here. And I started making some friends and my friend, Sara, who's one of my best friends to this day was like, "Oh, my God. I'm making you drink Death Wish Coffee when you come to my house." And I was like, "Okay." And I was like, "Oh, my God. This is really good." And then I was like, "Oh, my God. This is really good." Like jittering. But I knew about it from her and she bought some of our merch, so I always knew about Death Wish when I moved up here from that area. And then when I saw the job listing when I was looking for jobs, I was like, "Ooh, that's a cool company. I remember hearing about them. I remember having their coffee." So it was kind of like her giving me an introduction to the brand, before I actually sucked it up and applied.
Jeff: Yeah. Thank then you applied. You've gotten the job. You've gotten your-
Dustin: It wasn't just applying and getting the job, by the way, and that's what I wanted to say is that there was many, many people-
Jeff: Oh, totally.
Dustin: Who came here, applied, interviewed well, like and got ... But there was like three or four other people that we're like, "Oh, yeah, that person's the person." And you came in and just crushed. And it was like, "Nope. It's Shannon. 100%."
Shannon: Heck, yes.
Jeff: Yeah, but I mean-
Shannon: Thanks, guys.
Jeff: And so you walked through the door nine months ago. Like how ... I mean, you've barely been here a year, but we've definitely went through a lot of growth.
Jeff: How has the job changed for you since you started? How has the company changed?
Shannon: Oh, my God. So much. I mean, physically, we moved offices. When I first came in to interview, it was in a warehouse.
Shannon: Obviously at our production facility.
Shannon: And we're in this beautiful new space now and we've hired so many people. So I'm less than a year in the job and I'm not considered the new guy anymore, which is kind of cool. So that and just seeing the growth of the company. I came in at a time where we were really pushing into Wal-Mart, like that was really just getting off the ground at that point and ever since then, it seems like wholesale's exploded.
Shannon: Like every day we're in new stores and people are sending us photos of buying Death Wish in stores. Which is really cool. And the company is just, it's growing so quick. I mean, we went to space a few months after I got here.
Jeff: [crosstalk] to space.
Shannon: That was a fun project to get in and immediately work on.
Jeff: Did you think, I mean as someone like a content manager, who is obviously pushing out a lot of that content, we're going to space. Did you think you'd made the right choice of taking the job?
Shannon: Oh, 100%.
Shannon: And that's when everyone said ... My family was like, "Oh, man. You're sending to coffee to space. You picked a great company to work for." But my job's changed like I was really focused on blog content when I first started. Because that was my wheelhouse.
Shannon: That's what I was comfortable with. I was like, "Okay. I can write and I can write headlines, so let me dip my toes in that first." But it's changed so much and I'm really proficient in SEO now. Do a lot of that kind of content. Even just learning how like our backend products work.
Shannon: Learning Shopify. Learning how things work on that end. Learning how to dissect emails. So it's just been a lot of learning these past nine months. I think I've crammed more learning into these past nine months than I did in four years of college.
Jeff: I believe it.
Shannon: Just from being ... The job is different every single day.
Dustin: Yeah. I'm curious as to what you thought you were walking into versus what you actually found out you walked into. Was there much of a difference there? What were your impressions versus what was actuality when you started working here?
Shannon: It was a lot of what I expected. I knew I was gonna have to catch up a little bit on learning more like the technical side of marketing, but I thought that ... It's hard to explain, I guess. I didn't expect every day to be so different when I started working here and it was just like I was like, "Okay. It's a coffee company. I know what they sell." But when you get in and start working here, you're like, "Wow. We do a ton of shit." Like every single day is different. Like one day I could be focusing solely on podcast content, like working with you. Another day I can be completely occupied by mug box coffee for [inaudible] Pottery. It's like it's crazy.
Dustin: Yeah. Sorry about that.
Shannon: No. You're good. So really just I think that was the biggest, not shock, I guess, but I was like, "Wow. It's exciting here every single day, because something new is happening literally every day."
Dustin: Do you prefer it that way?
Shannon: Yeah. I love it that way and I think that comes from me having a journalism background, because in journalism, you have to expect a new breaking news story to happen every day that you're gonna have to cover.
Shannon: So I kind of ... I thrive on that kind of rush, rush, rush, go, go, go kind of mentality.
Dustin: Yeah. Yeah.
Jeff: I think that's what's ... And we've talked about it with other employees on the show, too, where I think it's so interesting to work for a company like Death Wish, again to hearken back to Mike Brown, because we are all about let's try this, let's see if this works.
Jeff: Let's do this thing. Let's go for this. It's not just like, "Well, we're a coffee company, so we're gonna sell coffee and talk about coffee and blog about coffee."
Dustin: Listen, we wouldn't be here if that was the case.
Shannon: Exactly. [crosstalk]
Dustin: Not as in we wouldn't have been born. I mean, we wouldn't be sitting at this table podcasting.
Jeff: If it wasn't for Mike Brown.
Dustin: I wouldn't have been born.
Shannon: No, but that-
Jeff: I think that is a testament not only to Death Wish Coffee, but just the amount of stuff that we can do.
Jeff: Because of that guy.
Shannon: Exactly. And that's a great point, because I've been in jobs before that are so set in their ways.
Shannon: This is how we do things. This is the procedure. You follow this procedure. This is what we do. And like how do you grow like that?
Shannon: We need to try new things and we never thought that you'd go to Florida to cover the NASA launch. It's like, "Oh, I'll just apply and see what happens." But-
Jeff: We never thought we would go to space to begin with.
Dustin: I knew it. I knew it. On my first day, in packing K-Cups, I was like-
Dustin: "We're going to fucking space. I know it. I know it."
Shannon: Dustin sees the future, apparently.
Jeff: Oh, man.
Dustin: So do you think one day we'll ever have a cult? I'm just kidding, you don't have to answer that.
Jeff: It is. I mean, that's not-
Shannon: That's a loaded question.
Jeff: It's not a terrible question, because I mean, it's not like we're looking to like make you drink the Kool-Aid. Mmm. The Kool-Aid.
Shannon: As you drink-
Dustin: World's strongest Kool-Aid.
Jeff: But I mean, we are creating a lifestyle. We are creating, you know, like I've said it so many times on this show where it's not ... We're not just about the cup of coffee that you drink in the morning when you wake up.
Jeff: That's what you want, but we're also the shirt that you're putting on your back as you're walking on that door and then we're the entertainment that you're consuming on your smartphone as you're riding the bus to downtown or whatever. And then you're hopefully drinking the coffee later on and then it's a whole lifestyle thing so-
Shannon: And I-
Dustin: Well, that leads me to a question for you.
Dustin: Do you think there's a lifestyle in the realm of things that we're not covering with Death Wish? A lifestyle that we could move into? 'Cause you know we've touched on extreme sports. We've-
Dustin: Yeah. And we've talked about gaming a little bit.
Dustin: But do you think there's a lifestyle that we might be missing out on?
Shannon: No. Honestly, I think we're hitting the nail on the head with like the kind of sports we're getting into and kind of the more nerdy things we're getting into. Like space.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah.
Shannon: But there's no like demographic or anything that I think like when I'm writing or doing hands-on marketing, like, "Man, I really wish we could talk to this person. I really wish that we could touch on this demographic." I think we're doing a really good job and I think that comes from being so open to like different podcast guests and different people we meet. Different influencers that have really introduced us to their following, as well.
Dustin: Is there an interview or a person on the podcast that you would like to see happen? Like white whale in the room, sitting here. Who would blow your mind the most?
Shannon: Blow my mind the most. I mean, I could say like a celebrity crush, but that's more just ... That would blow my mind from like a-
Dustin: Oh, yeah, no, go for it. Yeah. Go for it.
Shannon: Well, from my personal, I'm from Pittsburgh like I said. Sidney Crosby is the love of my life. And if my-
Dustin: I have no idea who that is.
Shannon: Oh, my God. Dustin. He's the captain of the Penguins.
Dustin: I don't know who the Penguins are.
Shannon: The Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team.
Dustin: Oh, it's a hockey team.
Dustin: That's the NHL, right?
Dustin: Is that correct?
Shannon: National Hockey League. But I've been a diehard Penguins fan since I was young and we drafted Sidney Crosby when I was like 10 years old so it was like peak pre-puberty and I was like, "Wow, he's really cute."
Jeff: Did you have his poster on your wall?
Shannon: Oh, I had it on my ceiling, because-
Jeff: Prime real estate.
Shannon: Exactly. 'Cause my dad, so my dad and I ... Or I didn't do it. He renovated our house when I was growing up and he was so neurotic, sorry Dad, about putting things on the walls. He was like, "I don't want tape marks on the walls. We're trying to sell the house." 'Cause that's why. So I was like, "You didn't paint the ceiling." So my ceiling had posters all over it.
Jeff: All right. All right. So let's reach out to the Penguins and see what we can do, then.
Dustin: Yeah. That'll happen.
Shannon: I would die.
Dustin: Speaking of your dad, he used to be a professional football player.
Shannon: Yes. And that's the NFL. Not the NHL.
Jeff: And that's why ... You mentioned you moved around a little bit as a kid and you moved up here and that's why. Because he was moving around, right?
Shannon: Yeah. So my dad, he's originally from Pittsburgh, too. My family's literally been in Pittsburgh, I think, since before Pittsburgh existed. So we are the OG Yinzers, as people from Pittsburgh like to call themselves. But he played college football at Pitt. So he stayed close to home there. And then he ended up being drafted to the Jets. So we ... I wasn't born yet. I was actually born in Long Island. So we lived there for a few years. He played there for 11 seasons. But I wasn't born until like his last few seasons there. Then we moved to Seattle when I was like two or three.
Shannon: So I really don't remember it much. I remember the only memory I have is walking in the rain and seeing mountain ranges. Which is like pretty-
Jeff: Pretty much Seattle.
Shannon: That's Seattle, right?
Dustin: That's a postcard is what that is.
Shannon: Exactly. My mom had a duck umbrella and I think that's the reason why I remember it. And then we moved back to Pittsburgh. So it's kind of cool because my dad got to end his career in his hometown. And then when he was playing there, he was like, "I wanna retire in Pittsburgh. My family's here and ... "
Jeff: He only played one season in Seattle, right?
Shannon: Yes. So he played 11 in New York, one in Seattle, and then four in Pittsburgh.
Jeff: And for football fans out there, I do know this about your father. He is still considered one of the best centers the Jets have ever had.
Shannon: Oh, yeah. People like to bring that stat up sometimes, yeah.
Jeff: They do. They do.
Dustin: Centers are like huge dudes, right?
Shannon: Yeah. My dad's a very large man.
Jeff: Center's the guy that snaps the ball to the quarterback.
Shannon: Yeah, so-
Dustin: Yeah. I know that part.
Jeff: Just we're making sure that D man's on the same page as we are.
Shannon: He played center guard and I think he played a little bit of tackle. So he was all offensive line, so-
Shannon: Pretty much.
Dustin: He's just the big dude that they brought in to bulldoze.
Shannon: Yep. The power house. Yep.
Dustin: That's awesome.
Shannon: Yeah. So it was cool growing up. But growing up, it was like, everyone's like, "Oh, what was it like growing up with an NFL dad?" And I'm like, "It wasn't really any different than growing up with like a regular dad that goes to an office, but my dad's office happens to be a stadium."
Dustin: But did you go to a lot of games and-
Shannon: I did. When he played for the Steelers, I did. I think ... I don't really remember if I went to any in Seattle or in New York, because I was so young.
Shannon: But I remember going to a few games when he played in Pittsburgh, which is really cool, because it was like after the game, we'd go down and wait for him in the locker room. But again, it was just kind of like, "Oh, my dad's at work. My dad's traveling this weekend."
Dustin: Was he ever super pumped after winning a game, I mean ...
Shannon: I don't really ... My dad's a very like calm person.
Shannon: Like he doesn't really express what he's feeling necessarily all the time. Like he's happy, but he's just very like to himself, like, homebody, kind of like hanging out at home. So.
Jeff: And now, he's coaching in Albany, correct?
Shannon: Mm-hmm (affirmative). He's the offensive line coach at U Albany. So his best friend, Greg Atoosa, who played at Penn State, he became the coach here and immediately brought my dad on and as soon as he came, my dad was like, "This is it. Me and Greg." They've been best friends literally since kindergarten.
Dustin: That's cool.
Shannon: And now they're coaching together finally. It's kind of cool. If you ask my dad about it and Greg, they got into a fight in first grade in the alley behind their school and they fight to this day over who won.
Dustin: It's grade school. I promise nobody won.
Shannon: Exactly. Exactly.
Dustin: Those little kids ain't throwing punches to win a fight. That's all I'm saying.
Shannon: Exactly. But-
Jeff: D Man fights a lot of little kids. He knows.
Dustin: Yeah. Trust me. I destroy them.
Shannon: But yeah, so he coaches up here now. He absolutely loves it. My sister's gonna go to U Albany next year.
Shannon: So we really made it home up here, which is really cool.
Jeff: That's very [crosstalk].
Dustin: That's cool. And now you've got this awesome job at Death Wish.
Shannon: Exactly. Exactly.
Jeff: So outside of the company, outside of the nine to five, what do you like to do? What are your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?
Shannon: Smashing things.
Jeff: Outside of smashing. We already know the smashing.
Shannon: I read a lot. I'm kind of nerdy in that sense. And I like sleeping a lot. So I'm a homebody.
Jeff: Reading and sleeping, all right.
Shannon: I'm like a cat I feel like.
Dustin: What type of books do you prefer?
Shannon: All kinds. I really like historical fiction. So anything ... I read a books like based around World War II era, because that's a really interesting era to me. Also a big fantasy fan. Obviously Harry Potter, Jeff, that which we talk about all the time.
Jeff: All the time. Ravenclaw.
Shannon: Team Ravenclaw. There we go. We're in the same house.
Dustin: Both of you.
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Shannon: I feel like you're a Slytherin, if you haven't-
Dustin: I've been told that before.
Dustin: But actually-
Shannon: It's not a bad thing.
Dustin: Yeah. Brad has said deep down inside I'm Gryffindor, though.
Shannon: I could see that, too. I think everyone's a combination.
Jeff: But it goes either way.
Shannon: Of two houses.
Dustin: But doesn't the hat like just read your mind of what you actually desire?
Jeff: Mm-mm (negative). Nope. You can influence-
Shannon: You can influence it.
Jeff: You can tell, 'cause Harry told the hat he didn't want to be in Slytherin, so he put him in Gryffindor.
Dustin: Oh, I'm so glad we talked about this.
Shannon: I could talk about this all day.
Jeff: No, you are a big fan. We do talk about a lot of fantasy around the office. In fact, you just got into Game of Thrones.
Shannon: I did.
Dustin: Oh, you just got into it?
Jeff: Just destroyed it.
Shannon: I watched it, all seven seasons in, what two months?
Dustin: Well, since you like reading books, I gotta tell you, the best part about reading those books was it kind of gave you an insight to the minds of the characters in the show, because like-
Shannon: Yeah, that's next on my list, for sure, because I haven't read them yet.
Dustin: Yeah, the first few books like up pretty well with the first few seasons. Eventually it trails off, but it's really almost scene to scene dead on.
Dustin: But instead, you know, when you read a book, you're in the viewpoint of the character.
Shannon: Exactly. Yeah.
Dustin: When you're watching the movie, you're just watching people.
Dustin: Unless it's like an inner monologue type of situation.
Shannon: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dustin: But you don't get any of that in Game of Thrones, which is so-
Shannon: I almost wish I read the books beforehand. I'm usually pretty strict in like I won't see a movie if there's a book first. I'll read the book first, just so-
Jeff: Did you read all of Harry Potter before you had watched-
Shannon: Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jeff: Harry Potter?
Shannon: But with Game of Thrones it was kind of one of those things that like my college friends were like, "You would love it. You need to watch it." And for a while, I was like, "Eh. I don't know. It seems like it's really graphic and-"
Male: It is.
Shannon: And really like too nerdy. I was just like I'm a closet nerd and since I started working here I'm like, "I'm a nerd!"
Dustin: Yeah, we embrace it pretty hard.
Shannon: I'm a nerd and I'm proud.
Dustin: But you know what, because I think it just goes to show it's fucking cool to be a nerd.
Shannon: Exactly and Game of Thrones is great.
Dustin: Especially nowadays. Yeah. And it's the best time ever.
Dustin: In the history of man to be a nerd.
Shannon: Exactly. It's amazing. But my friends finally convinced me to watch it and as soon as I watched the first episode, I was like, "This is awesome."
Shannon: I love it. I love the characters. Lots of strong female roles in that show, too.
Dustin: [crosstalk] Yeah. Yeah. It's influenced. I like that.
Jeff: Yeah. I think it's and I've said this before it's not only that, yeah, it's nerdy. Yeah, it's fantasy and stuff like that. I tell people like friends and family who aren't into that kind of thing about Game of Thrones and I'm like, "You need to check it out because it's game changing for the medium of cinematography."
Jeff: Like there's nothing ever that has been shot on the scale or the scope of this show. No movie. No television show. Nothing touches it. And we're about to get the final season and they're even saying that the final season is going to change television forever. The way that they've done it.
Jeff: Just the cameras they've used-
Jeff: The locations they're in. The stuff they're gonna put on screen. It's gonna change the game.
Dustin: But they just had like a giant ... They're like we have enough budget for three more seasons, but this is the last season so last season, so-
Shannon: To blow it out of the water.
Dustin: So just dumping all this budget. I love that shit, though. It's so good.
Jeff: Well, it had the biggest budget as a show as it was, but it was making so much money for HBO and everything else.
Jeff: They're just throwing money at it. That's why we're getting a prequel, after the fact.
Shannon: That's gonna be sweet, too.
Jeff: Yeah. And it's a shorter, final season, so they're just like, "Use a full season budget. Go for it." It's gonna be incredible.
Dustin: When's it start?
Dustin: That's gonna come up quick.
Jeff: I know.
Shannon: I know. I feel like I need to rewatch it again before, just to get [inaudible].
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah.
Dustin: I'm gonna.
Dustin: I'm gonna.
Shannon: Another fun Game of Thrones story, before I started watching Game of Thrones, like I said, super late to the game. I studied abroad in London the summer before my junior year, so 2014. And I used to take the tube everywhere obviously. It's the version of the subway over there. And the one rule on the tube, is no one talks, so like literally you get on the tube-
Shannon: It's silent.
Jeff: What happens if you start talking? I would be terrible on the tube.
Shannon: People look at you. People will stare at you.
Jeff: I would be the worst on the tube.
Shannon: I had a friend who was super loud and we'd have to be like, "Shh. You're being so loud. People are looking at us." Because we just looked like ... They're like, "Ugh. Americans." Over there.
Jeff: I'm common London. [crosstalk]
Shannon: So I'm sitting there on the tube and my friends keep nudging me. And I'm like, "Why are you nudging me?" But I can't say any ... They're like ... You can't freak out or anything. They're just like, "Oh, my God. Oh, my God." I'm like, "What are you freaking out about?" So we get off our stop and they were like, "Kit Harington was sitting across from us."
Shannon: And I was like-
Shannon: "Who's Kit Harington?" I know.
Dustin: That's funny.
Shannon: I know and now I watch the show and I'm like, "Damn."
Dustin: You missed your chance.
Jeff: Oh, man.
Shannon: 'Cause I just thought it was a good-looking British dude and I was like, "Oh, you mean the hot guy sitting across from us?" And they were like, "That was Kit Harington." And I was like, "Why did you say anything?" And they were like, "We can't."
Jeff: Before I started working for the company, when Dustin and I were actually doing the D Man Death Wish Update on Fanboys Inc. Network, we went down to Baltimore Comic Con in 2016 and brought Death Wish Coffee down there.
Dustin: Oh, my God. I remember that.
Jeff: And Dustin got to meet Hodor and bring him coffee.
Shannon: Oh, hold the door.
Dustin: There's a great picture, which we'll put-
Jeff: Yeah, yeah, I'll put that picture in, because I know you've got it.
Dustin: But do you remember later we went to that awesome restaurant. That seafood place?
Jeff: Yes. Yeah, yeah. The Rusty Scabbard? Scabbard?
Dustin: I don't know.
Jeff: Something. Yeah.
Dustin: By then I was ... Anyways. But Hodor was there.
Dustin: And he just ... He dwarfed the table.
Jeff: He's a giant human being.
Shannon: So he's like a real giant human being?
Dustin: He's huge. He makes me look like a child.
Shannon: I wonder what it's like giving him a hug.
Dustin: It was awesome.
Jeff: He gave Dustin a hug.
Shannon: Aw, was it just warm and inviting?
Dustin: I'm a better person today because of it. It was great.
Jeff: Yeah. It was pretty great. Baltimore Comic Con is a great comic book convention, because it's really about the comics. It's comic creators, comic writers, comic artists.
Dustin: With like two or three celebrities.
Jeff: That was it. Yeah.
Dustin: Yeah. So they had Hodor and they had Agent whatever her name is.
Jeff: Carter. Hell, yeah. Well.
Dustin: You don't have to school me. I'm never gonna remember anyways.
Jeff: I got a hug from her, so I was pretty happy about that. But yeah. So-
Shannon: Not as cool as Hodor.
Dustin: Not even close.
Jeff: It was just nice. I mean, it was nice that we were down there and they had heard that there was this coffee company there and requested somebody bring coffee and Dustin was like, "I'll bring coffee."
Shannon: So Hodor drank our coffee?
Dustin: Yeah. For sure.
Jeff: Yeah. He sure did.
Shannon: Oh, my God. That is so cool.
Jeff: Didn't help him hold the door, though.
Shannon: Oh, stop. I'm gonna start crying.
Jeff: Oh, man. Well, that's good. I mean, so you're an avid reader. Obviously that goes hand in hand with wanting to be a journalist.
Shannon: Exactly. Writing's always just kind of been my thing.
Jeff: And that kind of stuff. So do you have a favorite writer?
Shannon: That's a hard one. I have a favorite journalist writer. His name's John Branch. He's actually a sportswriter for the New York Times, but he doesn't cover like games or football. He does like in-depth investigative pieces.
Shannon: So he did a really good series called "The Boy On Ice" about a hockey player who was basically put on the ice to be the fighter. And he ended up dying from brain trauma.
Jeff: Oh, man.
Dustin: Oh, my God.
Shannon: So it follows ... He wrote a book on it, too, but he covers like skydiving and extreme climbing and like all these sports that you wouldn't think of. He won the first multimedia Pulitzer for a piece called "Snowfall" about these people who were trapped in an avalanche for-
Jeff: Oh, I know the piece you're talking about.
Shannon: Yeah, it's so-
Dustin: What happened to the people?
Shannon: They got trapped under an avalanche. I need to reread the story, because I remember the multimedia aspect of it-
Shannon: 'Cause that's like the nerd in me and the marketing and I'm like, "Wow, great graphics." But people got trapped in an avalanche for like days and it was like about their experience about what it was like being trapped and-
Jeff: They survived.
Shannon: Yeah. They survived.
Shannon: So it's like a timestamp, like 3:54 P.M. avalanche starts. And they're in this part of the mountain. And it like chronicles the whole thing.
Dustin: Yo, avalanches are so scary.
Shannon: I know.
Jeff: So scary. So scary.
Dustin: I took avalanche training when I was out in Utah and everything that they told me was like-
Shannon: No kidding.
Dustin: No, that's terrifying.
Jeff: When you were out in ... It wasn't when you were teaching snowboarding?
Dustin: No, because that was all on the East Coast.
Jeff: Oh, yeah, we don't-
Dustin: Like we don't get avalanches here. But afterwards, when I went out to visit Zane. What's up, Zane? When he was working at the Goldminer's Daughter Alta, Utah.
Dustin: And it's right next to Snowbird. The first day, we took a five or six hour hike to the top. I think it was called The Griz.
Dustin: And we had [inaudible] gear. We had everything. But we had to take like a quick class before all of that, because it was-
Dustin: Perfect avalanche conditions. Because what you get is like a frozen base layer and then it snows like eight fucking feet in a day.
Shannon: And all that snow moves.
Dustin: And all that just slides right off.
Shannon: So that's terrifying.
Jeff: That's terrifying.
Dustin: And they tell you how to put your hand in front of your face like this-
Jeff: So you make a pocket.
Dustin: So you make a breathing pocket.
Dustin: And it's like, "No, bitch, I don't wanna die like that. Just crush me and get it over with."
Shannon: Nope. I know I'd rather ... Honestly, I'd rather go quick.
Dustin: I can't imagine. And like the hardest part about when you get trapped in an avalanche is you don't know what is up and what is down.
Shannon: Oh, God.
Dustin: You don't know-
Shannon: Oh, that just made me real scared.
Dustin: Yeah, right? You're totally discombobulated and they have to poke for you. They poke through the snow and eventually, they hit you and then they dig for you.
Dustin: And there's certain ways that they dig for you and stuff-
Dustin: It's terrifying. It's terrifying. But it's crazy at most places they keep a Howitzer, a World War II Howitzer cannon-
Jeff: So they can ...
Dustin: And that's what they blast the avalanches with.
Dustin: And there's people qualified to shoot those cannons.
Shannon: That is insane.
Dustin: Just to blast off avalanches every morning.
Jeff: Coming from a family with a lot of ties to sports, do you do any winter sports? Or you into any of that stuff?
Shannon: I ski a little bit. I used to ski a lot as a kid, but when you're a kid and you're skiing, you outgrow skis really quick-
Shannon: And that becomes a very expensive hobby.
Shannon: So we skied a lot then. We were always outside, like in our yard, rolling around in the snow.
Shannon: I'd like to get back into skiing this year, especially like living up here now.
Shannon: There's so much access to skiing. That's on my list of things to do this winter.
Jeff: We need winter training. We're gonna win all those-
Dustin: You killed it for us. You were a rock star on the softball field, I have to say.
Shannon: Gotta know I've still got it.
Dustin: You covered first split base like a fucking here.
Shannon: First blasé. You were a great second baseman. You were, too.
Jeff: Thank you.
Dustin: Thank you.
Shannon: There was always one of you two next to me.
Dustin: I don't know what I'm doing, but I had Warren telling me what to do all the time.
Dustin: So it was kind of like work. Shout out to Warren.
Jeff: I can't wait. I can't wait for doing that again.
Shannon: Oh, it was so much fun.
Jeff: That was a lot of fun.
Dustin: I'm gonna try to talk my trainers over at Capitol District Sport & Fitness-
Jeff: To come in?
Dustin: Because those guys are baseball, like, that's their base is that-
Jeff: We need some ringers.
Dustin: Yeah. I know. I know. That's and one of them's a pitcher. Although softball pitching's completely different, but-
Jeff: Well, we do ... For those of you guys listening and watching we do a, like, it's a beer league, so it's a rainbow softball [crosstalk].
Dustin: Why is it called a beer league? Because it's just so lazy you can just-
Shannon: It's supposed to be lazy, but some people take it so seriously. So seriously.
Dustin: I mean, it felt like everybody was taking it seriously when we were playing.
Shannon: Exactly. But we-
Jeff: They call it a beer league, because you're encouraged to have fun and drink and-
Jeff: Whereas a non-beer league is like show up to practice, show up to the game, and if you lose, you were running laps.
Shannon: Could you imagine if we had to run laps every time we lost?
Dustin: How do you know we wouldn't lose so much?
Jeff: And it's rainbow softball so [crosstalk] that's why you know the pitching is like an arc instead of an actual pitch.
Dustin: Right. Right. I think we're gonna kill it this next year.
Shannon: I think so. This was a new thing for us this year.
Dustin: Yeah. Yeah. It was just a trial.
Shannon: We showed up the first day like who plays what position? Who can hit?
Shannon: None of us knew.
Dustin: And we get paired up against a bunch of fucking kegs with legs and arms.
Shannon: They were terrifying.
Dustin: That was insane and there was no mercy.
Dustin: There was actually, it was a mercy, because we got mercied.
Shannon: Yeah, show us some mercy.
Jeff: That was so much [crosstalk].
Dustin: Oh, Jesus. But we shaped up towards the end of the year.
Shannon: We did.
Dustin: We started to win some.
Shannon: We got in our groove.
Dustin: Yeah. Started to figure it out.
Jeff: So. You've been here. We know what you like to do outside of work. You're crushing here it Death Wish Coffee. What fuels you to keep going? What fuels you to keep coming in to work every day?
Dustin: Besides a paycheck.
Jeff: And wanting to be here.
Shannon: That's the million dollar question I've been thinking about. Honestly, I think it's like the people here fuel me and I think in everything I do, it's the people I surround myself with.
Shannon: Fuel me to be a better person. So whether that's like my family or it is like a family atmosphere in here, which is something that I loved about college, because my college newspaper was pretty much like a big family. Like we knew we had a job to get done at the end of every day, which was to put out a newspaper and I feel like all of us have that same mentality here. But it is like a big family. Like we were talking about buying a giant house today earlier and Jeff was totally against it. I was offended.
Jeff: Well, first of all, I'm gonna get screwed out of getting the bottom bunk in a bunk bed. Second of all, it's like I don't want to live with Kane.
Dustin: Oh, Kane's in the mix?
Jeff: Oh, no, they were talking about-
Dustin: It's the whole company.
Jeff: Everybody in Death Wish Coffee getting a house together.
Dustin: Oh, no. I mean-
Jeff: So then we live and work and we'd never get away from each other.
Shannon: It'd be so fun.
Dustin: Here's the thing. I'd just start killing people.
Shannon: That's an extreme smashing.
Jeff: Oh, my God.
Shannon: But I decided that Jeff would be like the angsty teenager that comes home and like slams the door to his room and has like a keep out sign and is like, "No, Dad, I don't want dinner." And slams-
Dustin: You read him like a book.
Jeff: I would love ... I love that. You know, I did that as a teenager, but it was really on deaf ears, because my parents weren't having any of it. I didn't have any siblings.
Shannon: That is like the epitome of teen angst.
Jeff: So to live with all of you guys, I just ... Yeah, yeah, exactly. So maybe I'm in now.
Jeff: I'm not in.
Dustin: No fucking way.
Jeff: Yeah. It's a terrible idea.
Dustin: But it would be cool to have like this giant fucking mansion, right?
Shannon: Right? It'd be so much fun.
Jeff: Someday. The Death Wish Mason mansion.
Dustin: Death Wish Mason?
Shannon: Mike, we want a mansion.
Jeff: He'd be like, "All right. Let's do it. Let's get a mansion."
Dustin: With a helipad. It needs a helipad.
Shannon: Yes. Yes.
Jeff: If Mike's gonna [crosstalk].
Dustin: It's not a mansion without a helipad. Just sayin'.
Jeff: That's true. That's true.
Dustin: Just sayin'. How else are we gonna fire Death Wish helicopters, world's strongest helicopters.
Jeff: World's strongest helicopters.
Shannon: We can just add world's strongest everything.
Jeff: We are the world's strongest podcast.
Shannon: And we make the world's strongest turkey-
Jeff: Yeah. Can't bite into that. Not even close. So the actual million dollar question. Death Wish or Valhalla?
Shannon: I'm a Valhalla person.
Dustin: You traitor. You fucking traitor.
Shannon: I know. I know. I love the taste of it.
Shannon: My mom loves it, too. My mom is a subscriber and she gets Valhalla. But I love Death Wish here and there, like if I really need like a kick in the ass, which like some mornings I'm like falling asleep at my desk.
Shannon: But Valhalla is just, I just love the taste of it.
Jeff: Yeah. It's a little bit more mellow and I mean, I've said it before a million times, like I kinda switch it up during the day. I start my day with Death Wish and as the day goes on, I usually switch to Valhalla, but yeah, straight up Valhalla, no nothing? No qualms about it?
Jeff: All right. All right.
Shannon: I know what I like.
Jeff: All right. All right. Good. Good. Finally, I mean, you are the content manager, so if you guys wanna follow Shannon, you're gonna just follow our content. But for you personally, is there any social media that you wanna shout out yourself if people wanna follow?
Shannon: Oh, heck yeah. My Twitter is @ShanSween.
Shannon: Which is pretty much. Yeah. The nickname that everyone calls me since I created that Twitter handle.
Shannon: Which I thought it was so cool when I created that, because I was like I'm just gonna take the first syllable of my first name and the first syllable of my last name and then that turned into a long nickname. And I'm ShanSween on Instagram, too, if you want to follow me there, but-
Shannon: That's just mainly pictures of my dogs and my sisters, so ...
Dustin: There's just no better pictures than dog pictures. That's what I say.
Shannon: Exactly. I have great dogs.
Dustin: You do have great dogs.
Shannon: Butters is coming in. She's coming to visit.
Shannon: Butters the American Bulldog. I wish she had Instagram.
Jeff: You need to make that happen.
Dustin: It's never too late. You're kind of good at these things.
Shannon: It's kind of my thing.
Jeff: Awesome. Awesome. Shannon, this was a hell of a lot of fun.