Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 51 - KRISTINE WHEELER
CUSTOMER SERVICE - KRISTINE WHEELER
DEATH WISH COFFEE COMPANY EMPLOYEE SERIES #12
"There are people I love talking to." Kristine Wheeler, Customer Service, Death Wish Coffee Company
On Science, the headline "successful human head transplant" has been circulating the internet, but it isn't entirely true. D-Man and Jeff discuss the real science behind the claim and the parts that are pure science fiction. Then the idea of creating a welcoming atmosphere around yourself is behind What Fuels You. The hosts reveal the winner of a rare mug contest and shout out some birthdays for the holiday week. The Roast deals with movie adaptations of video games and how they always seem to miss the mark. Then there's some product reveals on The Update leading into the Thanksgiving weekend, including the newest mug from The World's Strongest Coffee. This is the final episode of Fueled By Death Cast: Season One!
ABOUT KRISTINE WHEELER:
Kristine started at Death Wish Coffee Company in December of 2016 and has become an integral part of the customer service team. She joins the show to talk about what its like on the customer service front lines and what keeps her coming back every day. Plus she talks about her love of the horror movie genre, but nothing seems to scare her anymore.
Jeff: I guess we've been going down this route, so your favorite employee-
Jeff: ... that you work with.
Kristine: Well, people in there ask me what I was gonna say?
Jeff: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Kristine: I didn't say anything.
Jeff: Oh, ho!
Kristine: I don't really know, because I never really thought about it. But-
Dustin: I just don't like anybody here.
Kristine: I love everyone here.
Kristine: But, maybe, just you guys are in the room right now, you know?
Kristine: We could do that.
Jeff: Pandering, know how this interview's gonna go. I love it. I love it!
Dustin: You love it? I don't fall for pandering.
Jeff: I do. I am a huge-
Dustin: You run over half the room.
Jeff: You went over the good half of the room. I am a huge sucker for pandering.
So, let's start at the beginning like we like to start. When did you start working at Death Wish?
Kristine: I started last winter on December 1, 2016.
Jeff: Okay. So you started in December and you worked-
Dustin: So you're coming up on a year?
Dustin: Not quite a year?
Jeff: You're coming up on a year, and you work in customer service. I'm always curious, and we found this out a lot from a lot of the different people that work here ... Did you work in customer service before you started working here?
Kristine: Not right before.
Jeff: That is always the answer. We are a bunch of misfit toys here at Death Wish Coffee and we like, we have all come together to do jobs that we've never really done before.
Dustin: Yeah. Now, it's really weird.
Jeff: It's fun. So, okay, so what did you do before you started working at Death Wish?
Kristine: I worked at an advertising company. It was called Market Track.
Jeff: Okay. What did you do?
Kristine: Basically, I handled all the vendors. I was like a vendor relation coordinator, and I was just on Excel all day long.
Jeff: Yeah. What kind of, if you can talk about it, what kind of like, things did the ad company work for? Like big businesses? Or ...
Kristine: They basically tracked ads from mom and pop shops, and also like big stores. So I basically had like, the West Coast and I would just track all the flyers and stuff like, "Oh. Did they have a flyer this week? Did Target have a flyer this week?"
Jeff: Interesting. Interesting! So you know a lot about that aspect of business then, from working there. How long did you work in that business?
Kristine: A year and seven months.
Dustin: Then you were like, "Fuck it! Death Wish!"
Kristine: Yeah. Basically. That's exactly what happened.
Jeff: Did you know about Death Wish Coffee before you applied for the job?
Kristine: Yes. So, when I was searching for jobs, I saw ... I was on, I think it was Craigslist or something like that?
Jeff: All right.
Kristine: And I saw Death Wish Coffee and I was like, "Wait a minute. I'm pretty sure I voted for these people on the Super Bowl."
Kristine: "Let's check it out."
Kristine: And then, after that, I mean, I got a call from Cane.
Jeff: Were you just fed up with the job that you had and you wanted to do a new kind of course of action or-
Dustin: Talk shit about your last employer.
Jeff: And ... go!
Kristine: They're probably listening right now.
Jeff: Oh, good. You're a piece of shit.
Dustin: We got her now!
Jeff: We got her now!
What was your first impression of our operation here?
Kristine: At first, I was like a little, not intimidated so to speak. I was kind of like ... I kind of didn't know what to think, 'cause I knew it was just a start-up business, so I was like, "I'm not gonna be judgemental in any way because ... I mean, there's no reason to be."
At first, I was like, "Hmm. This place seems really unorganized." And then, since I started working here, I understand everyone more, so I understand the whole process behind everyone's thinking and why you guys do what you do. But when I first started, I was like, "No. It should be more streamlined. It just be like, organized." But that's why I'm so caught up in the aspect of corporate stuff?
Kristine: So it's hard for me to be laid back about it.
Jeff: Yeah. I feel like, in the last year though, we have become ... I mean, each day we become more organized.
Kristine: Me too. And that's what I definitely see happening, which is awesome.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah, it's important because, you know, when we were first coming out we were almost fly by the seat of our pans, shoot from the hip. "Let's figure it out! Yee-haw!"
Kristine: Well, I mean, that's how you learn too. Especially for start-up businesses. I mean, how else are you gonna do it?
Jeff: Start-up businesses are like the Wild West all over again-
Dustin: All over.
Jeff: ... except for on the economical frontier. It's a Wild West. Start-up business is a new thing. A start-up business pretty much did not exist 10 years ago. At least in the fashion that it does now where, if you have a good idea and you know where to source things, and you know how to market and advertise, you don't even need a warehouse. You know? It's pretty crazy. Even going ... I've been going to a lot of Amazon seller conferences, which I didn't really understand what it was until I started going to these, and it's like, "These people are just buying a Chinese product that are like a normal name-brand product that you would buy, and then they just list it on Amazon." Because you can be a business and just sell things on Amazon now. You don't need brick and mortar any more, which is how Death Wish started.
We had no brick and mortar. We had no retail. We're just like, "Let's just do this e-commerce." Because you don't need half the shit that you do to become a brick and mortar business.
Dustin: it's pretty intense.
Jeff: It is intense. And speaking of intense, you are on the front lines of our Customer Service Department, and you come in everyday. You're on the phones. You're on email. You're dealing with the people that make us go, basically.
Kristine: I like that you just wrap that in. Just saying.
Kristine: I like how you just wrapped in this conversation and back into ...
Jeff: Yeah. I try to be good at my job.
Dustin: Good segue way, Jeff.
Kristine: Yeah, segue way. That's what I was looking for.
Jeff: I want to know what it was like coming from, obviously, not doing this before and then now being someone who deals with the customer base on a day-to-day basis. Was that a big shock in the beginning? Especially with our rabid fan base?
Kristine: It was a big shock in the beginning because I came near the holidays, so it was crazy. I mean, Sierra and Kate would stay til like 7:00 p.m., and I'd be like, "Bye, guys. It's 5:00." And then I always felt so bad, but now I think that there's more of us, we're all like leaving on time. But I just remember them always coming in early and leaving late, and then always working their asses off and I totally understand it now.
Dustin: Yeah. I mean, and we're so focused on customer service.
Kristine: Of course. Yeah.
Dustin: That is like number one thing Mike has pushed so hard is that we need to be focused to take care of our customers-
Jeff: You're talking about-
Dustin: ... all the time.
Jeff: You're talking about Mike from Customer Service, right?
Dustin: You know I'm not!
Jeff: You're talking about Mike Brown.
Dustin: Stop derailing the conversation!
Kristine: No, I'm not doing that.
Dustin: Bad segue way, Jeff.
Kristine: That was a bad segue way.
Jeff: Darn it!
Dustin: And you ruined it!
Jeff: So since you've been doing the customer service day in and day out, do you have any war stories? Do you have any stories, and I don't wanna name names or anything, but do you have any customers that you dealt with that have, either on either side of it. The craziest kind of customer you've never thought even existed out in the world, or the nicest most amazing human being you've ever talked to on an email or a phone call? Does anything ever stick out for you?
Kristine: Yeah. Definitely. There's a few people out there that I love talking to on the phone. Like they're calling and I'm like, "Oh, shit. I should pick this up." Like, "I've got it, guys."
Dustin: That's awesome.
Kristine: Yeah. I have good time talking to them, and then of course there's always those customers that always have an issue, but I mean I gotta do what I gotta do.
Kristine: I don't complain about it, but I mean I've been in their shoes. I'm sure they've been in mine. I don't know. It's hard to say. I hate being judgemental towards stuff like that.
Dustin: Yeah. Okay. Yes or no questions here.
Kristine: Okay, go.
Has anybody sworn at you aggressively over the phone?
Kristine: Not over the phone, but definitely through email. In caps! In caps locked, so that-
Jeff: So they're yelling. They're yelling those swears.
Kristine: I was lie, "What?"
Dustin: Have you ever been called an insulting name-
Dustin: ... in any way? No?
Dustin: That's good!
Dustin: That's good.
Kristine: Yeah. That's good.
Dustin: Nicest customer.
Dustin: But I know that's not a yes or no.
Jeff: Put it on the spot.
Kristine: Hmm. I hate giving names.
Dustin: Okay. All right.
Jeff: We have a lot of nice customers.
Kristine: We do have a lot of nice customers, and I like to say Tiffany Weaver, she's so nice. I spoke to her on the phone today. I was like, "I love her."
Dustin: That's always nice.
Jeff: I put a lot of ... faith isn't even the best word I can use for it, but just a lot of respect to all of you guys in Customer Service, 'cause one of the things that we here just ... Dustin and I do a lot of the events, you know, and we're on the road with this company. One of the things that we hear out in the wild is, "I love your company because of customer service." You know, it's a constant compliment that we get.
I, personally, look at what you guys do and I know for 100% I could not do it, because I'm a very very Type A personality and the minute somebody has a problem that I can't fix, I would probably get indignant and just hang up the phone on them. It would just be [crosstalk 00:09:50]. You don't wanna put me in your Customer Service Department is basically what I'm saying.
So I have a lot of respect for you guys.
Dustin: Yeah. I couldn't do customer service. I consider myself a people person, but aggressively so. It doesn't mix well.
Jeff: Do you sit ... Within your year here, have you seen a shift at all in our customer base? Either ... And I can either ask this two ways.
Jeff: Do you think that it is either grown exponentially or kind of fallen off track? Or has the customer base kind of either become more rabid or less rabid? Have you seen any giant changes to our customer base in a year?
Kristine: I don't if it's that. I've seen it, but I feel it because now I'm more into it.
Jeff: Oh, okay.
Kristine: Does that make sense?
Jeff: Yeah. Totally!
Dustin: Like the fan page and everything. I just joined that puppy like six months in?
Dustin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kristine: So at first, but now I'm totally getting into it so I feel like there's more people.
Jeff: No, it's ... that's interesting 'cause i=
Dustin: But that fan page has grown quite a bit.
Kristine: Yeah, it has.
Jeff: It amounts to, so ... It's hard to see looking out. You know? It's-
Jeff: ... like when you're in it every day, it's hard to see the change or the growth, or even the non-growth, you know, kind of happened when you're there every day, and that's why I'm always interested talking to you guys in Customer Service.
You mentioned earlier, you have to deal with problems, you have to deal with people when they're unhappy with a product or whatever. Is there one thing that you get more often than not from a like, complaint-wise through Customer Service?
Jeff: Something that you think maybe we could change? I know it's kind of putting you on the spot, but I'm always curious.
Dustin: It's a loaded question, Jeff.
Kristine: It is.
Jeff: Not really. I mean, I look at it like, you know, are people generally unhappy because they ordered the wrong thing? Or are they generally unhappy because the thing they ordered didn't do the thing that they did. Do you ever get ... Okay, let me rephrase it like this. Do you ever get a complaint like, "You say you're the world's strongest coffee and it's ... I don't think so." Do you ever get that complaint?
Dustin: I mean, we have to get that, right?
Kristine: I mean, we do, but not like, all the time.
Jeff: Not all the time.
Jeff: It's just something that interests me, you know.
Kristine: It is-
Jeff: It's a hard metric.
Dustin: If you call yourself the most something something, you're definitely gonna get people that are like, "No, you're not."
Jeff: Well, that's true.
Dustin: You're always gonna get that. You're always gonna get that jerk, and that jerk talks the most, and you're gonna hear from louder than anybody else, and it's not 'cause it's true, it's just 'cause he squeaks the loudest, you know?
Dustin: It's just the way it is, and you know? We are the world's strongest coffee.
Kristine: We are.
Dustin: I don't care what anybody says.
Kristine: Me neither.
Jeff: That's true. I don't either.
Kristine: [inaudible 00:12:33].
Jeff: On top of being the world's strongest coffee, one of the other things that has been kind of giving Customer Service a lot more to do, is we are now pushing out a lot more products, not just coffee. I mean-
Dustin: Yeah. Merchandise or-
Jeff: ... our incredible mugs-
Dustin: ... different coffee products, like-
Dustin: ... you know, we just released the Nespresso pot. We have the chocolate bar. There's a-
Kristine: They're so good.
Dustin: ... lot of things that we've gotten into-
Jeff: The mugs. The apparel.
Kristine: I think it's making a lot of people happier.
Kristine: Like all the customers-
Jeff: That's what actually where I was going with this. Like-
Kristine: Yeah. Well, I'm glad I could do the segue for you. It's-
Jeff: Got them!
Kristine: No. Definitely. More products, more happy people. I mean, they have more opportunity and more selection, so ...
Jeff: Awesome. Well, this is a question that we always come to around this time of year, and I know it's been going around the office lately.
Are there any products that you think that we should get into that we haven't yet? Anything that you'd like that push to come out with it in 2018? Not saying that we would, but maybe.
Jeff: Anything? I mean, off your head?
A coffee canon.
Kristine: A coffee canon?
Jeff: Yeah. You just open your mouth and just get blasted.
Kristine: Not into it.
Kristine: No, I'm not into it.
Jeff: Okay. No coffee canons.
Kristine: I don't know!
Kristine: I don't know! I'd have-
Jeff: Any apparel we haven't done, or ...
Kristine: I think, with apparel, we shouldn't do too much with it.
Jeff: Yeah? Do you think we're starting to get that route where we're putting on a lot-
Jeff: 'Cause we are putting on a lot.
Kristine: I mean, we've got shirts and hoodies. Cool. But I'm not trying to look for like, leggings.
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm. Which is funny. That's been on the list a couple of times.
Kristine: It has.
Kristine: And I don't know how I feel personally about it? I wouldn't want ... I mean, I would want Death Wish leggings, but Death Wish has a brand. Do we want leggings?
Jeff: Right. I mean, I think that a case ... What's funny is, is every year we come to this point-
Dustin: The world's strongest yoga pants. No asses will bust through!
Jeff: Oh, man!
Kristine: That's kind of good, actually. That's funny.
Jeff: Yeah. There we go.
Kristine: Every year we-
Dustin: It's coming 2018! The world's strongest yoga pants.
Jeff: We come to the point right before the next year where we start thinking about, you know, okay, obviously we're gonna come out with X amount of mugs. Obviously, we're gonna come out with a new T-shirt, and we're gonna come out with a new hoodie. You know these tables are gonna happen. But we like to have fun thinking about the new products that could possibly do it.
Dustin: I'm still down with toothpaste.
Jeff: And that's the thing!
Dustin: I don't care what anybody says.
Jeff: And that's the thing though. I think even the craziest product, you can make a case for it. You know? With a company like this. We're in a very strange position where our brand is as big as the big as the product. You know, we're not a company that's ... I can't think of anything off the top of my head.
Dustin: Well, listen. That skull and crossbones looks cool on a lot of things.
Jeff: Yeah. That's what I'm saying. Yeah.
Dustin: Especially black things. And it just looks awesome and badass, and that's why people love wearing their shirts. And it just so happens, we make some badass coffee on top of it. And I think that's what makes this brand so strong. But it's mostly that hat looks awesome and you see that from a mile away. You recognize the skull and crossbones.
Kristine: Oh, for sure.
Kristine: For sure.
Dustin: Yeah. Putting that on some yoga pants?
Jeff: That's right. I think you can make-
Kristine: Well, I guess we might as well then.
Dustin: All right.
Jeff: 2018. The year of yoga pants from Death Wish [crosstalk 00:15:45].
Dustin: I want sweat pants. I want Death Wish Coffee sweat pants.
Jeff: Oh, my God.
Kristine: It's like [inaudible 00:15:49] or pants?
Dustin: Yeah. Like the Head ones.
Dustin: ... sweat pants.
Kristine: I like that! That's cool.
Jeff: There we go.
Kristine: That's cool.
Dustin: Done. It's common.
Jeff: One of the things, actually speaking on that [inaudible 00:15:56], one of the things that we have been talking about, and you, as a listener base out there, if you would like to see more of this, you can always contact Customer Service and let them know what you'd like to see as we keep growing, is on that vein of head bands, like you're saying? Workout gear. Athletic gear. You know, we have a lot of athletes who enjoy our product, but really enjoy the aesthetic that we are. We're black! Skull and crossbones, you know? And I mean like, I personally think it would be very cool to do like, you know, workout gear. You know, under-armor kind of stuff or any of that kind of=
Dustin: I've been saying Jiu-Jitsu shirt forever.
Jeff: Jiu-Jitsu. Yeah. You have.
Dustin: Whatever. Yeah. Like rash guard is what they call it, but they call that 'cause the ... It's not 'cause you actually you've actually got rashes from your [crosstalk 00:16:45]. It was originally designed for surfers 'cause they get sand rubbed on them, and so it protects them from that, but then it transferred into Jiu-Jitsu 'cause it's really great slick, it's-
Kristine: There's actually a lot of people wanting to get ... You know how we did the cycling jersey?
Dustin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kristine: People are like, "Well, what about the baseball, what about a hockey, what about running?" So there's, basically, yeah, athletic ...
Jeff: That's something that, you know, we are thinking about too. I mean, what's fun is, is the hockey jersey especially has become a fashion ...
Kristine: They're cool.
Jeff: That's not really like, you know, high fashion walking down France runways and stuff, but it is a thing that people wear as a shirt.
Kristine: It's comfortable.
Jeff: Yeah. Not like, "I'm supporting my team." Like, look at Kevin Smith. He wears one every single day. It has become a thing.
Dustin: Not my thing.
Jeff: Maybe we'll do it.
Dustin: Not my thing.
Kristine: I mean, me neither. But that's okay.
Jeff: Maybe we'll do it.
Dustin: So. Kristine.
Dustin: What do you do on your off-time? What do you do for fun?
Kristine: Hmm. What do I do?
Dustin: I don't know!
Jeff: What do you do for fun?
Dustin: What do you do for fun?
Kristine: What do I do for fun?
Dustin: Do you have fun?
Jeff: Do you do customer service for fun?
Kristine: Well, okay. So. No, not for fun. But, okay, so I'll tell you my daily day.
Jeff: All right.
Dustin: Let's hear it. I'm into it.
Kristine: So, I wake up. Go to work. It's awful.
Jeff: That's it! [crosstalk 00:18:06]. Wow! That's amazing. We send cards and well wishes to Kristine [inaudible 00:18:14], at Death Wish Coffee Company.
Kristine: I mean, I guess I do ... when I get home from work, I try to go to the gym, which hasn't happened in about two months.
Dustin: That's okay. It happens.
Jeff: That's okay. It's more ... it's better than I, which I haven't been to the gym in seven years, so ...
Kristine: But it always makes me feel better, but once I get out of work, which like, "No, fuck the gym. I wanna go home. I wanna eat." But then after I eat I'm like, "Damn, I should of went to the gym."
Dustin: I don't know. I like restarting my day. When I go to the gym after work, it's like when I leave the gym, it's like I didn't even work in the first place. It's kind of nice.
Kristine: That's a good point.
Dustin: You know-
Kristine: I feel that way.
Dustin: I get really wound up here. A bunch of meetings, talking about a bunch of shit I might not wanna be talking about at the time.
Dustin: And then I get out of here, I go to the gym, and I throw a medicine ball against the wall for the next, you know, hour and a half, and I leave there and I feel pretty great! And then I wake up the next morning a little bit sore, but kind of-
Kristine: No, but-
Dustin: ... just ready to do it all over again without ... I feel it helps a lot. I don't know. Personally.
Kristine: One turn around, like a work-out routine, I agree. But I, yeah. Basically, after work I make dinner. Usually I watch like a Netflix show.
Dustin: Oh, nice.
Kristine: Just 'cause by this time-
Dustin: What are you watching most recently?
Kristine: Well, I just finished American Horror Story, the latest season, so it was like Season 7. Do you guys watch that?
Jeff: I don't, but my wife is obsessed.
Dustin: I watched the first two seasons, and then I think on the third one, they kind of lost me halfway through. Which is pretty, I think ... Was the third one the carnival one?
Kristine: So it was the haunted house, and then it was the witches, and then it was the carnival, yeah.
Dustin: Right. So, I thought that started out great. How creepy was it when that ... Oh, what they-
Kristine: The clown?
Dustin: Yeah. The clown, stabbing the dude in the chest like a million times and it was-
Dustin: Oh, my gosh.
Kristine: They brought that back in the latest season.
Dustin: Creepy. But what bothered me is that it got so Pseudo-David Lynch where, all of a sudden, they're singing Alanis Morissette songs.
Kristine: I don't remember this, but-
Dustin: Oh, man. It happened in that season. They literally like, broke out into a musical, which was an Alanis Morissette song, and I was like, "Done! Boom!"
Dustin: And I stopped watching it ever since, but I kind of liked the idea of a show where they have all of the same actors playing different roles in each season. And they have a really awesome handful of actors that can play a wide variety of roles.
Dustin: And I think that's really interesting. I just think the ... God, stop trying to be Twin Peaks. I don't know if you've ever seen Twin Peaks.
Kristine: Never seen Twin Peaks, but I heard it's good.
Dustin: It's good, but it's so odd. It's so odd.
Kristine: I like odd though.
Jeff: So are you a horror fan? Are you into like-
Kristine: I love horror stuff, but nothing scares me any more. Like, I've never-
Kristine: ... seen a scary ... Okay, the last movie that I saw that was scary to me, but not really scary, was The Babadook?
Jeff: I haven't seen it yet.
Dustin: Bad. Bad.
Kristine: Yeah. But then I watched it a second time, and I was like, "I can't believe I thought this was scary." Certain-
Dustin: It is a scary movie. That's scarier, like scary the second time. I can think of one that ... but that one always terrifies me.
Dustin: The Event Horizon.
Jeff: Oh, my God.
Kristine: Is it good?
Jeff: It scares the crap out of me.
Dustin: It's so scary.
Dustin: So it's about ... Okay. So it-
Jeff: It scares the [crosstalk 00:21:11].
Dustin: It's sci-fi horror, so it's the idea that we're folding space to travel, you know, travel faster, but this ship when it folded space, it didn't come out the other side, and we find out that in between space is hell. So this-
Jeff: Actual hell.
Dustin: This spacecraft pops up 20 years later and it literally, it came back from hell, but they don't find out til they get on the ship and everybody's speaking Latin, pulling out their eyeballs. It's really creepy. And I watched it when I was like-
Kristine: I'll have to watch it.
Dustin: I watched it when I was like 12. I was alone in my room.
Kristine: Have you watched it since?
Dustin: Oh, Yeah. It's still good. It holds up!
Jeff: It holds up.
Dustin: It's surprising. Even now, and it's very FX heavy.
Kristine: [inaudible 00:21:49].
Dustin: It still holds up.
Jeff: Yeah. I recommend it.
Kristine: The Event Horizon?
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dustin: Yeah. Yeah. Do you like sci-fi at all?
Kristine: I do like sci-fi. I'm not that big of a fan.
Dustin: Yeah. It's not sci-fi heavy, but it's inevitably-
Jeff: It's in outer space on a spaceship.
Dustin: It's in space.
Jeff: Yeah, it does have that-
Dustin: But it's definitely more horror.
Kristine: Good. Good.
Dustin: It's very creepy.
Jeff: Are you into classic horror or are you into monster movie kind of stuff? Like Freddy, Jason, Mike Myers, that kind of thing?
Kristine: I mean, I'll watch it because it's part of Halloween-
Jeff: But it doesn't scare you?
Dustin: I don't like the classics either.
Kristine: Does it scare you?
Dustin: 'Cause it's not scary. No.
Dustin: No, it just be bitches be running all the time. That's a [crosstalk 00:22:24]. "Oh, I tripped! Oh, no!" And he's coming closer, but he's not rushing or anything.
Jeff: Okay. Okay, then, the other side of that then this new surgence of horror that I can't get into, but you're hostile, you're a human centipede, you're-
Kristine: That's gross.
Jeff: That kind of stuff. Is that up your alley? Or ...
Kristine: Not really. I mean, it's scary, but it's more like-
Kristine: It's just torture.
Kristine: I mean, yeah, it's scary, but it's not work.
Dustin: It makes you squirm.
Dustin: You rip off fingernails and shit like that.
Dustin: Yeah, no, I'm good.
Kristine: Speaking of fingernails, this one fell off.
Dustin: Oh, now what'd you do?
Kristine: It's current growing back. You see it?
Dustin: What'd you do to it? What'd you do to your fingernail?
Kristine: Well, I usually get fake nails.
Dustin: Oh, okay.
Jeff: Oh. Did it rip off with a fake nail?
Kristine: Yup. Hit it right against the door and the whole thing just fell off.
Jeff: Coming 2018, Death Wish Coffee press on nails.
Jeff: The world's strongest nails. They'll rip your finger right off your hand.
Kristine: That's awful.
Dustin: No. No. So what do you think is the scariest movie of all time? One that kept you up for days?
Kristine: Well, it's not a movie. And my sister knows exactly-
Jeff: It actually happened.
Kristine: My sister knows exactly what I'm talking about, whenever I say it. We're like ... She looks like me, but she's older than me. So we're not even twins, but we can read each others' minds.
Jeff: Yeah. All right.
Kristine: So this is for you, Tara. It's called "The Haunting in Connecticut." It's not a show.
Dustin: I've heard of it, yeah.
Kristine: I mean, it's a show. It's not a movie.
Kristine: But it was played on the Discovery Channel as, you know how they do real shit like this is real?
Kristine: So it was supposedly a real thing and I was a child and I had nightmares about it. This guy was in a basement and it used to be an old funeral home. So in the basement, there were these brown French doors, which I'll never get a house with brown French doors because of this.
Jeff: Yeah. All right.
Dustin: I've seen this, actually.
Kristine: You have?
Kristine: He has black eyes.
Dustin: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Kristine: And then the kids get like demonized in the basement because he's in there.
Dustin: Yeah. Yup.
Kristine: It's fucked up and I'll never watch it again.
Jeff: Wow. Wow.
Dustin: It's really weird when they do that you almost believe it's a real documentation.
Kristine: Is it real though? I never know.
Dustin: No. No it's ... I mean, the first one was Blair Witch, right?
Jeff: I was 100 percent the right age and the right demographic. I went on opening night to Blair Witch and was one of the million people who believed 100 percent that it was real.
Jeff: And I left that theater shaking.
Jeff: Because not only was it a well-done process-
Dustin: At the time.
Jeff: -at the time.
Dustin: And nobody had really done it.
Kristine: But it was fake.
Dustin: It was.
Jeff: Oh, yeah. It was really fake. But I left that theater thinking, "I cannot believe they showed this and these people died." And I was shook by it. And, obviously, the next day I went to school and everybody was like, "You got duped."
Jeff: Because it was out in the news at that point.
Jeff: We saw it opening night and it was on the news at that point that, "Oh, it was fake," and they pulled a fast one on everybody. But it was like that ... I was one of those people that was terrified.
Dustin: Blair Witch didn't get me, but there was one that did get me that was really creepy and it was called, "Man Bites Dog."
Jeff: Oh, my gosh.
Dustin: And it's black and white. It think it's French. And it's pretty much these documentarians. Is that a word?
Kristine: I don't know.
Jeff: Sure. You made it up. I like it.
Dustin: Okay. They follow around a serial killer and he's talking about how many rocks he uses when he pushes the body off into the water, like if they're older, they tend to float more so he has to use more rocks. They really deep into it to the point where the documentarians actually start participating in the murders with the serial killer. And it seems so real because it's so independent-
Dustin: -that it's actually like scratchy footage. But they did such a good job with it.
But the other one that got me a little bit was the alien one. What was the alien one? Do you remember that? Was it Uma Thurman? So what they did is they had a Blair Witch style documentary going, but at the same time, they did a reenactment of that fake documentary.
Jeff: Okay. And Uma Thurman was in it?
Dustin: I think so. I have to look.
Jeff: Oh, man.
Dustin: It's something about the fourth kind.
Jeff: The Fourth Kind is a movie. Is that what you're talking about?
Kristine: I've never seen it.
Dustin: Is that it?
Jeff: Yes. Basically, what you're explaining is that. I don't believe Uma Thurman was in that, but, yeah, that's scary.
Dustin: [crosstalk 00:26:46]
Jeff: Are you scared by aliens?
Jeff: No? Not at all?
Kristine: Do you believe in aliens?
Kristine: Do you believe in aliens?
Dustin: I think it's almost selfish not to.
Dustin: Yeah. To think that we're the only ones that exist in a giant fucking universe.
Kristine: Well, what if there's other humans? Would you still call them aliens?
Jeff: Yeah. Because they're not from here.
Dustin: That's the rule.
Kristine: Is it the rule? I missed out.
Jeff: I'm pretty deep into it. I believe that we aren't alone in the universe and I also believe that within the 4.2 billion years that the earth has been around, our universe has been around, that they have at least visited. Some other culture has at least visited this solar system, maybe not came down and built the pyramids like Ancient Aliens will make you believe. But I feel like it's just you roll die enough, you're gonna get snake eyes. You know what I mean? The probability has to be there that there's something out. And that's what I believe. I don't believe that gray aliens are running around and doing things, probing people in the butt or something. I don't know.
So you don't believe in aliens at all? You don't subscribe to that?
Jeff: All right.
Dustin: All right.
Kristine: I mean, I think there's other life out there.
Kristine: But I don't know if I'd call the aliens, guys.
Dustin: More like-
Kristine: Okay. I like that.
Dustin: All right.
Kristine: I like that.
Dustin: By the way, Fourth Kind. It was the Fourth Kind and it's Mila Jovovich.
Jeff: There we go.
Dustin: It wasn't Uma Thurman, but you could see why I would mix those two up, right?
Dustin: Multi-pass, yes. Chicken good.
Jeff: Oh, man. That is quite the rabbit hole we went down.
Dustin: Right from the Fourth Kind to the Fifth Element.
Dustin: That's pretty good.
Jeff: That's pretty good. One of those segue ways again I'm good at.
But here's a clunky one. So to bring it back into Death Wish, you come in day in, day out, you deal with the customer base at large and you go home, you relax, you like to cook, like you said. You enjoy some horror on Netflix or whatever. What fuels you to keep coming back day in and day out and doing this job.
Kristine: The atmosphere.
Kristine: 100 percent. You walk in and everyone's just smiling. Like at previous jobs I've had, you don't walked in and everyone just doesn't want to be there. But right when you walk in, well, you see Kristin.
Kristine: And you're like, "What up, Kristin?"
Kristine: She's like, "Good morning!"
Jeff: Yup. Yup. Oh, yeah.
Dustin: Good Kristin impression. That was really good. You nailed it.
Kristine: I don't know. Then I sit down and then Sierra, Cade, Mike-
Kristine: -it just starts and then we all just start talking.
Kristine: And, usually, Sierra and Cade talk about their dreams.
Dustin: Yeah, I noticed that.
Dustin: That's really weird.
Kristine: I'm like, "What is going on? Why do you guys always dream about each other?"
Dustin: Because they talk about it all the time.
Kristine: I know.
Jeff: Because they start. Yeah.
Dustin: It's a downward spiral.
Jeff: It just cycles. That's a really cool thing, because speaking from experience, too, I came from over almost two decades in kitchen work.
Dustin: In a union job on top of that.
Jeff: Yeah. It was 11 years in a union job in an institution as a cook.
Dustin: Institution, that's pretty funny way to put it.
Jeff: It was a college, but, yeah.
Kristine: Oh, okay, okay.
Jeff: And that was what it was, was it was going to work every day and dealing with the kids were going to college were the ones that we were feeding. That was one aspect of it. But dealing with the coworkers day to day, nobody wanted to be there.
Jeff: There was no joy in that job. And I tried very hard to kind of bridge that gap in the first handful of years I was there, but the last couple of years I was there, I was miserable.
Jeff: I was miserable.
Dustin: Well, it's tough when there's no potential to move up or grow into something bigger. And here, it's always the mystery of, "What are we gonna take on tomorrow?"
Dustin: And what am I gonna be responsible for?
Dustin: Because any day could come where it's like you're taking on this big project.
Dustin: And it's so cool, even the potential and the mystery of that floating around in here. And like you said, it's an atmospheric thing. It's really cool. It's electric and it's fun.
Kristine: It is, yeah. It's definitely gotten ... even if I don't participate in the Nerf gun stuff, I still think it's hilarious and I'll sit there. It's just like a break from doing the work.
Jeff: Right. Right.
Jeff: One of these days, Kristine is just gonna have two barrels blazing and just get us all. It's gonna be terrible. Oh, my God.
Dustin: I still miss the basketball hoop though.
Kristine: Yeah. Where did that go?
Jeff: It's outside.
Jeff: Covered in ticks.
Kristine: Oh, no, no. I don't like that.
Dustin: Yeah, we couldn't necessarily have a basketball hoop on our warehouse floor.
Dustin: Especially when we grew in size, we had deliveries constantly coming in and out. Before it was like a truck a week and now it's like five trucks a day.
Jeff: A day.
Kristine: Yeah. Yeah.
Dustin: Yeah. There's just too much movement. We can't have a hoop in here. And out there, a few of the guys try to play a little bit of ball and-
Kristine: They got ticks.
Dustin: -they got covered in ticks.
Dustin: It's tough. The deer here are just insane so it brings a pile of ticks in with them.
Jeff: It's a good problem to have. Like you said, because we're growing, we can't have a basketball court on our warehouse floor.
Dustin: I'm still upset I can't skateboard around the place.
Jeff: Oh, shit is this okay?
Kristine: [crosstalk 00:31:53]
Dustin: Yeah, in the office.
Kristine: Oh, that's is.
Dustin: And across the way, but I can't do it in here.
Dustin: Because the fork lift, I'll get squished.
Jeff: Yeah. Yeah.
Dustin: I'm too soft.
Kristine: Damn it.
Jeff: Unsafe. The growth of this company has been crazy. I've been here even less time than you have been here.
Kristine: But I feel like everyone knew you when you came in.
Jeff: A lot of ... I've been friends, like Eric Donovan is my oldest friend in life. We met when we were, I believe, in first grade.
Kristine: Oh, wow.
Jeff: Yeah. So I've known him longer than I've known anybody in my entire life. But yeah, I've known a lot of these guys through various different things. But even just working here the short time that I have and seeing the growth of the company, it always surprises me, going out into the wild, going out into the world and it'll inevitably come up, either the question "where do you work?," or I'll be wearing my hat or something like that.
Jeff: The more people now recognize the brand. Do you notice that, too?
Jeff: In your day to day-
Jeff: Like when you say, "Oh, I work at Death Wish Coffee," do you get a reaction out of that?
Kristine: I do. I get two reactions. Either they know Death Wish Coffee or they don't. So once I'm like, "Oh, I work at Death Wish Coffee," someone's either like, "Oh, what's that?"
Kristine: And I'm like, "Well, it's coffee."
Jeff: It's coffee.
Dustin: It's the world's strongest coffee.
Kristine: And then there's some that are just like, "Oh, my gosh. I love that place. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," and you're like ...
Dustin: Well, that is a really cool factor of working here. I love-
Kristine: I know. It's like a privilege almost.
Kristine: I don't know. I can't explain the word-
Dustin: What's the word?
Kristine: -that I'm looking for?
Dustin: Yeah. It's a bonus. It's nice.
Kristine: Yeah. Yeah.
Dustin: When you're like, "Oh, I work at Death Wish."
"Oh, I drink that shit all the time!"
Kristine: You must feel famous.
Dustin: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that's what's really cool about going out to some of these events, especially like the coffee events is that we're the rock stars of the coffee world.
Dustin: We busted into the scene. Everybody's like, "Who are these cheesy guys?" And then it's like, "Oh, shit. Their coffee's really good. Oh, shit. Their sales are crazy." And it's like, "Oh, shit, they're the best coffee on Amazon?"
It's like, we're not fucking around. We're not just some gimmick. But it's nice.
Jeff: See, he whispers sometimes.
Dustin: I know, sorry. Sorry, sometimes I want to get passionate and I don't feel like talking loudly. I just want to make love to your earholes.
Jeff: Speaking of being kind of famous, being in customer service now for a year, have you ever gotten recognized, even by your voice? Because you are on the phone a lot.
Kristine: You mean, do people-
Jeff: Have you ever met somebody out in the wild and they're like, "Oh, my God. I talked to you on the phone."
Jeff: No? That hasn't happened yet?
Kristine: No, but that's be sweet.
Dustin: Oh, my God. Is that Kristine Wheeler? Oh, my God.
Jeff: It might happen. You guys put yourself out there and are the best customer service team around. And, like I said, when Dustin and I are at events, we get that a lot where people bring it up to us and are like, "Oh, my God. Your customer service is amazing." And then they ask us, "Are you part of customer service."
And we're always like, "Oh, no. We're not."
And very rarely, I've actually gotten the question before, "Is Sierra here?" Or, "Is Cade here?"
Kristine: Always, always.
Jeff: Because you guys do put your names out there. So it'll happen very soon.
Jeff: You're gonna get recognized. One of the questions that we always come to on this podcast with employees, and you can't falter on this.
Dustin: No squirming.
Jeff: No squirming.
Dustin: No squirming.
Kristine: Now I'm nervous.
Jeff: Death Wish or Valhalla?
Kristine: Oh. Death Wish.
Kristine: When I first started, Valhalla all the way.
Kristine: And then I was just like, "No. Death Wish."
Jeff: Okay. When you first started, were you a coffee drinker?
Kristine: Yeah. But I wasn't a strong coffee drinker.
Jeff: Okay. Like the milk and the sugar and all that.
Kristine: Yup. Milk and sugar and then like a latte or something like that.
Kristine: And then when I came here, I had Death Wish for the first time and it was obviously my first day here. So I didn't know what to expect from Death Wish.
Kristine: I didn't have any food on me.
Jeff: Oh, no.
Kristine: Bad choice.
Dustin: Oh, gees. Yeah.
Kristine: So I was just like trying to pay attention to train and then I was like, "Oh, shit. I'm really hungry."
Kristine: And then Mike had those boxes of the food in the back.
Dustin: Oh, yeah.
Kristine: Like, the granola bars.
Kristine: Saved my life. Saved my life.
Dustin: Those things have saved me so many times, especially when we used to come here on the weekends to podcast because Jeff didn't work here.
Dustin: And I used to get into those boxes all the time because I'd be starving on the weekends coming here at random times. But it's tough. You can't mess around. I've said it a million times and I'll say it again, caffeine overdose is an occupational hazard here and it can happen. I think I did it. That's why I'm talking so much and talking too fast because I've had four shots of espresso this evening.
Jeff: There we go.
Dustin: I'm sweating everywhere. It's crazy.
Kristine: I'm sweating. My hearts pounds.
Dustin: I'm not used to drinking coffee at all. I didn't drink coffee at all before I worked here. At all.
Kristine: Oh, wow.
Dustin: Yeah. Except for in the studio.
Jeff: Oh, yeah. A couple times when we were recording albums, he would get really, really [inaudible 00:36:48] on coffee and it was very funny.
Dustin: Yeah. It gets weird.
Dustin: I'm a weird guy.
Jeff: You mentioned you started just about a year ago, and that's funny because that's pretty much when this podcast started.
Kristine: A year ago?
Jeff: Yup. December 8 was the first episode of the podcast.
Kristine: Oh, shit.
Jeff: And you were December 1, right?
Jeff: So right around the corner and you are going to literally be basically the last guest of the first season of this show.
Kristine: I feel very special.
Jeff: Because, after this-
Dustin: You are very special.
Jeff: -we are gonna do a year in review, and this episode is actually coming right out on Thanksgiving. So, Happy Thanksgiving to everybody!
Dustin: Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
Jeff: And are you a big Thanksgiving person?
Kristine: Of course.
Jeff: Do you like doing the whole family get-together and all that?
Kristine: Of course.
Jeff: Yeah? Do you cook?
Kristine: No. My mom does.
Kristine: Mom does, for sure.
Kristine: I mean, I'll tend and I'll clean after.
Dustin: Maybe bake a pie.
Jeff: Mom cooking is always where it's at.
Kristine: And then my parents are moving to Florida.
Jeff: Mine just did.
Kristine: What's up with them?
Jeff: Where are they moving?
Jeff: Oh, yeah. Mine are in North Fort Meyers.
Kristine: So I won't get any of her food.
Jeff: I know. I know. I'm super sad.
Kristine: How does it feel?
Dustin: Well, no. You just get a reason to go out to Florida.
Dustin: Flights are pretty cheap and it's really nice because my mom kicks it in the Keys.
Kristine: Oh. What, are all of our parents in Florida now?
Dustin: Yeah. That's what happens.
Jeff: What happens.
Dustin: But in the winter time, it's like I can't stand this barren winter wasteland-
Dustin: -one more day. And it's like you kick it out in Florida for a week and it's refresh. It's reset. It's so nice. So you'll enjoy that. Don't worry. It's a trade off, but it's good.
Jeff: I'm lucky because my wife has a big family, so we go over to her sister's every Thanksgiving and have the big family stuff.
Jeff: But when I was a kid, it was always my mom cooking a turkey for our extended family and all that stuff.
Jeff: And my mom's gonna hate that I'm telling this story, but now that they're retired and they live in Florida, starting last year, and I think they're gonna do it again this Thanksgiving as well, my mom was like ... You know, it's just her and my dad, they don't have to worry about anything. She's not cooking a turkey. So they cooked steaks last year.
Kristine: Who cares?
Dustin: Oh, that's awesome.
Jeff: They grilled steaks out on the grill and say by the pool.
Kristine: Oh, my God. That sounds amazing.
Dustin: I want to do that.
Jeff: I'm like, retired life is awesome.
Dustin: Oh, my God.
Jeff: Shout out to mom and dad.
Dustin: I'm doing Thanksgiving wrong. I know it. I know it.
Jeff: Yeah. But I want to thank you so much for coming on the podcast. It was so much fun to talk with you. Outside of calling Death Wish Coffee and asking for you and being able to talk to you and having you help all of our awesome customer base out there, do you social media at all?
Jeff: Is there any social media you would like to plug that people could follow you on or are you more private on social media?
Kristine: I don't really care. If you want to friend me on Facebook or Instagram, I'll accept you.
Jeff: All right. How do they find you on Facebook or Instagram then? Just your name? Do you have a moniker or is it just-
Kristine: No. It's just Kristine Wheeler. I'm not fancy.
Jeff: All right. All right. Cool. Very cool.
Dustin: Not like Kristine 8652*589. I don't know. Just weird numbers.
Kristine: No. No, definitely not.
Dustin: It's weird, right?
Jeff: Well, some people ...
Kristine: Do I look like that? I don't know if I look like that kind of-
Dustin: No, no!
Jeff: It's a dichotomy on social media.
Kristine: It is. It is.
Jeff: You have people who 100 percent are just their name or put an underscore in there or whatever.
Kristine: Oh, well. Hold on here.
Jeff: Oh, oh.
Kristine: Hold on.
Dustin: You didn't say anything about underscores.
Kristine: I got those.
Kristine: I got that one.
Jeff: All right, all right. Then the other one where it's like you could be like, "Oh, yes. You can find me on Instagram at AlleyCat6940. And it's just like, why? It's like, "Oh, well that's what my grandfather used to call me, Alley Cat.
Kristine: Oh, that's a good point. All right, all right. I get it now.
Jeff: That's not true, people. That's not my nickname.
Dustin: I'm calling you AlleyCat6940 for the rest of your life.
Jeff: I'm starting an Instagram account right now, AlleyCat6940. So follow me on all my adventures over there.
Dustin: Don't do it.
Jeff: I won't. I won't.
Dustin: No. I'm telling them not to follow you.
Jeff: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Kristine.
Kristine: Anytime, guys.