Howdy, Ruth!

Danielle Vincent

Posted on September 02 2016


Ruth Ridgway: newest Outlaw at large!Russ and I are very excited to introduce Ruth, our newest honest-to-goodness Customer Service and Fulfillment Manager!

We're just amazed she found us, and is such a perfect fit for our company.

Her cover letter is a real masterpiece (and also gives a lot of information about her, with relation to the job we posted), so she said it was ok if I just copied and pasted it:

Hey there, Russ!

I've attached a standard resume with my work history and education, but I thought I would also take a minute here to persuade you (I hope) that a current barista, former youth pastor, and eight year pharmacy technician would be a great member of your posse. Rather than cleverly reword the skills and job duties from the job description in the standard attempt to create the I-just-so-happen-to-have-all-the-skills-you're-looking-for list of qualifications, I'm just gonna take the words right out out of your mouth. Or off the screen, as the case may be.

The Squishy Skills:
Being a Seriously Nice Individual: The majority of my work experience is in one form or another of retail and/or customer service, so even on the days when my naturally cheerful disposition may have missed the bus, I have been well conditioned to relate with the public and be "nice in a number of circumstances, not just in email or on the phone or when you see someone." As I type this, I can see a poinsettia plant on my kitchen window sill that a customer gave to me as a "thank you" for taking the time to explain the changes to our new app at Starbucks, and not making her feel "like an old fuddy-duddy for not understanding this damn technology."

The ability to keep track of many customers and (probably) many loose ends: I have a toddler, two dogs, a couple of cats, 3 horses, and sixteen goats ... there are nothing BUT loose ends around our house. My husband is around here, too, somewhere. More formal squishy training in this area comes again from my work experience. As the Family Ministries Director at our church, there was always something or somebody that needed one form of attention or another. During a typical week I was preparing for committee meanings, prepping curriculum, planning youth events, leading said youth events, sending out emails to church families, texting with the youth, assisting or finding assistance for youth in financial or other need, and writing articles for our church newsletter.

Phenomenal communication skills: I certainly strive to be "witty, not snarky; fun, but not reckless (or too reckless); friendly, but not overbearing." My husband and I got such a kick out of reading the product descriptions on your website - I joked that Outlaw Soaps might be my spirit animal. I certainly tried to channel a little of that personality into my initial contact form about the position, and hopefully demonstrated that I can be personal and personable in written communication ... even without emojis! While I am a stickler for grammar and spelling, I confess I do have a propensity toward overuse of exclamation points. The first step is admitting you have a problem, though, so maybe there's hope for me yet. (I've only used two so far ... pretty good! ... Damn it.)

Customer listening and reporting skills: Pharmacy work is such great training for squishy skills like this. Nod and smile your way through a conversation with a customer, and you might have missed important information that needs to be relayed to the pharmacist or doctor to prevent serious drug interactions or reactions. And sometimes people just need to kvetch about their insurance, or their doctor, or how hot it is that day, or whatever the case may be. Preemptively lending a sympathetic ear is far more effective and satisfying than trying to placate an irritated customer after the fact.

Self-directed time management and prioritization: My shifts at Starbucks are largely unsupervised, often opening the store and working for hours before another shift supervisor or the store manager is on site. As such, it is up to me to create and stick to routines for my team in order to complete all of my duties, while also being flexible enough to slide out of routine when needed. Much of my work at Sierra Pines UMC was also autonomous - with a newborn, then crawling rugrat, then toddler, I completed as much of my work at home as possible. My sweet monster has never been much for routine, however, so that was more of a seize-the-moment method of time management.

The Non-Squishy Skills:
Ability to respond to customer service inquiries within 24 hours during the week, and by Monday on the weekends:
No problem.

Ability to use our store backend (Shopify) & stamps.com software to fulfill orders: As a child of the eighties, I have grown up using computers, both PC and Mac, and learn new software quickly. I credit all those hours playing Oregon Trail.

Reminding of things we forgot: I remind my husband of things all the time! Or is that nagging? But seriously, when would you like me to remind you to call me to come in to the store to meet in person?

The Job:

Fulfilling all retail and wholesale orders in accordance with our strict packaging specifications - Pharmacy specifications are pretty strict. But I bet nowhere near as cool as yours. I think I've got this one covered.

Receiving and addressing customer inquiries in a timely manner - Of course!

Alerting our production department (currently Russ) of diminishing stock - Do you have a language preference? No hay mucho Lust in the Dust, Russ. Wir haben keine Hair of the Dog. It would be fun to learn the ASL signs for some of the soap names, that's for sure.

Proactively managing Amazon stock and sending restocks as appropriate - I promise not to get distracted by my personal Amazon wish list

Keeping track of and reporting on inventory levels (soaps, lotions, etc.) - Would you believe me if I told you I like managing inventory? Maybe it was from counting all those pills back in my pharmacy days, but I may have just a touch of CDO (OCD, in proper alphabetical order, as it should be) when it comes to knowing how much we have of what, and where it is. I love when the computer agrees with my counts.

Looking forward to hearing from you, Russ.

Cheers ~ Ruth

As you can see, she's just awesome.

She'll be fulfilling all the orders and answering all the questions that come in, so when you see "thanks for your order! Cheers, Ruth" (or whatever she chooses), you'll know who's writing it!

Please welcome Ruth, everyone!

And as always, thank you so much for being on this journey with us. We're just delighted to be the kind of people who can create a job in a small town, and hire someone as awesome as Ruth.

Early next week, we'll be introducing Lydia, our new Wholesale Manager!

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