The Workshop of Games

If you’re a close, personal friend of this website…then you know that I am undergoing some life changes at the moment.

Simply treading water is going by the wayside.

A few months ago I got fired from ‘The Grease Pit’ aka Buca Di Beppo at Universal City. The reasons for this were numerous, ‘The shoes they made me buy for the job a year previous were no longer the shoes they wanted me to wear on the job’, ‘Having 10 years of job knowledge made me more of a liability than a benefit’, and also ‘I wasn’t either Mexican or Female’. come to mind.

But fuck them. What are 10 years of a person’s life when it comes to corporate incompetence?

No, this has happened for reasons that may or may not whup a llama’s ass;

I got my dream job as general manager at a Games Workshop store.

I have been a table top gamer since I was 8 years old, and my Dad taught me to play ‘Up Front’ (A game I am a 2 time world champion of BTW) and beat me over 100 times in a row in. From there I naturally moved away from war games towards fantasy games, as is my nature. This, of course, led me to the Games Workshop family.

Thusly, when I was faced with a lifetime crossroads style dilemma, I decided it would be best to make a list of companies that I love and respect and would enjoy working for. In that list Games Workshop was #1, and the list was long.

So I applied online for a job with Games Workshop. I got no answer. Fuck that, I am awesome. So I called the local store in Glendale and asked, ‘Hey, are you guys hiring?’ Shockingly in this economy, the answer was…’Yeah, we’re totally hiring right now.’

OH CRAP! Seriously? cause most everyone I talk to is worthless and does not desire a nerd of explosive properties to work for them! So I told the fellow over the phone…’I'll be right there’.

I showed up in store 45 minutes later and met everyone involved while discussing career prospects. ‘They are having a job seminar in Westminster, you should totally go to that!.’ He added, ‘If I may also offer a piece of advice, go for manager, they are looking for those’. Good freaking advice! I’ll take it sir!

So I went to the ‘LA Battle Bunker’ in Westminster CA, to attend my Job Seminar.

I showed up in a suit. Let’s be frank…the one good suit I own. Mew had slept on it the night before, and the suit jacket was covered in cat hair. I did not notice this til after I had gotten there and was pulling it out of the trunk to put on. I made the executive position to not wear the jacket…good decision!

I counted 18 people at the initial process. What was funny to me was that more people brought their army with them than brought a resume. I figured I was up against a safe group. Let’s go dominate.

We sat through a general Power Point presentation about the history of GW. In short; They are awesome, you would be best served to work for them. End of story.

From there, they set up a demo game of 40k for us to enjoy while other stuff went down. I watched the supposed Alphas of the group totally dominate that part of the process. When I saw that it was under total control, I stepped back…as the true leaders would do.

The interview process started. I had heard through the grapevine that we were going to ask questions of each other instead of the normal process for interviewing. Interesting. I decided that this was a test as much if not more of the interviewer than it was of the guy answering the questions. This being said I (Of course) had a plan.

When the moment came…I was ready. The guy I was ‘Interviewing’ was clearly not ready for this level of anything. He was debating whether or not to even show up in his own words. He had only ever had one job, and that was in the boy scouts, and it was only cause his Dad was scout master. He knew nothing of GW products, and could not even explain what a Space Marine was cause he had no idea. He was easy to crush. That being said, I had a mission;

The question was; ‘Can you describe a time when you initial plan did not work and you had to, on the fly, create an immediate backup plan?’ My mission; Appear to listen to his answer, then provide a backup question on the fly. Because…Why would they have US ask the questions instead of them if they did not want a follow up from us to asked? Was that not OBVIOUSLY part of the test???

I must have passed.

They had been calling people in 3 at a time for interviews. No long after my interview I heard the following;

‘We would like to see the following…Ray…’

And that was it. Hells to the yeah my friend!

I was pulled into the back office and told that I was a good fit with the company, and that they wanted to see more.

Yes sir! Second interview granted!

I came by the same store 3 days later for a ‘formal’ interview. I was pumped, I was ready, I was fired the F up!

I showed up for said interview. I got there WAY to early. F’ing noob I thought as I waited around. My actual interview happened a full half hour later than I was told. To be fair, in Hollywood interview/audition speak it means it happened right on time. that being said I was trying to see what was up in the store and ended up having a full on conversation with a Scottish fellow who wanted to tell me every detail of his and his son’s fantasy army and why they made the choices that they did. Much of this went over my head as I play neither army, but it killed my time so I was all upons.

Interview started right as he was about to tell me all about the magic portion of his dwarf army. I’d like to say VICTORY!

I thought I was most average in this part of the interview process.

I asked my Dad later about it specific by specific…this is my nature.

He told me I actually did a great job.

I got another call from corporate HQ not much longer. hey wanted to interview me over the phone, I was down. I think I rocked it harder than Dethklok rocks faces.

At the end, it was all, ‘Oh yeah, by the way, we totally want you to come to GW HQ for more stuff!’

WORD IS BOMB!!!

I must be something good, cause it’s been 3 steps and they still do not hate me!

They flew me to GW HQ in Glen Burnie, MD, for a full manager assessment seminar.

I had more fun at this step than any step before. It was at this point that I thought, ‘Holy crap, I really want to work for these people. This would be the best job ever! As far as sell out jobs go (From an actor’s viewpoint) This is about the best job I could ever have!!!

Thusly I was very happy to go in and crush it as hard as I did.

Role playing management scenario; Once I said I had been trained in improv theatre my assessment guru said, ‘Well, I look forward to working with a real pro for a change’. WIN!

Management skills scenario; i was given a task of telling others how to create a K’nex vehicle. I invented a new grid system that the guy viewing has ‘Never conceived of before’. WIN!

When asked to run a demo of the GW Lord of the Rings game (Which I had never played) I was told that I created great stories and energy, and left a great impression, despite the fact that I had no F’ing clue what the heck I was talking about. WIN!

All this and I got a picture of me standing next to a life sized Space Marine? TOTAL WIN!

I got a call a couple weeks later telling me that I was in their plans. They want me to run a store.

A couple days later I got more specifics; Run our store just outside LA, in Thousand Oaks. Just enough outside LA to be annoying, not enough outside LA to make you irrelevant. WIN!

So now I embark on possibly the most awesome chapter of my life I have ever ventured upon. On this upcoming Monday I am being flown to Baltimore to GW HQ for 5 weeks to get a full training on the entire table top wargaming hobby, as I start my new career in the hobby.

Worst things have happened to me in life.

So anyways, that is what is fully up with me. I am for the first time able to embrace my full nerd-dom and will now be working full time in that field. I do not plan on quitting either acting or writing. Since what I had been doing before actually fits into the same schedule as I had been fully running before, very little will change.

Except for my personal happiness.

And this is the best news of all.

I’ll see all y’all in December, when I am in full control of my own GW store.

Much love, and Space Orks for all.

-Ray

One Response to “The Workshop of Games”

  1. wayob Says:

    dearest ex-colleague,

    upon googling the “other” bartender (todd), from yr OG ‘hood, i FIRST came upon “almightyray.com”. cheezus, i thinks, what could this dude be up to? i was in friggn hysterics by the time i heard you scored the “dream job.” right f’n on, brodo. i have found myself in PDX, OR, just north of y’all, making my debut in an HP training video, acting, music-ing, and thinking of that SSSIIICK chair that you used to let MEW dominate in Westland apartmentville. good call on that SICK sportscoat. it saved you.

    do you know there’s a band named MEW? they rock, naturally.

    mark james is happy as hell to hear you’ve been let go of that sick joint. i think of visiting kim wengle (read: MGR!) and co. over there, and will, but regret all of the microwaved corporate bullshit that was forced down my throat. things change, y’know? tim kenrick practices yoga and todd cummins has a baby girl and life goes on…and i have grown the beard to gandalf-status, much to your peach-fuzzed advocates’ (and your) dismay.

    here is a sample:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl_pGfWGXO8….of goings on. john mcDaniel once told me, “your past will find you.” all of this while rolling around in his cryptic li’l cavalier. he’s married, too.

    life goes on and on. asalam!

    in peace,
    mark james (beard, grunt, ork)

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