Team Profile: Kourtnee

Company

This is the seventeenth post in the 2017 FastMail Advent Calendar. The previous post was a spotlight on how you make the rules... of email. Next, we look into our usage of the modern web platform.


If you ever have a problem with your service, we have a team of friendly and knowledgeable support staff ready to help you out. Meet Kourtnee!

Kourtnee Photo

Name: Kourtnee Mitchell

Role: Support Agent

What I work on

My day is mainly support requests and working through customers' issues — be it deliverability or email configuration. I’m looking forward to doing more documentation writing and blogging, though!

How did you get involved with FastMail?

When I came across the FastMail job listing, I noticed the support role was coupled with "brand advocate”, and that is was described as a writing job, which is something I really enjoy. I’m not really a technical person, but that made me feel that even if I weren’t the most tech savvy, I could definitely do what they said was the most important part of the job -- the writing. I was excited to learn more about technology, and have opportunities to get more into it.

It was totally true — this is the most writing I’ve ever done on a day-to-day basis. It’s fun, because it’s immediate. I get feedback right away on the clarity of my writing. (And that’s in addition to what I enjoy learning about the services themselves!)

What’s your favourite thing you’ve worked on this year?

I actually really enjoy sending people screenshots to help them understand their support questions! Some people are just more visual, and I think it really helps them grasp what’s going on.

I’m really looking forward to writing more tutorials. The process of condensing information for customers is just fun. You’re doing what the customers are doing, but it’s like I’m giving them a guided tour. When it’s done, customers can work with confidence, know they’re doing the right thing. And if they get stuck, it’s easy for them to point me at the step where it went wrong.

What’s your preferred mobile platform?

Android. My phone is a Motorola Admiral.

I got my first one my junior year of high school and I loved it. It was just on the cusp of touch screens, and … I’m just not into all-touch screens. My phone still has a hardware keyboard!

I bought a bulk lot of 10 of them on Ebay in 2014, and I just replace them from my stash when they die. I’m on my fourth one now. I’m embarrassed, because I work at a tech company, and it feels like I’m supposed to be on the cutting edge of tech, but I like what I like.

I do have an iPhone, but I keep it in the house.

What other companies, people or projects inspire you?

Honestly, my previous employer, Education Works. The work they do, going into schools with low funding in Philadelphia and Camden, and providing after school programs for kids who wouldn’t have access otherwise… that’s incredible to me. They’re giving kids access to STEM programs, teaching them coding. Those kids can go to technology high schools, on to college, from the work they do in their after school program.

What’s your favorite FastMail feature?

AllMail for the Pobox service. It’s a cool concept. I use it for other projects I work on to make myself seem more important than I am. As long as you have the domain, you can have an address for every subset of your business, even if they all just point to you.

What’s your favorite or most used piece of technology?

It might be my phone! I’m going to be sad when the last one goes.

What are you listening to / watching these days?

I’ve been watching a lot of Scorsese. I watched Mean Streets three times in the last week. Goodfellas is my favorite Scorsese movie, but Mean Streets is a good film.

There’s a great new artist, IAMDDB. She’s a new artist from Manchester that I really like. If I had a big social media presence, and I could hype her up enough so she would come perform in Philly, that would be the best.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like playing with my dog who is a 10-year-old dachshund named Bugsy (we had another dog, Capone, but he sadly passed away), listening to music, and playing baseball! I’ve played on teams since I was eight, but this was my first year in an adult league. And I do comedy.

Comedy? Tell us more!

Yeah, I’ve been doing stand-up comedy consistently for about a year. I did my first stand-up open mic at 18, but my college was in a small town, and there weren’t many opportunities to do more. But since I’ve been in Philadelphia, I try to go out to an open mic night almost every night.

When I do a five minute set, I have maybe seven jokes on my set list. I have 80-90 jokes altogether. Some of them get used a lot, some not too often. I have a new favorite joke every month. I’ll use my current favorite maybe three times a week.

I have maybe a tight 10-15 minutes, but I have about an hour of material altogether. With writing, sometimes I have a dream and just write it down the second I wake up. Or I get spontaneous ideas, and write them down right away. I try not to work the material until I get to the venue, 10-20 minutes before I get on stage, but I write down every idea as soon as I have it.

What's your favorite animal?

Squirrel. I love squirrels! I like quokkas too. It’s the world’s happiest animal!

Any FM staffers you want to brag on?

Tyler! He did a really great job onboarding multiple people at the same time. He has been doing support for the Pobox and Listbox services, and he’s been really generous with sharing his knowledge as we built up FastMail support. He's worked in a lot of areas — tutorials, blog posts, videos — so he really knows his stuff.

What are you proudest of in your work?

My patience. Is that a corny answer? Patience has always been important in all my jobs, so I’ve had a lot of practice. But it’s been really easy at FastMail. Customers are never upset with YOU — they’re just frustrated with struggling with their computer, which is something we can all empathize with. It’s been really great to just keep calm and help people solve their problems.