The purpose of this page is to describe how I came to work for the Geek Squad. I will also post when I think of them, stories of being in The Geek Squad. If you came here to dig up dirt on my company, you won’t get any from me.
Tattoo – That is my right bicep. I am the only Agent in The Geek Squad, to have the company logo tattooed on his arm. I did it about two years ago, 9 months into my service, and no, I don’t regret it. The one question that everyone asks is ‘what if you get fired?’ I’ll answer that right now…
No matter what happens between myself and the company, I will ALWAYS be proud of everything that I have done for The Geek Squad. I stand behind the companies founding principles of customer service above all else, and I fight every day to protect the brand that I have well, branded on my arm. But how did I get that way?!?
I have been a Best Buy employee since October of 2001. In fact, since two weeks BEFORE I had a Driver’s license. Yes, I have worked for Best Buy for longer than I have been able to drive. I was 16, and hired to work in the PC Sales department. I was outstanding in that department, so much so that I was able to increase my hourly rate by 33% in just 18 months through bargaining with management based on my performance. But sales was just not where I was happy. I always for some reason felt like I was taking advantage of people, no matter how much they really DID need that printer cable, since you’ve got to plug it in, right? On top of that, I was completing 3 years in a Technical High School (www.bcths.com) for Computer repair, not sales.
The time came, and I demanded from my General Manager that I be moved to the PC Tech department, on the challenge that if I wasn’t, I was going to immediately seek alternate employment. The battle was won! Once again, I got a 15% increase, and was moved to the PC Tech deartment within the Best Buy store. A few months after my promotion, the supervisor of my department was moved to another department due to our financial failures in PC Tech. The job was open! For 3 months, I did everything I could, begged, borrowed, brown-nosed and out-shined all of my peers, for a shot at the Supervisor job. It was offered to 5 people, who all turned it down. Finally one day, I went to my General Manager, and asked him what I had to do to get the job. A direct quote from him was; “Grow up, and quit complaining all the time!”
That did it. The first real feedback anyone had ever given me to make me do better. Within three weeks, and another 35% increase later, I was the ‘Services Technical Supervisor’! I was 18 years old, and had people working for me as old as 63. I was king-shit!
I suceeded in that position for many months, through a holiday season, and one day another Assistant Manager came to me and said he wanted to give me some advice, but he had to be vague. All he told me was to try to take a more active role in the sales department. At that time, there were seperate Supervisors in charge of PC Sales, and Tech. Little did I know this was about to change. No more than a month later, I was called into our Sales Development Room (aka ‘War Room’) by the General Manager. The conversation went precisely like this:
Him: “As of this Sunday, your position will no longer exist”
Me: (jaw dropped)
Him: “The PC Sales and Tech Supervisors are being combined into one position called the PC Area Manager”
Me: (drool falls)
Him: “We would like to offer you that position, here is a job offer sheet with all of the details. Any questions?”
Of course, I jumped at the chance to have keys to the store, and be a salaried manager at the age of 18. I was in charge of approximately 15 million dollars a year before my 19th birthday, and had the keys and alarm codes to a store with 3 million in inventory inside of it on any given day. Once again, I was King Shit!
I realized very quickly that the job was not in the least what I had anticipated. I had to work 55+ hours a week, for no additional pay, since I was now on salary. I had to supervise, manage, hire, fire and coach twice as many people as I ever had. On top of that, the supporting management staff that I had counted on when I took the position, was all gone within the first month. I found myself very disgruntled with my job, and contemplating a career change. Being that I was a Manager, and spent much of my time doing little to no real work, I had plenty of time to browse the internet, and company intranet, while at work. I began to read up on The Geek Squad, and the planned expansion or ‘roll-out’ of the brand and services around the company. I was particularly interested in the Double Agent position. This person would have a company car, cell phone, and would travel to client’s homes and service their PCs every day. If they had a busy day, they may never set foot in the store! I decided that if I was to stay with Best Buy, this is the way that I had to go. The time came, and I was asked as a manager, to submit any qualifying applications for the position to my district office. I remember telling my District Manager that I planned to apply myself, and that conversation not going well. He was not very pleased to see one of his young promising managers leaving to go back to an hourly job.
After probably the most grueling interview process I have ever been through, I was given a job offer to the Double Agent position, and assigned to Precinct 583 in Mt. Laurel, NJ. This meant going to a new store, with new people. I was assigned there because historically, they were very bad at selling and performing PC Services, so I was the ‘fixer.’ Within a couple of weeks, I was sent to Geek Squad Double Agent Training in center city Philadelphia. There myself, and 8 other recruits, met with Spcial Agent #37, Erich. Erich was hired by our founder, Robert Stephens, and had a very clear mission for the week that he spent with us. He was there to train us about what it meant to wear the Geek Squad Uniform, and be a Double Agent.
I was re-born during that week. Justin Meade slowly melted away, and Agent Meade was born of the sludge. I saw the vision, take care of people’s problems, and fix their computers along the way. Simple, yet revolutionary. Don’t sell them shit they don’t need. Offer them things that might make their life easier, or their computing safer. If you are 5 minutes early, you are ten minutes late. Speak to them as you would hope they would speak to your mother if they were performing some service for her. Don’t go into people’s houses all stinky. The perfect vision of a Geek Squad Agent is 51% personality, and 49% technical. Calm the client down, assure them you are there to help, and then save their technical day, week, month or even life! I could not wait to get into the field, and start protecting the world!
I will save all of the in-between for the ‘Geek Squad’ posts I will make randomly as I remember them, and boy do I have some stories to tell! The bottom line is that I have now been putting on the Agent Uniform every day for almost 3 years (June 12th is 3 years) and I do not believe I will ever work under any other flag. I spent 16 months as a Double Agent, serving both Precincts 583 and 577. I then took on the role of Deputy of Counter Intelligence at Precinct 577, and now at Precinct 1320, Geek Squad City. I am just one of 30 Deputies of Counter Intelligence at Geek Squad City, but now that I am responsible for repairs from all over the country, I feel that I make that much more of an impact every day with the client base that trusts our brand. I have had the opportunity to train, coach, develop and watch flourish many Counter Intelligence Agents, Senior CIAs, Double Agents, and Super Senior Counter Intelligence Agents. I have even had the pleasure of some of my own Agents joining the ranks of Deputy of Counter Intelligence. As I stated earlier, I will ALWAYS be proud of what the brand stands for, and what we do every day to make computers and technology simpler and easier to use.