A Day in the Fishbowl…

One of the things that makes Fishbowl a success is our relationship with our customers and prospective clients. How many times have I been on the phone or at a conference and had someone ask me to say “Hi” to the person who sold them the software or helped them through a technical problem or trained them on the software? Wherever I go I’m always struck by the sincere sense of friendship felt by so many of our customers towards our employees, and they want our employees to know it. So why is this? I think it’s not just because our people are good at what they do but because they are genuinely nice, friendly and personable people. And to better convey my point I thought I would share with you a day in the life of Fishbowl, from my point of view…

Friday, Oct. 28: I’m here early because I asked Kendrick in Development to do a repeat of a webinar he did last week that some people on the East Coast were unable to attend, so I planned this one for 9:00 AM ET, (7:00 AM, our time). And not only is Kendrick here, but Kevin and Matt are here to help as well. No complaints from any of them, not even a single “Do your OWN friggin’ webinar!” (They may have THOUGHT it but they didn’t SAY it!) Amazing. Kinda makes me wonder what else I can get ‘em to do…

And as I show up for the webinar I walk past the Tech Support offices where we already have Tech support people at work and on the phones answering questions. They are almost all in their 20s and I’m always impressed with the patience and professionalism they are able to show, even during very difficult calls. I’ve been there myself so I know how hard it can be. (During my entire tenure at Fishbowl I’ve only heard one Tech Support person lose his cool and he no longer works here).

So we finish the webinar and get to work on the rest of the day. And today is a special day. Today we have our monthly employee appreciation lunch where all the executives serve lunch to the employees. Marilyn, our receptionist and most relentlessly upbeat and positive person I have ever met (if you doubt me then give us/Marilyn a call at 1-800-774-7085 and tell me I’m wrong),
has planned and prepared the lunch for all 100 employees. Home- made chicken soup, chili (OK, she got the chili at Costco, but even Marilyn has her limits), home-made root beer with dry ice, salad, rolls, AND Halloween-themed decorations, because today is also Fishbowl Trick or Treat day where we bring our kids to work at the end of the day for a little carnival and have them trick or treat from office to office. I’ll get to that later.

We start the lunch off with our Caughtcha awards where, during the month, we all keep our eyes open for something good a fellow employee does, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the Caughtcha bowl for Dave and Mary to do a drawing at the month-end luncheon. So yesterday, the award went to Stephen for catching Rob taking time out of his day to help clean up some chocolate syrup that had been spilled during a company gathering. This both surprises and irritates me because how could I POSSIBLY have missed a company gathering where chocolate syrup was served??? Anyway, they each receive a gift certificate for dinner and a movie and I’ll be reading my emails more carefully from now on.

We finish with lunch and everyone gets back to work while the executive team cleans up and helps Marilyn set up the carnival for the kids. And did I mention there are a LOT of kids? Utah Valley has the highest birth rate in the nation and Fishbowl employees are no exception to that rule. At Fishbowl big familes are the norm. (Ian, in Human Relations, is the current record holder with 8 kids). Almost all of our employees are under 35 and many are married. Company parties like this used to have around 50 attendees. Now we get over 200.

At 3:00 the spouses and kids start showing up and I realize it’s going to be a “Cute Overload” day as kids start Trick or Treating:

Besides all the cuteness, what really hits me is how fast the families and kids are growing. We’ve known many of these couples before they got married and now they have kids that seem to change every time we see them. It’s fun to watch.

And I see Spencer’s adopted teenage Russian girl who Fishbowl had a big auction for to help cover the
adoption costs. She seems as happy as she can be and her English is nearly perfect.

To help memorialize the day Dave decides to ride his brand new, orange-colored Fishbowl Harley into the lobby downstairs for family pictures.  We’ve got lot’s more pictures than we can show but you get the idea:

Here’s a few close-ups of Dave charming one of the babies:

Gradually everything winds down and the Executive team cleans up.  Lots of fun and lots of memories.  Great People + Great Product = Great Company.

Till next time…

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About Grant Kimball

Grant Kimball is currently serving as vice president, partner relations and is one of the founders of Fishbowl. Grant joined the original Fishbowl team in 2001 and has filled many roles in, or related to, sales. Previous to his current role, he was vice president of sales and marketing. Grant brings 24 years of sales experience to Fishbowl, primarily in technology-related fields. In 2003, Grant helped steer Fishbowl towards integration with QuickBooks, the popular accounting package from Intuit Corporation. Since 2003, Fishbowl has focused on this relationship and is currently the #1-requested add-on software solution for QuickBooks users out of approximately 300 software packages. Besides the relationship with Intuit, Grant is also responsible for developing Fishbowl’s growing resellers program, which he is currently managing, and now accounts for over 20% of Fishbowl’s total sales. Grant earned a Master’s in Computer Integrated Manufacturing from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor’s in Operations Management from Cal Poly, Pomona.
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