WDStories: Tedd Welch, Ruby Receptionists

Name: Tedd Welch
Title: Receptionist
Ruby since 2014

Before I worked at Ruby, I was a teller at a small credit union in downtown Portland. I’d worked at a lot of odd jobs before that, but it was my first real, adult job and it was a hard environment for me. It was staffed by a buttoned-down, drab crowd, and it was very resistant to change. I’m at my best when I feel like I can impact my community, and not feeling like the work I did mattered was really getting to me. I wasn’t happy at work, and that bled over into my personal life. I wasn’t seeing my friends I was so exhausted. I stopped cooking. I felt myself falling into a heavy rut.

I decided 40 hours every week was too much time to be sad, so I made a commitment: I’d find a new job, but it had to be one I liked. I think we’ve all said that at some point, but...man, I meant it. I was a few months into the hunt when my girlfriend called me over to look at something on her Facebook wall, “So, I have this friend. She works at this, like...call center? But they’re all dressed up as cats in space and they’re eating pizza.”

I was immediately intrigued, and started looking into this place called Ruby Receptionists, where there really is a Space Kitten Pizza Party and the website says things like, “Ruby puts the fun and happiness in professionalism, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.” I’m a professional guy, and I’m also a total goofball; I don’t think there could have been a more perfect storm of things to appeal to me.

Fast-forwarding through a delightful application and interview process, we land on my life today. Ruby has absolutely changed my life. I’ve never had a more active or enjoyable social life. It turns out the kind of people we hire are exactly the kinds of people I want in my life. Beyond that, I have a voice at work in a way I never have before. I’m in an entry-level position here, yet my ideas for improvement are carefully received—even implemented!

I’ve been challenged to grow at Ruby and have the support to go outside my comfort zone. Lots of places promise to help you develop, and I’ve had my fair share of managers tell me they were invested in my growth without following through at former jobs. From Leadership Development Classes to personalized, one-on-one work with my Cultivator (a Ruby-ism for manager), Ruby’s walked the walk and made me feel valued.

Ruby started as a job, but it’s become a lot more to me. I’m a happier, more confident person than I was before I started working here. What more could you ask for?