My Initial Contact with a Happiness Engineer

A few months ago, I applied to work at Automattic as a Happiness Engineer (HE). As I mentioned in a previous post (My Introduction), that didn’t work out. But not all hope was lost! And that is why I started this blog – to document my time until I apply again and share with you all what I learn on the journey. So, let me tell you how this all started. It happened once upon a time…

Well, December 7th, 2015, to be exact. I was setting up a self-hosted version of WordPress and had just bought Jetpack Premium, the premium upgrade to the Jetpack plugin (in case you couldn’t work it out from the name 😉). To be quite honest, I didn’t really understand what I was getting myself into. I had purchased a WordPress.com site around the same time, and the differences of the two WordPress sites were confusing. So, I messed up my purchase and bought for one site what I wanted to buy for the other. Or something like that. I tried canceling my purchase, but got an automated message saying it was an irreversible purchase. I was too nervous to use the live chat feature, so I mailed Support and waited for a reply.

To my pleasant surprise, I received a response the very next day. It was from a staff member at WordPress.com with the title “Happiness Engineer”. I thought that was an interesting title and that was it to start with. But as mails went back and forth over the next couple of days, I started to realise Automattic’s customer support philosophy was different to what I had observed receiving support from other companies in the past. The mails I got were concise, yet caring and didn’t feel like a copy-and-paste job from a manual. In fact, the ultimate outcome from it all was that they gave me the exact combination of services I was hoping for my sites with no extra charge, even though it was my misunderstanding that had caused the problems in the first place. (I don’t think they actually sold the combination of services I was hoping for, so they must have pulled some strings to get it to work.)

Because I was so please with the service I had received, I decided to give the HE a compliment. In one of my final mails, I wrote,

I was looking at your signature at the end of your mail. You guys take the “Happiness Engineer” title seriously, don’t you? I like that!

to which he responded,

Haha, thank you – we try our best! 🙂

And that just topped it off! Not only had I received a fix for the problem I enquired about, but I received service that went above what I had expected AND I had fun communicating with this representative in the process! I was still new in the business world, but this interaction became a goal for me. I decided I wanted others to feel the same way whenever I served them, too.

So, that was the first interaction I had with an HE. It was actually the last time I had any interaction with an HE, too, until 18 months later. It was another incident that led me to start thinking, maybe I could apply for the position, too. But that is another story for another day….

Thanks for reading!

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