MEET THE STAFF: Ian!
Everyone say hi to Ian!
So Ian, first off, how did you get into the business of counting 90 bajillion tiny items in a single sitting?
Hello! Yes. That part of my life. Before I joined Dice Envy, I worked for the inventory service RGIS (no idea what that stands for, but the internal joke was “Really Good Inventory Service”) as an Inventory Auditor. My job there was to count things quickly and accurately, and I wasn’t the quickest, but I was accurate enough that they would keep me in stores after everyone else left to fix the areas others had messed up.
How long did you work in the big box world before finding the dice niche?
That would be five and a half years, which is a very long time to be riding the monotony train that is Inventory Auditing. Target, CVS, 7-Eleven, Kohl’s, Ulta, et al. So many places all over LA County and sometimes beyond. So much driving. Endless. Hours. Of. Driving.
So what brought you to Dice Envy?
I’ve known David since September 2010, just after moving to LA, one of my first friends out here. I, along with Dylan, had been helping David out with the subscription boxes for a while before either of us was officially hired.
Can you tell us a little about what the early years looked like when Dice Envy was just getting started?
Shoe boxes in an apartment closet. Bad inventory practices. Hard-to-pack shipping envelopes. Watching the entire “Tales from the Neverending Story” show on a DVD set imported from Germany while packing subscriptions. A shorter drive to work. Peaks and valleys. (TftNS is a great show. Starts slow, but by the end, you’re really invested. Highly recommend. Turn off the final episode when it feels like it ends because the Season 2 teaser is terrible).
There has been a series of improvements over the years, but what would you say is the biggest step up from way back then?
For me, it would have to be how we handle inventory management. I’m still working on improving it, but when I first arrived and wasn’t in charge of the inventory, it was not uncommon for us to sell more of a set than what we had in stock. Then I would have to send out a very sad email. I like not doing that so much anymore. To be fair, it still happens, but it’s more of a blue-moon situation these days.
What does your day look like on an average order fulfillment day at the Dice Envy office?
Wake up and immediately grab my phone. I check for any new customer service emails that may impact any current orders. Order cancellation, incorrect addresses, and the like. Eat something, maybe. Dylan drives, and I prep the shipments for the day and begin printing them remotely when I’m done. When we get into the office, I grab the printed orders, separate them, and organize them into piles by difficulty or common items from a new release or recently promoted set. Then I grab each individual order, stack the purchased dice on the label, and lay them on the table in a perfect unbroken grid for the others to pack. Once I run out, we’re usually pretty close to clearing the table, so I don’t have to pack any myself.
What is the wildest return/most puzzlingly damaged order you’ve ever seen?
I’ve got one for each.
Back in 2019, we had an order get on the wrong truck/plane/boat several times in a row. It was supposed to go to Brazil, but first it bounced around the United States for a week or so, left via Florida, wound up in Denmark, came back to Florida, went back to Denmark, then came back to us. The second time out, it went straight to Brazil. We’ve had a couple of orders since then go to the wrong continent, but never twice.
A fun thing about most Post Offices around the world: they have clear sealable bags to put damaged packages in, so they can get where they’re going in one piece (the piece that’s left). Most of these bags have “sorry” written on them in whatever the primary language of the country is. If you get one of those, the Post Office has messed up. We got one of those returned to us with the package maybe 75% intact and the only readable part of the label being the return address (not the worst I’ve seen). Inside was a metal set where most of the dice were noticeably lopsided, and the d20 had about a fifth of it scraped off of one side. Several of the numbers didn’t exist anymore. If that happens to you, know that your package was eaten by a post office conveyor belt, and you should let me know immediately.
While streaming on the Dice Envy Twitch channel, you became known for your fan-favorite characters and personae, most notably The Ol’ Prospector (recurring) and The Great Maul Winter (from our Honey Heist stream). Where do you pull these weird little guys out of?
The voice of The Great Maul Winter is my approximation of an 80’s wrestler doing a promo, and I have used it for multiple characters (a wrestler name The Boulder and a Gladiator Barbarian name “Crazy” Charlie Killigore come to mind).
The Ol’ Prospector, on the other hand, is a voice I’ve been doing for a very long time. He originated from my impression of the Hermit of the Hills from the “Scooby-doo, Where are You!” Season 2 episode: Jeepers, It’s the Creeper, from 1970. He doesn’t have a big part in the episode, but he made a hell of an impression. My Ol’ Prospector was supposed to have his Dice Envy debut in an ad we were going to film for the long-out-of-production “Eureka!” dice set, which was a clear set with gold flecks. Just the Ol’ Prospector rambling about his gold and how you can’t have it, but we didn’t make the ad. Maybe we will if we ever bring the set back.
Was it TTRPGs that got you started on your lore rich roleplays, or something else?
I’ve always been a creative type. Being a twin, and both of us being that way, we would often, and still do, bound whole-heartedly into bonkers little lore-rich discrete bits when we’re alone. Finding TTRPGs just meant there was a place to expand upon what might have been a little character chuckled about one morning and make them into someone I have to live in for a whole year.
Finally, can you tell us how many jelly beans are in this 32 oz. mason jar?
I can’t see it because this entire conversation has been a questionnaire I’m filling out alone at home. Can you send me a picture of the jar?