Thank You Michael

To whom it may concern:

This letter is my personal recommendation for Michael ‘Mudley’ James Corral. About a year ago, Michael sent us an email applying for the media internship for which we posted an advert on our blog. He sent me a CV and a motivation letter stating he would love the opportunity to come to Amsterdam and work for a company like Patta. Unfortunately, as his CV was missing several skills that we at the time deemed prerequisite, I emailed him back saying that he would have to apply in about six months, giving him some time to try to teach himself some of these missing competences.

At the time, we had two interns working for us, busy learning the ropes of what it’s like to work at Patta. One of them moved here from Brighton in the UK and was the first to leave his friends and family behind to start an experience that is fresh, scary and, I assume, extremely hard. So when we received another email from Michael in June, saying that he has been working hard on the skills that we advised him to strengthen himself in, we were all impressed by his determination and tenacity. His CV impressed me with big words and abbreviations of which I was too lazy to investigate their meaning of and his work experience in customer service convinced me he would be of a lot of help on the webshop. Anxious to come over and impress us with a personal interview, I invited him over and he sat down with me and Edson.

First thing that hit us when we spoke was his thick Scottish accent. And when I say thick, I mean thick. Edson looked at me and went: “I hope you understand him, cause I don’t.” I wasn’t worried though and had him come back and showed him his basic tasks. Meanwhile he’s taking notes on his funny tiny notepad, making sure he won’t have to ask things twice. Surprisingly, he never did, which was a surprise because I expected him to hit the language barrier hard. The cash register is in Dutch, so are half of the emails he receives on customer service, but he never let it obstruct his workflow. He would just look at the problem at hand and figure it out himself before he asked for help. Which is an undervalued knack that is inherent to his personality, as he doesn’t want to be a bother and just fix things himself.

Having worked at Patta for over half a decade, I can safely attest that Patta is a difficult place to work at sometimes. Between our teammates, no one is safe from the hazing and verbal sparring that we put on each other. While some take it better than others, I guess nobody took it better than Mudley, as he would just look at you and start snickering while covering his mouth, hence, the name. I guess everybody who wanted to take him down to their level, quickly found out that there was no need, and you would just feel foolish trying.

In the end, I couldn’t be more proud of Michael when I look back at his work. He has worked tirelessly on all the ungrateful tasks that I gave him, even on the very last day, you can’t help but wonder where he is and you see him skipping through the store setting shoes straight or running down to the dungeon to count product to make sure everything is perfect. Someone once asked me who I would want standing next to me when the world is coming to an end, I told him: “Natalie Portman” and I’m going to stick to that answer. But say the world is coming to an end and there’s shit to be done, I wouldn’t mind having Michael watching my back.

- Danny Haryono

Leave a Reply