Keeping the ship afloat

Zammad Diary | Mustafa Tongul: Dancing, Gaming, and the Godfather

Have you ever reached out to Zammad Support? If yes, chances are that you spoke to our team member Mustafa. We've asked him a few questions about life as a Support Agent, the pros and cons of working remotely, and the things he enjoys besides work. His answers are both surprising and insightful.

Polygon Portrait of Mustafa Tongul without background

Welcome to the Zammad Diary! What is your name and position at Zammad?
I'm Mustafa Tongul and I'm both a First-Level Supporter as well as in charge of Sales at Zammad.

What are you known for?
I'm a pretty sunny character. That's why I like to sign my emails "with sunny regards".

What are you working on right now?
I usually have similar tasks every day: taking care of tickets, drafting up offers, answering questions on the phone, and making sure that the customer is well taken care of from Day 1.

What new things have you learned on the job lately?
It's not easy to write it all down because I have learned so much: What is Open Source? And what's a ticketing system? Let alone all the new technical jargon... there's a new thing to pick up every day, and it's incredibly inspiring and motivating.

What motivates you every morning?
Definitely my colleagues. Even if I know that there is a ton of work waiting for me, I know that there's a fabulous team behind me and they all have my back. They're always happy to help when I get lost, which takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders and allows me to be more efficient, effective, and motivated.
Besides that, I get to introduce people to a product that will significantly improve their workday. Helping people and being part of a team of different personalities from different departments gives me a boost every morning.

What do you love most about remote work? (And what's tough?)
It is the first time ever that I get to work remotely, and it's fantastic. No more long commutes, plus you can take care of private appointments during lunch. I feel like I have more time both for my job and my private life. It turns out people don't need more hours in the day - they need to be able to work from home! ;-)
On the other hand, I do miss the little chats during coffee breaks or in the tea kitchen. I've always been a very social person, so this is the biggest downside of remote work for me.

How do you entertain your team?
If you're both a Support Agent and also in charge of Sales, you meet the most eclectic mix of personalities. Many of my colleagues know our customers and use cases, but I think that I bring a certain type of innocence to the table, which makes it quite fun for them to see me go through all my firsts.

Which industry or brand should really start using Zammad?
I think you can easily counter that question by asking: Who should not use Zammad? Answer: no one! Every company should use the Zammad help desk! Not everything you do will be smoothless, there are bound to be hiccups and questions. That's why it's so important to have a quick, easy, and competent solution to help people without losing sight of any inquiries. Zammad is perfect for that, no matter if you're a major corporation or the handyman next door.

How do you manage to break out of your daily routine?
I did mention earlier that I do the same things every day in general, but in detail it's not quite like that. Every customer is different, every case is different, and every person has their own way of communicating. It's important to be able to put yourself in another person's shoes and to consult and support them individually. That's why, at the end of the day, I don't really have any strict routines.

What does your desk look like?
Well, you know: a picture says more than a thousand words ;-)

Photo of Mustafa Tongul's desk

Do you have a passion that wouldn't be obvious from your resume?
I really enjoy playing so-called tabletop RPGs. I also enjoy role play, I danced standard and Latin dances (until the pandemic hit), and I used to be a quite successful martial arts fighter.

What inspires you?
I don't think I have a proper source of inspiration. There's a lot of things I get new ideas from, such as literature, movies and series, music, nature, or other people. I try to keep an open mind to absorb as much as possible from the world.

What is good teamwork for you?
In my opinion, teamwork will have the best results if you don't only mix different personalities but also different departments and specialties. This will make people more open-minded, show limitations quite clearly, and increase input and efficiency when looking for solutions.

What would you do if money was no problem?
If money made no difference, I would travel to Japan for a few months or possibly even years to get to know the country, culture, people, and language.
I'd also turn my apartment into every gamer's paradise.

Which app urgently needs to be invented?
Difficult question. Isn't there an app for EVERYTHING already??

How do you evaluate your personal success?
Where am I today? Where was I last week, and where was I last year?
These are the questions I consider most important when measuring my growth.

What two career tips do you have?
Be polite without groveling.
Be friendly without pandering.

How do you explain to your parents where you work and what your job is?
I sell computer software to companies.

What would you like to have known prior to joining Zammad?
That Zammad is hiring. I'd have applied much sooner!

What do you miss from your previous job?
In my last company, we had weekly team breakfasts. I really miss that. In summer we'd even have spontaneous barbecues in the garden during lunch.

What feature do you find coolest about Zammad?
The feature that allows me to close a ticket. It means that there is one less thing to do today ;-)

What makes you get up every morning and not just work in bed?
I have connected a gaming keyboard and a gaming mouse to my laptop. I love working with great equipment.

What's your favorite Zammad anecdote?
The other day I was on the phone with a customer and she turned out to be a classmate from back in vocational school. That was really nice and very funny.

Which famous person would you like to have on the Zammad team and why?
Fictional person: Don Vito Corleone, because he makes offers you cannot refuse. (Very helpful for the Sales team.)
Real-life person: Steve Hoffstetter, the American stand-up comedian. Is there anything better than someone who helps you and makes you laugh?

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