June 06th, 2017
Just recently, we said goodbye to one of our beloved, longtime team members that has been with us since the Summer of 2014. John “Mikey” Spiller, a Dimo’s diehard, is leaving us. A common impediment to relationships - distance - is the culprit here. He’s moving to New York City.
As we do with all our team members, we offered him the chance to do an exit interview. From these interviews, we pull insights about our operations, our self-managing system, areas we excel in as an organization, and areas we could use improvement in. This interview is then available to everyone in the organization, as part of our philosophy of open-book management.
Of course Mikey’s exit interview was not just some ordinary exit interview, because he’s never been some ordinary worker.
He’s pretty great. He’s literally done everything you can do at Dimo’s, working operationally at least. He’s been a speedy slinger, a bike delivery extraordinaire, a delivery router, and a pizza cook that cranked out pies so fast it would honestly scare you a little bit. Seriously, you’d be running out of pizza, Mikey would show up, and twenty minutes later, you’d have two of all the staples, two of all the classics, and you wouldn’t know what had just happened. You’d see a tall, elusive figure with blonde hair whisking back and forth between the kitchen and the front of house, dropping off pizzas for you to cut, then scampering back to stretch dough like a madman. We should have nicknamed him the pizza wizard, because pies would just appear like magic.
His incredible work ethic, comittment to the team, and enthusiasm during even the most strenuous shifts are the embodiment of the Dimo's culture. He was always in motion. He never stopped working. Get a high of the hustle and bustle, go fast and go hard, 100 percent of the time.
Mikey’s also a team member that - given his experience - has grown with the company. When he started here, we still followed a general-manager-supervisor-general employee model, when our Wicker Park store had only been opened up for a year, and before the Cubs had won a World Series.
Throughout the maturation of our Wicker Park store, and our evolution as an organization, he’s provided us with a model for how employees can transition from working in a hierarchical organization to working as part of a self-managing team. The way we used to do things, Mikey would have had to become a supervisor to make decisions related to our everyday operations. Now, he’s showed us how with the right combination of consistent mentorship, commitment, and a determined work ethic, team members can work together as a team to do things such as train new employees, provide constructive feedback to peers, and make tough calls on how to deal with a team members that aren’t pulling their weight.
So, when Mikey put in his two months notice, we didn’t just do a typical interview exit interview. We did a personal and professional bio; what his life was growing up, his outside passions, and what it’s been like working at Dimo’s for the past three years.
We also did it this way because we take our employee bios down whenever team member’s leave. We thought it would only be fitting to give Mikey a blog post that will stay archived forever. Because while he is a fleeting figure working in the kitchen, the impact he’s had on our organization is certainly not ephemeral. Mikey has left his mark.
This is how it went down….
Where did you grow up?
Suburbs of Chicago, Western Springs
Where is home now?
Logan Square. Nightcourt. Thought about playing basketball at night and though it was funny. Never actually did that, though. Has NOTHING to do with the show nightcourt
What is a slice of Mikey?
A Buff Chick - I’m easy to make, I’m dependable, a lot of people like me. but I’m too spicy for some. But if you think I’m too spicy you’re a coward.
Worst job you’ve ever had?
Basement of a church at a makeshift call center. For electrical, low voltage, and ligthin manufacturer. When I was 15-16, pay was crap. If we were really good we got lucky and got a candy bar. It was like one day a week. I would call stores asking do you want a catologue? Does your boss? The answer was usually no
Describe how it’s been to work at Dimo’s with your roommates...
Oh so frustrating. Awful. I don’t know what part of it is worse. The fact that when you go home and are still talking about work, there is no escape.
Or working with them - cause they’re awful. The whole thing is pretty bad. Ideally we could lyft together. Tyler never wants to. Today he skateboarded.
No, not really.
Everything that ever liked since I was about 14, still. I don’t get over it, still. My chemical romance forever. Super stoked on the new Lorde single, she usually sucks at singles. She’s got the opposite of Robin’s problem.
Something Mama taught you you’ll never forget
Don’t be a shit head. I got yelled at a lot because I was a shitty kid. My mom was like freaking out she was yelling at one of us cause I have like 3 younger siblings. At least one of us was screwing up at any particular time.The first time I had a friend over for dinner, my mom took the sandwich and flipped it across and through it to the sink. It was traumatic. I’ll never forget that because it was sad and embarrassing. I was 11. But my Mom is a sweetheart, she’s even texting me right now
Short timed responses (Pick 3) They are intended to be open ended. There is no correct answer. Simply write what comes to mind!
1) Describe the essence of a 30 pack of Miller High Life
I don’t know why but when I moved to the city High Life was like THE beer, we were hanging with a bunch of older dudes that lived in bridgeport and that’s all they drank so it because our choice cheap beer. I feel like most people my age are PBR people or maybe because it’s chicago I should be an old style guy but nope, high life. Cube of High Life in the fridge at all times. We take turns, we never argue about it. if we’re low and you notice it, gotta buy house cube.
2) Describe the craziest pizza you’ve made while working here
Some “Build Your Own” pies that come in on grubhub are trash. I’ve made like a macaroni and pineapple with basil pizza, or some other stuff like that. Like, have you ever hear of a flavor profile? These folks haven’t. I like making myself spinach, grilled chicken pizza with onions and white sauce, that’s fire. We’ve had some crazy specials too.
3) Write the rules for a Dimo’s virgin customer
I guess I gotta give you the rundown then. That’s fine, I know it’s my job. You’re allowed to get cheese or pep and I won’t judge you, our cheese and pep are both really good, but get something weird too. I know there are chicken and waffles on a pizza, we do it because it tastes good. Don’t try and tell me your slice idea or make me customize your slice, we know what we’re doing. We’re professionals.
Finish these sentences….
New York has ______, but Chicago will always…. (you can go on for however long you’d like!)
Chicago in the summertime is my favorite place in the entire world. Kiddie pool in the yard, beers outside, Springsteen on the Boombot. Too many people in my house and pissing off my roommates that don’t work a job with stupid hours, so they can’t sympathize with stumbling home at 6am.
It would shock everyone I work with to know that I secretly….
It shocks me that I’m still working here almost 3 years at this point. Or how much I’ve come to love and care about this job. I was just broke, I didn’t think I was gonna be working at a pizza place, let alone caring about it so much for so long.
Well Mikey, we didn’t know you’d be with us so long either, but we’ve enjoyed the ride. Stay true to yourself and never forget your roots. And give yourself a little break, because you've earned it.
Call us if you need anything.
The Dimo’s Crew