Behind The Scenes at Rightstuf Part 1
Here at Right Stuf, we get questions all the time about what it's like to work at an anime company. So we decided to dedicate part of our catalog to answering them! Naturally, we received quite a few questions – so many, in fact, that we had to split our Q&A into two parts! This issue, we answer your questions about some of our different job responsibilities and what our team does every day to keep our fans and customers happy and excited.
What's a day like for a Right Stuf employee when you clock in?
Ariel F (Customer Care): After clocking in, I jump on the phones and chat, then start working on responding to our customers' emails. We like to put a personal touch on all our correspondence so it is nice to be able to show our personalities when we are talking to our customers and responding to each email we receive.
Thane H (Production/Marketing): There's not really such a thing as a “typical day” for me. Some days I get artwork and product descriptions from our vendors to put on our website so customers know what they're paying for. Some days I shoot cheesy videos to promote one of our sales. Some days I edit the scripts for the latest show we're working on. But there is one thing I do every day, which is look around our forums online and on other anime fansites to see what our customers are excited and/or upset about. Our customers are a great resource for hearing about problems with products or enthusiasm about certain titles.
Aaron H (Warehouse): My work in the warehouse is pretty routine. We start the day processing orders for dealers that buy from us (for conventions or smaller stores), and then we process the orders for our customers. Occasionally there are some other projects at the end of the day, but mostly I make sure customers get what they pay for!
Is it easy dealing with such a passionate group of customers?
Thane: Oh, not always, but it's always important to remember that we wouldn't have a business if our customers weren't so passionate about anime and about supporting Right Stuf. If it means our customers are more enthusiastic about buying our products than the customers of other businesses, I consider that a good thing.
Ariel: It is very easy to deal with a passionate person when you are passionate yourself!
Does knowing Japanese help with your job?
Tim M (Production): Yes, knowledge of Japanese helps immensely! My role as Assistant Producer means that I not only edit scripts received from other translators, but I also translate some scripts myself. Using dictionaries and online resources can help, but knowing the nuances of the language, understanding cultural contexts, and having a firm grasp on grammar structures will give you better insight when translating. We certainly don't just throw things into Google Translate and hope for the best! Anime and manga stories can range from rather simple to incredibly complex, and you have to take many things into consideration. How do you deal with idioms and culture- specific expressions? How do you deal with references and allusions? How do you deal with different speech patterns? Understanding the language will help you appreciate the intricacies that go into the original script and also make you realize the hard work that goes into making a working subtitle for it (especially because you have a limited time to make it)!
How closely does each department work with each other?
Thane: It can depend on the department. Customer Care easily interacts with the most departments, as they work with the Warehouse team to make sure customers get the items they need, they get information about our products from Production and Marketing, they report issues to IT if a customer is having an issue on our website, and even more. But we have company-wide lunches and fun events together, so everybody pretty much knows everybody around here!
How can I get a job at Right Stuf?
Thane: While it helps to know and love anime, what matters most is that you can do the job. Some of our departments here require a college degree, some don't. You can always check our website to see if we have any open positions and what their specific requirements are. But you'd definitely need to be within driving distance of our headquarters in Grimes, Iowa, or be able to relocate.
What is the most satisfying part of working with Right Stuf?
Tim: The people are very friendly and it's easily the best work environment I've ever been in! I can chat with a coworker about Pokémon and then nerd out over what shows we want to work on!
Aaron: I love that my job is related to things I'm interested in and am excited about! Not everyone can say that about their jobs.
Jessica: Helping the customers! It very satisfying when we make our customers happy!
Thane: This might be a harder question than what my favorite anime is, honestly! I love the people I work with,I love that I get to work with anime, I love that I can work creatively, I love interacting with customers and fans on our forums, and I love that I get paid to do all that and more.
Ariel: I love that this is a smaller company, everyone knows each other and we have team building activities and lunches together. I don't feel like just another cog in the machine working here at Right Stuf like I have at other companies, I feel like part of a family!
That's all we have room for this issue, but we know you still have more questions. In our next catalog, we'll answer your questions about the general company work environment and some of the perks of being a Right Stuf employee!