Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Ryan is a 24-year-old from Ogden, Utah. He is a student at Utah State University and has lived in Logan for the last 3 years. He is studying business hoping to be an entrepreneur. He is a member of the LDS faith and served a 2-year mission in the Philippines. He enjoys playing tennis and video games, a pretty funny guy, one of the comedians of our friend group. He works at a small financial company that deals with pre-paid debit cards and has worked there for close to a year as a customer service representative. His name was changed due to privacy requests.
Ryan and I have been friends for a few years now. I was working at the financial company where Ryan works now and when we were hiring more customer service representatives, I told Ryan to apply because he was looking for a job. I only started working there a few months before Ryan and so we learned some things together as the new employees. Ryan, my husband and I are all friends and were sitting at Ryan’s house when I decided that I wanted to ask him about some of the occupational folklore that happened at our work. I explained to him what occupational folklore was and while having a few things in my head already, asked him what he thought was folklore at our work place. Ryan knew that I was recording him so I could transcribe the interview later, but it was a relaxed setting. My husband and Ryan were watching shark attack videos and Ryan answered my question in between videos. Our work place is a pre-paid debit card company, the majority of the card holders are people who were just released from jail and their commissary money is put on these cards. As with any pre-paid card, there are fees associated with using the card, some of the card holders don’t read the terms and conditions and are upset when fees are taken off of their cards.
I work at a call center and we work with jail cards, mughshots.com [laugjing]. I don’t know if it’s against our company policy or something but I do it anyway. Anyways, if a person calls in and is being a douchebag, like yelling at me or calling me every name in the book because I won’t reverse fees for them because they are being idiots, when I hang up I look up their mugshot on mugshots.com and then see if their mugshot looks as douchey as they sound on the phone.
Me: “Okay but why is this occupational folklore”
Oh yeah, it’s because no one taught me to go on mugshots.com when I was training. All the call agents just learned by looking at other people’s computer screen or when someone tells you about a call and call you over to show you their mugshot. I didn’t teach anyone I trained about it but I see people doing it all [emphasis on the world all] the time.
We were sitting on the couch, with my husband and another friend in the room, Ryan wasn’t being serious as there were shark attack videos in the background and the boys were enjoying watching that more than paying 100% attention to the interview. Ryan thinks it is funny that there is a website called mugshots.com but could tell he was a little apprehensive about talking about it just in case it was against the rules and his boss was to read this. He asked if I was going to upload the clip of him talking a little cautious and I told him I would just transcribe it.
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
Muse, Courtney, "Mugshots.com" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 232.