Monday, October 06, 2008

MindSpring Revisited - Bjorn Lindfors

Bjorn managed the MindSpring call center in Atlanta, GA. We met by way of our beloved brides who worked together as nurses in the same unit at the same hospital. Aside from our frequent discussions about our favorite customers, one of my favorite memories of Bjorn involved (imagine this) a party at Prince Of Wales. I believe we were drowning our sorrows after hearing we were destined to "merge" with EarthLink. My sammich arrived with a pickle on it. Drunk and stupid, I flicked it through the air. Several tables away, the airborne pickle landed squarely on Bjorn's forehead. Both of our tables erupted in laughter. Bjorn stood up, wiped the pickle of his head, and threw a cup of beer at me. We all laughed until it hurt. And when I think of Bjorn, I think of that beer slowly arching through the air and landing on my chest.

Anyway, Bjorn stopped by and gave left an update, in his own words:
Arrived at the doorsteps of MindSpring in September 1996. Two years earlier I had visited Charles apartment which was then the MSPG HQ, and picked up my Internet access kit with NetManage Chameleon & my e-mail address which I still use. Eventually I ended up running the Atlanta service center.

In the early MindSpring years McQ set up a program where you could get your car painted if you agreed to let it become a rolling MindSpring advertisement. Driving an 84 Volvo station wagon of uncertain color this was an offer my neighbors would not let me refuse. Shortly afterwards I received a note stuck on my wind shield. "You guys run a great company, keep it up!"
A big part of working at MindSpring was the rush of having people come up to you and assume instant coolness since you were wearing a MindSpring t-shirt and presumably worked there. I've never had that happen to me before or after MindSpring.

Eventually business changed, we became Earthlink and a few years down the road the decision was made to no longer handle our calls in-house. At that time Cindy Alexander called me from Colorado and asked if I might be interested in moving to a place with tall mountains and world class skiing. After thinking about it for about 2 seconds I accepted and moved to Colorado Springs.

Here in Colorado the center has gone from being Adelphia to Time Warner Cable LA. Between managing commercial support and travel to the pacific coast to meet with my co workers I've managed to find a little time for some climbing, mountain-biking, skiing and a trip to China.


Anonymous said...

way cool. i used to work with Bjorn and was an early MindSpring employee (1996 to 2007). good times indeed. what does it say about the rest of your professional life when the first gig you had will most likely be the best one you ever had?

Goblinkatie said...

Oh wow! I wish I could get a hold of Cindy, Bjorn and Gina again. Mindspring was BY FAR the best job I've ever had. It was amazing to work for a company you actually felt respected by; one that actually meant it when they listed their Core Values and Beliefs. I was a Smile during 1998-200ish and I still remember the day the "merge" was announced, the fact people actually cried over the fear Mindspring was going to lose our soul in the deal tells you how special MindSpring really was. Bjorn was always a hoot, he acted so serious but was a total goofball like the rest of us.