Friday, May 7th- Ashley Jesko and Amy Lujan join the show to share about the internal video series they started at Energy Worldnet (EWN) called “Chai with Amy & Ashley”. Learn how this internal platform was born from CWJJ, and the great things its bringing to the company culture!
Jim Schauer: [0:24] Good morning everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of “Coffee with Jim & James.” James before I bring you in, I want to remind you of a time that you and I spent together when we were sailing in the Indian Ocean, passing Sri Lanka on our way to Mumbai for a relaxation retreat.
[0:42] Then at the retreat, they gave us this drink that thousands of years old and it was Chai tea. We learned that Chai was full of harmony and team spirit are relaxation and all good things. I still…Wait hold on.
James Cross: [0:59] Oh.
Jim: [1:01] I remember it right now. It was a wonderful event, and that leads us right into a little bit of today’s, but James, let me bring you in first. How are you today, sir?
James: [1:11] I’m well and excited for today’s episode. Jimmy, you notice anything about me?
Jim: [1:18] Wait a minute, though. I do notice a few things. I noticed you have your name badge on. Very peculiar. What’s [inaudible] that?
James: [1:28] We were talking about it earlier in the pre‑show. We have a unique thing that’s going to happen in this week that when we look back has only happened a couple of times during this podcast, but we’re actually recording the same week we’re going to air, so we can talk like normal talk.
[1:46] We’re not trying to not mention things, and one of the cool things about this week is that Energy Worldnet began bringing people back into the office. Our teammates, ourselves was there yesterday. I know, Jimmy, you’re not there yet, but soon enough, soon enough.
[2:04] We spent a lot of time navigating how to do it safely, how to do it effectively, how to not lose the good things that we had from working from home and remote, and then also bring the things back that we miss like the collaboration, the team meetings, getting to sit down and have those “You got a minute?” conversations.
[2:28] This week, today, yesterday and today, Monday and Tuesday of this week, we’ve spent bringing two different groups back. Our group brand got to go back yesterday. It’s cool today to put faces to the names for those maybe that have heard us say, “Amy, cut that in editing” or “Amy will add something cool here or whatever.”
[2:55] This is the Amy that we’ll bring on today, and Ashley is the one that brings it all to you. A lot of the times is the one behind our socials and other places. That’s not even why they’re here Jimmy.
Jim: [3:05] What? Tell me why.
James: [3:06] Here, you led into it so well because of Chai. I won’t steal their thunder because they deserve the spotlight in this one. Everybody welcome to the show Ashley Jasko.
[3:21] Ashley Jasko: Hi.
James: [3:23] Amy Lujan from Chai with Amy and Ashley. Good morning, how are you?
Ashley: [3:30] I’m good. Doing good over here.
Amy Lujan: [3:33] Doing pretty good this morning.
James: [3:36] Tell everybody, I know this is an internal experience, but how was it coming back to the office yesterday?
Amy: [3:45] It was awesome.
Ashley: [3:48] It was refreshing for sure to see faces we hadn’t seen in a while.
Amy: [3:53] A bunch of new faces too. I couldn’t believe. In the past year we’ve had a lot of people come on board and we see them on the corporate Zoom calls and stuff and we Slack with them a little bit, but now seeing them and meeting them in person. It’s a little bit awkward because it’s like, “I’ve met you, but I’m meeting you again.” [laughs]
Jim: [4:17] I’m meeting you again for the first time. Yes.
Ashley: [4:21] We joked in a lot of ways that it was like the first day of school all over again. Like, “Did you go to school supply shopping with your mom? [inaudible] teacher.
James: [4:28] Did you leave your clothes out last night? That’s the joke. It was refreshing to be around people again just to see the natural collaboration that happens. Again, to be able to navigate it all into safe, super important. Big days for Energy Worldnet.
[4:47] This week we’re super excited to navigate this new world. Again, Chai, Jimmy,
Jim: [4:53] What about it?
James: [4:54] What do you think about Chai? Why don’t you hand it over to our…? Really, they’re more professional than we are at this point.
Jim: [5:01] I would say absolutely so. Actually, I want to bring the ladies right in to have them tell what Chai with Ashley and Amy is, explain it to our audience, how it got born, give us the 411 so everybody can understand this great event.
James: [5:19] And what’s today’s theme, right?
Jim: [5:22] Wait a minute.
James: [5:23] That’s the real question.
Jim: [5:24] [inaudible] that you have a theme.
Ashley Jesko: [5:26] Of course we have a theme for every episode of Chai. Sorry we forgot to tell y’all. [laughs]
James: [5:32] False.
Ashley: [5:32] Tiaras today.
James: [5:33] You don’t even…
Jim: [5:35] We’re professionals.
James: [5:36] Super prepared.
Ashley: [5:37] [laughs]
James: [5:37] In full transparency, we even had a party hat mode too as a backup plan…
Jim: [5:47] Wait a minute.
James: [5:48] in case y’all went party hat on us.
Ashley: [5:50] Oh, my goodness.
James: [5:53] We joke about it, but Ashley, I’ll let you go first. Tell us a little bit about the why behind Chai.
Ashley: [6:04] The why behind Chai. Chai is an internal video series that we created much like “Coffee with Jim and James,” but we realized that there was a gap internally with connecting departments.
[6:16] Even when we were in office before quarantine, we had so many remote employees that you just see once every quarter. For us, Chai was a way to connect across departments and get to know the people that we work with on a daily basis.
[6:33] Amy and I, we’re…What? 10, 11 episodes in now, and there are things about Amy that I didn’t even know before doing that. It’s been cool to dig deeper and get to know each other a little bit more.
James: [6:47] That’s a good point about the remote people. For a lot of us, this is our experience with remote work for the first time, but Jimmy’s a great example of someone who was hired remote, had all intentions to be remote, and we joined him being remote, but when we come back, there’s still that disconnect.
[7:10] We’re going to live in a hybrid world from this point forward. How do you manage it to keep those people connected? I love that. Amy, what about you?
Amy: [7:17] [laughs] Yes. I’ll go back to where Chai started. Chai, I believe, was originally supposed to be done with Jim and James. It wasn’t supposed to be called Chai. We were going to do an internal Coffee with Jim and James where you guys went through and talked to everybody and got to know everybody.
[7:38] You came up to me and you were like, “Hey, Amy. I have this idea. What do you think about it?” and I was like, “Do you remember that thing?” because we used to joke in our department that there should be a spin‑off of Coffee with Jim and James and kind of a joke.
[7:58] I was like, “Well, [laughs] what if we did Chai? What if we did ‘Chai with Amy and Ashley’?” and he was like, “You know what? I’ll run it by Jim. We’ll see what we think,” and next thing I know, he texted me five minutes later and was like, “Heya, I’m going to need an episode by the end of the week.”
Jim: [8:16] Keep going. We loved it. We absolutely loved it. I’ll tell you how it organically grew, and I’ll tell you, when James and I started this, it was hard.
[8:26] It was very awkward at first. It was very…I don’t want to say scripted, but “Don’t forget to say this or that,” and then people kept saying to us, “We just want to hear a conversation. We want to hear what’s going on.”
[8:38] I tell you, when I watch the Chai episodes, when you get people to relax, because I can even tell that some people, when you see them in person, you’re just talking, but when they get on Zoom call, they’re like, “OK. Yes. You know? Sure.”
James: [8:51] [laughs]
Jim: [8:52] You guys do a great job of breaking that down.
James: [8:54] For the record, I don’t think any of our guests act [laughs] or react like Jimmy. All of our guests are great.
Jim: [9:05] Oh, yeah.
James: [9:05] [laughs]
Jim: [9:07] Wait, I was referring to myself in that last bit.
James: [9:10] OK.
James: [9:10] That’s a lot better. What have you all learned? What’s been the highlights, the hard parts? What’s these 10, 12 episodes look like?
Ashley: [9:24] Do you want to go first, Amy?
Amy: [9:26] You go ahead.
Ashley: [9:31] What’s been fun is the random questions that we ask. We try to keep it fun. We try to keep it light. Nothing super deep. A lot of the questions that we’re asking are things that I probably never would walk up and ask them in office.
[9:45] Lindsay in customer support wanted to be the Trashman when she was growing up. I would have never known that about her, or a rodeo. She wanted to do like barrel racing or a rodeo stuff. I wouldn’t [inaudible] that about her.
James: [10:01] Shoutout to Lindsay.
Ashley: [10:02] What’s up, Lindsay? What’s been hard for me personally, you don’t realize all the facial expressions and the body language that you do until you’re watching yourself on a weekly basis. That’s been fun to learn about myself, but OK.
James: [10:24] How about you, Amy?
Jim: [10:26] Amy?
Amy: [10:26] Yeah, for me, I’ve seen a lot of personal growth. I know a lot of you don’t know me out there, but I will say whenever Jim and I first met, whenever he first came on, the very first time I met him, we did team building.
[10:44] We were out in public. I had a really hard time being around Jim, because Jim is full of wow.
James: [10:51] Full of wow.
Amy: [10:52] He’s super extroverted. I’m the total opposite. I’m very introverted and I get anxious out the public. I have a hard time starting conversations and then keeping up with him.
[11:06] For me, Chai has done so much for me. It’s brought a new found confidence in myself.
[11:15] It’s so strange because yesterday, when we went back, I didn’t know how I was going to feel seeing all these people in person again. I was, “How am I going to manage talking to them? How am I going to say hello to everybody,” but it came so naturally. I didn’t even have to think about it.
[11:31] People were coming up to me saying, “Hey, I saw you on the show. I love what’s going on,” and then it was, “Oh, I forget people watch this. People know who I am.” After that, I calmed down a little bit. I don’t know, it became easy to talk to people now.
[11:47] I don’t feel as nervous even if it’s a random question. I feel I ask random questions to people all the time that I’m not afraid to ask them. “Oh, hey, what do you like to do after work? That doesn’t seem such a scary question anymore for me.
James: [12:01] Yeah. Jim went through the same transformation. He was very shy, timid, and reserved before the show started. Now, he’s just, as you said, Amy, full of wow that which brings up a really good point.
[12:19] If you don’t put full of wow…how many times this year, Jimmy, have we said, “Amy you’re going to have to cut that, or bleep that, or add this in, or do, “This is the Amy, how cool is that?”
[12:31] For those who don’t know, in Chai, one of the awesome, the awesomest education…
Jim: [12:39] I don’t know, is that a Jim word?
James: [12:42] That’s a Jimism.
Jim: [12:43] Yeah.
James: [12:43] Being able to see what Amy adds to the Chai episodes, that’s the cool part. I don’t know how you feel about it.
[12:50] You probably think she’s stealing your thunder, but she’ll go over, and animate over‑the‑top, and doodle, and do these funny things just, you know, in people’s regular dialect. You just say things that are funny. Amy catches them and then personifies them with her doodles. It’s fantastic. If there’s no full of wow there, we’re losing.
Jim: [13:12] If not, we’re going to go out again into public. I’m going to do what I normally do. Talk to a thousand people. Have Amy come up to me and say…
James: [13:19] Let’s turn it.
Jim: [13:20] Really make me uncomfortable doing this. Don’t talk to people.” I have to, otherwise I start to shake.
Jim: [13:26] Come on, that’s a good reference.
James: [13:28] I love it. I love it. Well, Jimmy, I think we’re getting to the end. You know the routine.
Jim: [13:35] Yep. I…
Amy: [13:36] No, no.
Ashley: [13:38] Nope.
Jim: [13:39] Just want to say, we appreciate you tuning in or, wait, is there a timeout here?
Amy: [13:45] No.
James: [13:45] Probably.
Ashley: [13:46] This is our show now.
James: [13:47] All right, just taking over.
Amy: [13:49] This is where Chai takes over.
Jim: [13:51] That’ll be good.
Amy: [13:51] For all of you who have never seen Chai before, one thing we like to do in our shows is play a game. We’ll play our first game today, which is my game. That is a game called hesi…
Ashley: [14:03] tation.
James: [14:03] We’ve been working on our harmonizing.
Amy: [14:09] Yeah. For all of you out there, hesitation is a quick game. The contestant has five questions. They have five seconds to answer each question. Doesn’t matter if the answers are right or wrong as long as you answer them, you’ll get a point.
[14:23] Today, my contestant is James.
James: [14:26] I’m so scared.
Amy: [14:28] Are you ready, James?
James: [14:30] I’m not ready but I will go.
Amy: [14:34] OK. Ashley is my timer. You ready?
James: [14:37] Hey, this is our own scoreboard, right? I don’t go against the people at work. This is, yeah, hopefully.
Amy: [14:45] We’ll see.
James: [14:46] We’ll see.
Amy: [14:48] All right. Question number one.
James: [14:50] Ready.
Amy: [14:50] James, mustard or ketchup?
James: [14:53] Mustard.
Amy: [14:55] What’s your favorite beverage?
James: [14:57] What?
Amy: [14:58] What is your favorite beverage?
James: [15:00] Probably alcohol.
Amy: [15:02] What’s your life motto?
James: [15:04] Probably alcohol.
Amy: [15:06] Whose show is better?
James: [15:08] Oh, Coffee, to be true.
Amy: [15:10] [laughs] You’re stuck on an island, who do you take, Ashley or Jim?
James: [15:15] Gosh. Can I take a boat somewhere else?
Amy: [15:18] Nope, nope. [laughs]
James: [15:20] That’s so hard.
Amy: [15:22] He hesitated. At least he got four points.
Jim: [15:26] You didn’t pick me?
James: [15:28] I picked a boat.
Jim: [15:28] A boat, to get away from me.
James: [15:31] I’m out.
Ashley: [15:33] So, Jim, we have a new game and you get to be our contestant on the new game. This one is association. I will have random words that I will say. You have to give me the first word that comes to mind with the word I…
James: [15:52] That’s so scary.
Ashley: [15:53] Yeah.
Jim: [15:54] Hold on a second. Wow.
Amy: [15:57] You have 30 seconds.
James: [15:57] Amy, get the…
Jim: [16:00] Beeper ready.
James: [16:01] Yeah.
Ashley: [16:01] You’ve 30 seconds.
Jim: [16:04] OK.
Ashley: [16:06] You have to say as fast as you can.
Jim: [16:08] I will.
James: [16:08] My heart’s beating so fast right now.
Jim: [16:10] So is mine. I’m nervous.
Ashley: [16:14] OK, you ready?
Jim: [16:16] Ready?
Ashley: [16:18] Frog.
Jim: [16:20] Toad.
Ashley: [16:21] Rain.
Jim: [16:23] Thunder.
Ashley: [16:24] Mirror.
Jim: [16:27] Reflection.
Ashley: [16:28] New Orleans.
Jim: [16:29] 2017, we’ll never speak of it again, OK.
Ashley: [16:35] [laughs] Coffee.
Jim: [16:38] With Jim and James.
Ashley: [16:40] Toothbrush.
Jim: [16:42] Clean.
Ashley: [16:43] Tiki torch.
Jim: [16:45] My backyard.
Ashley: [16:47] Mailbox.
Jim: [16:47] Full.
Amy: [16:50] Time.
Ashley: [16:54] Thought I was going to get him on the New Orleans.
James: [16:59] I was getting on the record. I’m sorry, I didn’t pick either one of you to live on an island with. [laughs] It’s a weird question. It’s weird.
Jim: [17:09] Hey, I would never you’re going to ask.
James: [17:10] I should have been faster and picked Amy. I’m going to, “Oooh.”
Jim: [17:14] Yeah. You should’ve.
James: [17:15] Man, for those that don’t know, again, because this is an internal show. That is some of the cool stuff that you have brought to the team. That’s some parts that we have this joke. When someone comes on, we ask him the three questions. What is it? Amy, remember, it’s a…
Amy: [17:34] Blue State Golf.
James: [17:36] Yeah. What’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite color? What’s your hobby, Blue State Golf or? Every time, we laugh about it, but these episodes have allowed us to see all the way down into the people that were hiring. I think that’s amazing and then we’re learning. You said the byproduct that’s so cool.
[17:58] Jim, I don’t know about you, but I live this every day in our show. Is the connections that you get to make every single time. Like Amy said, learn as you go. I actually said in the beginning, this feeds our curiosity as well. That’s a cool byproduct for sure.
Jim: [18:17] I agree. Let me take us out. First of all, I do want to thank Amy and Ashley for joining us. James, as always, my brother, thank you for everything that you do.
[18:26] I will say, though, Amy and Ashley, the culture, and the enhancements, and all the things that you bring by doing your show internally are making a home run. People just love it. It really helps people. Thank you on behalf of me and everyone else, thank you for joining us today.
[18:45] Thank you for being brave and being out here. To all our audience, please, thank you. We want to thank you for tuning in, but please go ahead and hit that “like” button wherever it is, or the “follow” button down there.
[18:57] If you like it, we’d appreciate it too. Do follow us on LinkedIn also. Until next week on “Coffee with Jim & James,” everybody please stay safe. Have fun and do something a little bit different and press yourself like these ladies have done. Have a great one.
Jim: [19:13] How’s that?
James: [19:14] That’s a big outro.
Ashley: [19:15] Bye.
James: [19:17] That was a good one.