The Humans of smrtPhone

Our “smrtie of the Month” for May is our cool, calm, and disciplined Level 2 Support team member Andrei!


Andrei David

Title / Role in the Company

I was recently promoted to 2nd Level Support. I still fulfill the day-to-day duties of everyone on the Support team: answering chats, providing technical support, and offering tips to help clients use our system better. On top of that, I work on everything Support-related involving our underlying carrier, Twilio. I help manage the logs, report on insights, keep track of the Trust Center profile approval process, and do follow-ups related to tickets. 

How long have you worked for smrtPhone?

11 Months. But I didn’t even realize it’s been that long until just now. (In a good way.)

What’s your background? 

I am in my fourth – and hopefully final – year of university. I’m studying Electrical Engineering and I expect to finish up in December. 

Before joining smrtPhone, I worked for three years in a mobile phone repair store. I basically ran the shop like it was my own. I worked the counter, did the repairs, handled the bookkeeping, ordered parts, did all the invoicing, and even kept up our retail permits with the local government. It was pretty much my shop; but in reality it was not. I paid the owner all of the profit for my hard work. Eventually, it was time to move on. 

I have known Tudor Deak [Head of Support] since we were 12. We live 500km [310 miles] apart and met through online gaming. When the position in smrtPhone came open, he asked if I was interested. Even though we have kept in touch over the years, the first time we ever met in person was at a live training at the smrtPhone headquarters. 

What was your first job? 

When I was first looking for a job, I really wanted to get some hands-on experience. I tried to get a position in my area of study. I applied to a construction site to become an electrical technician but I wasn’t hired. Then, I was just trying to get any work experience. I tried a pet store and other stores – and finally I got the job at the mobile phone repair shop. 

I didn’t have any experience in phone repair. They trained me for two weeks and then when I returned to the store the next Monday, I was alone. They had gone back to the main store in the capital city and left me in charge of this location. I was thrown right into the deep end. 

I had hoped to get good, hands-on experience and I learned quickly to be careful what you wish for! But, I figured it out. I was successful, even if it was stressful at times. 

Andrei David sits with the smrtPhone support team in training

What do you like about working for smrtPhone? 

I like pretty much everything about smrtPhone. It’s a comfortable schedule. You have flexibility to work from anywhere. You don’t have to wake up early and travel through snow storms to get on location.

I like how the team works together. I am not sure I want to say, “we are a family” only because everyone else says it in their profiles. But it’s true. We get along. We work well together. 

I also like that we are constantly trying to improve on all fronts. Of course we are continually adding new features to the product, but also the teams are always looking to improve how we work. For example, in Support we have training meetings to improve our customer service skills. We work with a QA specialist who reviews our chats and highlights best practices. We are always striving to be better. The individual departments and the phone system itself.

Describe smrtPhone in 3 words: 

Customer-oriented. Always thinking about the user experience and focusing on features that improve it. 

Family. It’s a nice place to be. It doesn’t feel like work. You feel motivated to work because you want to be there for your teammates and for customers. 

Innovative. Always looking for ways to improve. 

Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?  

All of the integrations that the developers have established and are working on. I feel proud that our system gets integrated with so many other software providers with strong reputations. That’s a nice thing to have and reflects well on us. 

Andrei and Alessandro and Laur from the smrtPhone support team stand outside

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I like to go to the gym, like most of our team. I’m a very gym-oriented guy and I like anything related to sports. I am interested in learning more about combat sports, like mixed martial arts. I like the discipline aspect of it. I am drawn to disciplined people. 

I like cars. I like to learn about the latest trends and features as a hobby. I love to watch what the brands come up with. It’s a race between each brand to see what they create that that other brands don’t have. 

One of the areas I’d like to improve at is cooking. Right now I eat plain rice, chicken, and frozen vegetables. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. Even if you’re not going to the gym, it’s very important to have good nutrition. 

Name something that is on your “bucket list”

I would love to go to an island and disconnect from anything related to the internet. To have no distractions and just be in the moment. 

I also want to do skydiving. But at the same time I don’t want to do it because I have a fear of heights. I think it might help me get rid of that fear….but I’d still rather go to an island. 

What is a fun fact people might not know about you? 

As much as I like technology in cars, a fun fact is that I’m a real history geek. I was introduced to this topic by the TV show called ”Vikings” while I was in high school. I used to be very indifferent to history as a kid up but the show captivated me and kept me up many nights. I started with simple articles about the cultures that I saw in the show but that moved quickly to all cultures known today. I really enjoy learning anything about this topic but I enjoy more the Classical Antiquity period and the adjacent periods. It helped me discover how rich of a history my own country has and that I had overlooked many interesting historical locations right near my hometown.

For something a little lighter: I can share a memory that just crossed my mind. When I was 4 or 5 years old, I was on the beach with my family. Our beaches are always really packed, and I went with my cousin to get ice cream. My cousin lost me. You have to imagine – a completely packed beach and no way for me to find my parents or for them to find me. 

I didn’t cry, but I started shouting, “I don’t have a mom and a dad anymore!” over and over. One of the beach lifeguards found me. They called out over the sound system to find my parents. They heard the announcement and came to get me. When they arrived, I said to them “And now I have a mom and a dad again.”