Wizards of the Coast, maker of the modern-day Dungeons & Dragons and the best trading card game in the world, Magic: the Gathering, has an interesting approach to customer service. Or at least, one of the workers there does.
Last year, I went to a Magic: the Gathering tournament (Indy GP 2017 Amonkhet limited, for those interested), something I haven't done since the 2006 pre-release of Coldsnap. I didn't pre-register for the event and I didn't know my DCI number. (Your DCI number is essentially like a social security number but for MTG.) Fortunately, the kind lady at the front desk helped me find my DCI number and get my paperwork squared away. She seemed like a reasonably normal person and she was dressed professionally. My story isn't about her at all.
When I got home, I registered on WotC's official website so that I could track my tournament records. I put in all my information, and to my surprise, I was issued a second DCI number. There is a process for fixing this, but merging the accounts together to a single DCI number would mean losing my email tied to the account or the name "Zozoken". This is unacceptable, of course, so I contacted customer service immediately via email in the hopes of finding a happy resolution.
Not long after, I got an email back from the "Online Response Crew". This looks like a normal email exchange, I hope. I've taken the liberty of blotting out important information. Nothing too exciting here. All that they need from me is some information in order to verify who I am so they can help me with the merging process. Little did I know that the next email was going to be quite... different in tone.
Now, don't get me wrong here. I enjoy role-playing as much as the next nerd. And if you're going to get emails like this from any company, WotC certainly fits the bill. I just find it somewhat jarring to get this kind of email when I'm in a frustrating situation of trying to get my original DCI number to match up with my Zozoken username and Zozoken email.
"AHOY THERE!" If that doesn't make you do a spit-take, I don't know what will. At least most of the email is straight-forward and informative. "I hope these foreign lands bring you fortune." What foreign lands are we talking about here? Yarrr, the treacherous sea of account creation be far too dangerous waters for ye, human. If ye be wantin te keep yer DCI number, yer gonna hav'ta give up yer name, or ye be walkin te plank! The email ends with what I can only assume to be this employee's standard email closing signature: "Grevnick, Best Goblin Lookout of the Fathom Fleet".
I get it, though. It's a long day at the office. It gets monotonous. And let's face it, if you're applying to Wizards of the Coast, chances are, something like this is your dream job. Being able to role-play at work is something you can't do just anywhere you want.
I can't help but speculate on the daily interactions he has with his fellow co-workers, though. Maybe something like, "Greg, we need to talk. I don't mind your whole goblin shtick, but we really need those team reports like yesterday. So would you take off your pirate hat and join us for our meeting in like 15 minutes? Thanks."
Gotta admire Grevnick's spirit. He just wants to be the most helpful goblin in all the multiverse. Nothing wrong with that.
It didn't stop there, though. I replied to the email, saying that I'd prefer my old DCI number than keep the name I registered with. After all, my Twitter is @z0z0ken so having a WotC account that is also z0z0ken isn't that big of a deal. Wanna guess how our friendly goblin responded?
"Online Response Crew" indeed. Our Captain? So what, his manager? Our Helmsman? Now this was really well-played, Grevnick. You're passing the torch to someone else in a technical department so that they can get my account problem all finished up. A helmsman navigating me through the final process is a great way to say that. "May your helm always know calm seas." He doesn't break character even at the end.
I scoured the seas of the internet to see if anyone else has encountered Grevnick the Goblin and were circulating tales of him throughout the various electronic taverns. I found only one. You may find the sighting here: https://www.reddit.com/r/magicTCG/comments/72q80f/glad_that_even_with_all_the_mtgo_lagerrors_with/
Grevnick, I don't know if you vain-search your alias on the internet, but if you're reading this, I just want you to know that you made my day, and when I shared this on Twitch last year, you made the veiwers' day too. Thank you for your enthusiasm, even if it is a bit over-the-top. Keep being you, Grevnick!