In our ongoing “Meet the Geeks!” series, it’s time to introduce you to our resident expert of Payroll and Compliance, Aldo Monterrey! Let’s get to it.
If the geography of the southwest United States were arranged a little differently, Aldo Monterrey might be a funeral director right now. “That was my dream job, actually,” he said. “That’s what I really wanted to do. There’s just no school for mortuary science here in El Paso, and I’ve never had the opportunity to travel out.”
In a weird way, he might not be Geeks Who Drinks’ Payroll and Compliance Analyst without his previous job, doing the books at a southwest Texas funeral home — but more on that in a sec. The El Paso native has been with Geeks ever since he scrolled past a well-placed online advertisement — more on that in a sec, too — and we recently talked to him about being a Quizmaster, what he digs about his current gig, and why we should all circle a December Wednesday on our desk calendars.
How did you get involved with Geeks Who Drink? Through a Reddit ad, believe it or not. It was like the one and only ad in El Paso, and it advertised an audition. I thought “Hey this sounds kind of cool,” so I went and auditioned. I didn’t get the initial job — our first venue here was at the Alamo Drafthouse — but I was called as a backup, in case they needed someone for other venues. I subbed [for other Quizmasters] for the better part of a year, and then I landed my first hosting gig, which didn’t last very long. My first long-term venue was this place called Black Orchid, and that place was my baby. We had a really great quiz that went on for…well, it would still be going on if it wasn’t for COVID. That bar didn’t make it through the pandemic, but another one (Craft and Social) did, and I’ve been hosting there for going on four years.
You still work as a Quizmaster? Oh yeah, I’m hosting tonight!
How did you make the jump from hosting quizzes to being on the corporate side? I’d been hosting for a good year or two before I saw that there was a position opening up with Geeks. It was just a part-time gig, I think, a staffing assistant. I got that job, so I’d onboard new Quizmasters, schedule their training, that kind of thing. My region was the east half of the country, everything from Texas to Ohio and eastward. I did that, and special outreach, which was basically just finding quizmasters in the most hard-to-reach places you could find. I’d call whatever was in that area — roller derby leagues, colleges, universities, whatever you can think of — to try to find QMs in cities throughout the nation.
And that eventually became your current gig in Payroll? No, the payroll position didn’t open up until after COVID. This is a much more administrative job, but that’s cool, because administrative work has been my day job for a big chunk of my life. My first job where I got payroll experience was at a funeral home. I was in my early twenties, and I did everything you could imagine: funeral pickups, going out in the procession, all the stuff like that. Doing payroll can be challenging, because there are a lot of puzzles to put together, especially as we’re growing again after COVID. And I still get to touch base with the quizmasters and help them out — I’ve always really dug having a relationship with the QMs, you know? I’ve made a lot of friends along the way.
What do you enjoy most about your job? Is it building those relationships? Yeah, the interactions are always a really cool thing. This also feels like a more serious role too, because it comes with bigger responsibilities. I feel like I’m able to earn my coworkers’ trust more, and I dig that.
What are some of the best trivia-related moments you’ve had since starting here? As a matter of fact, tonight already stands out because of one of our longtime quizzers at Craft and Social. He’s been stationed at Fort Bliss and has been quizzing forever, but he’s going back to his home state. Tonight’s his final quiz, so we’ll have a little celebration and I’ll probably get him a bottle of whiskey and send him off. That’s what stands out to me as a host, because we’ve created all of those different memories and celebrations, like hanging out after quiz, having some drinks, and getting to know people on a personal level. When it’s my birthday, my venues remember and they’ll get a cake and stuff. Those experiences are like the essence of life, dudes. I love it.
And just so your coworkers know, when is your birthday? December 28.