Paladin People – Alex “AJ” Johnson
Helping stores get started on a smooth road with Paladin
A little over a year ago, Alex Johnson packed his bags and moved from everything he had ever known in south Louisiana to the high desert of Central Oregon. He left behind the warmth and soul of New Orleans for the foreign and often snowy climes of Bend, Oregon, and a job at Paladin Data Corporation.
It was a journey full of uncertainty and a drastic change, to say the least. The experience gave Alex insight into what it takes to make such a move and how it can lead to bigger and better things.
Many of the store owners he now works with are embarking on a similar journey – leaving behind what they know for a new way of doing business with their Paladin system. Alex uses his personal experience and his knowledge of Paladin to help stores get on the right road with their new point-of-sale system.
“I instruct them on the various ins and outs of how to use Paladin during their Go Live week,” he explains. “We want to make sure their business is operating optimally so they can hit the accelerator and be operating smoothly when they’re ready to Go Live.”
Adopting a new retail technology, either for the first time or changing from a previous system, takes a lot of work. It’s not just ordering new hardware, plugging it in, and going to work. It takes a lot of work on the front end and back end, which is where Alex and the Paladin techs do their work.
Alex didn’t have much help when he moved to Bend and Paladin, so he had to pretty much figure it out on his own. He went from working as a freelance writer to being a technical services representative for Paladin Data Corporation. That transition speaks to Alex’s ability to adapt and learn quickly. He used that ability to rapidly climb into the company’s training squad.
“I am absolutely blown away how hard working he is, how focused he is,” says Alex’s squad lead Devon Cram. “He is a HUGE asset to this company and to the training department! If I could clone AJ, I would in a heartbeat. AJ has made it known that he really wants to be become Developer; I support his goal 100% and am willing to do whatever I can to assist reaching that goal. Ten out of 10, a 5-Star guy!”
Alex says life at Paladin has been great both professionally and personally.
“It’s good. I’ve learned a lot from Devon. He’s been here a long time and knows a lot about the software and the company. I work closely with the account specialists, so I know what they’re looking for,” he says.
Alex is also working toward the next stage of his career. He wants to one day be a software developer. He currently uses his spare time to read, study and code.
“Realistically, it’s going to take a few years to get there. I’m just having fun with it. I feel like if I approach it as something fun, it’s easier for me to learn,” he explains. “Paladin and Bend have both been good. Paladin is the exact kind of company I wanted to work for. I will admit, I like the snow. That said, if we get a lot of it I might change my mind.”
A nice dump of snow in Central Oregon is a certainty at some point each winter. When that happens, Alex will likely adapt, learn quickly, and make the most of it.