Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Fabulous job perk: The company minion

Until recently, Phil Matranga, 23, held the title of "minion" at Dmg Ctrl Ltd., a tech company in Old City. His job description? We turn to the dictionary: "A servile or slavish follower of somebody generally regarded as important." Synonyms: Gofer, assistant, underling, slave."

Fabulous job perk: The company minion

Until recently, Phil Matranga, 23, held the title of "minion" at Dmg Ctrl Ltd., a tech company in Old City. His job description? We turn to the dictionary: "A servile or slavish follower of somebody generally regarded as important." Synonyms: Gofer, assistant, underling."

"We hired people as minions at a reasonable starting salary  to run errands and do things for people," explained his boss Dmg Ctrl co-founder Jason Allum. Here's an example: Suppose one of Allum's highly-talented tech folks has to wait at home for the cable guy for three hours. Instead, if the employee agrees, Allum sends the minion to wait. That way, the tech guy can stay in the office and generate billable hours at a much higher return. Picking up dry cleaning? Ask the minion. Need takeout lunch? It's the minion's job. While he did the minion's work, it's doubtful that he was required to be servile or slavish."

So what's in it for the minion? The other definition of minion provides a clue: "A highly favored person." In between Matranga's minion duties, he was assigned to read software manuals and take online courses. Before he started at Dmg Ctrl, Matranga was slinging boxes on a loading dock. Now, Allum said, Matranga, the ex-minion, is "automating quality assurance for iOS and the web using Javascript, Python and other languages." And he knows what that sentence means!

Matranga isn't the first person at Dmg Ctrl to start as a minion and to advance to a job with triple or quadruple the salary. He's following in the footsteps of some of his co-workers. In fact, with Matranga's promotion, Allum said Dmg Ctrl is on the market for a new minion. "It's like a paid apprenticeship." 

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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