Using Humor in the ATM Industry

Monday, April 03, 2017

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Chuck Goodman is the principle for ATM Recruiter, the only recruiting company dedicated to working with the ATM industry. While many people know Chuck or have seen him at ATM industry conferences, most people are unaware of his past as a stand-up comedian. ATMIA sat down with Chuck to find out more about what got him on the stage...and what drew him to the ATM industry.

Q: We think you have a story to tell, Chuck. Where do you want to start?

A: Well, I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. My earliest childhood memories was being loaded into the family station wagon to go watch the Cuyahoga River burn. The river burning sparked a big debate between my parents. Dad wanted to move us somewhere healthier and less toxic. We moved to New Jersey.

Chuck waits for the chuckles to subside before he continues, chuckling a little himself.

Yeah, I call the toxic triangle home, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut.  It wasn’t too bad because we ended up living near the beach. I was sailing and boating by the time I was 11. In fact, I had a Snark – one of these extremely lightweight, one-piece injection-molded boat with a sail attached to it. I sailed that thing all the way across Long Island sound. Probably not the smartest thing I could have done.

From comedy, I learned a lot about people in a group setting. Learning what motivates people to make a decision, to laugh or to make a job change is key.

Q: (laughter) Clearly luck was on your side. So you were a kid who took risks. After surviving this harrowing adventure, what came next?

A: Well, let’s see...I trained as a machinist in high school and worked in an automotive shop at 18, but neither of those careers were for me. Instead I decided to deliver waterbeds to put myself through college. Those things were real big back then. Things were kind of trucking along until the sales people were too busy to wait on a particular customer and I ended up selling him a bed.

When I delivered the bed the guy had this sweet new (1983) Toyota Supra in his driveway. We started talking cars and it turned out this guy ran a Toyota dealership. He invited me to come over to his dealership for a test drive.

Now there was no way I was going to be able to afford a Supra. I was a waterbed delivery guy and college student. But I eventually stopped by to take one out. We get to talking again and he ends up offering me a sales job. I said, ‘do I get to drive a Supra?’ He laughs and says, ‘top man drives anything he wants.’ Seven months later I was driving a Supra.

Q: So...sailor, machinist, mechanic, delivery boy/college student, car salesman. Where does the standup comedy come in?

A: I stopped selling new cars in 1987 to open a pre loved high performance exotic and muscle car dealership. Right after we opened, we had an economic downturn so we didn’t do too well. By December of 1990 we decided it wasn’t working. I owned a two year old 911 and had $54 to my name. I sold the Porsche and relocated to Florida to go into business with my dad.

You’ve heard the one about going into business with family...? Right. I started recruiting in 1991.

Ironically, I relocated across the street from the guy who owned the local comedy club, “Groucho’s.” I call it a comedy club but it was a rented banquet room at a hotel where people gathered to laugh. It pulled in around 115-130 people on Friday and Saturday nights. The owner  invited me to be a stand-in host/MC while his regular host was out. I was really nervous but thought, ‘Why not?’ I did this gig for a year and a half. Worked on my own material, got over my stage fright and spent some time learning about the comedy greats.

Q: As a recruiter, how have these experiences – and comedy in particular – helped you?

From comedy, I learned a lot about people in a group setting. I had learned a lot about people in a one-to-one setting from the car biz.

Recruiting is a people and connection business….learning what motivates people to make a decision, to laugh or to make a job change is key. Each person has their own wants, needs and goals. Understanding a candidate’s skills, goals and objectives, knowing what the client is looking for  leads to successful long term placements.

Q: What attracted you to the ATM industry?

I had three reasons for attraction to the ATM industry. The quality of the people that are in the industry was the number one factor. The passion that the general population has for cash was number two. Understanding that this is a growth industry for many years to come was the third.

Help ATMIA celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ATM and the 20th anniversary of the association by sharing your stories. Contact Sharon Lane, ATMIA Global Director of Member Services, at +001-605-271-7371.

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