A Man with a Plan from California: Meet ThePrismGroup!

ThePrismGroup loves his work, his state, Answers.com, and Christmas!  A Californian at heart, he has spent most of his life in this beautiful state.  Read about this prolific supervisor with over 100,000 contributions who has worked on just about everything from the Vandal Patrol to greeting new members.

First Name: Neil

Occupation: I’ll tell you if you promise not to laugh.  I’m an exterminator, believe it or not, and I’m self employed. I take pride in my work and the fact that it’s the best available service locally.

What is your Answers.com username and how did it come about?

Members know me as ThePrismGroup.  I’m an avid reader and I’m fascinated by the unusual, especially conspiracies and secret societies. Some time ago I worked for a company called Prism, later bought by Orkin and I always liked the name. I also worked for another company called The Steritech Group although they just used the Steritech part for brevity. I started an online retail biz once, and wanted to name it Prism, yet it was still trademarked, so I added ‘The’ and ‘Group’ which solved my problem: The Prism Group.  Later on I used the name on other forums.  When I joined  Answers.com I used it there as well since I like the simplicity of one username everywhere. I also like the fact it sounds like a secret society.

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?

I’ve been all over the US since I used to do long haul, but I’ve spent most of my years in California and consider it home. I was born in Washington State, but moved here at a very young age. California is like no other state in the US.  It’s an acquired taste for non-natives, but it works for me and the climate is good for business. I like to keep busy and it’s nice to be in demand.

What accomplishments on Answers.com are you proud of?

I try to do my part in helping to maintain a friendly atmosphere but I stay in the background for the most part. Hopefully some people I’ve helped will help others in turn. Like others, I create little ripples in the pool.  Hopefully they will become something significant later.

What enticed you to join our community?

The Supervisors and Community Assistants enticed me. Their enthusiasm made me want to be part of the site. It also provides a healthy outlet for all the juicy tidbits (of information) I pick up from reading and other sources, but I have no other place to use them. Some of the stuff I read about is a little hard to work into an ordinary conversation!

What life accomplishments are you proud of?

Probably I am most proud of the reputation I’m slowly developing since my biz is all about PR and trust.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas, without a doubt! I like the atmosphere and there always seems to be a lot of love in the air even amongst strangers.

Are you a candy, cake, or pie person?  What is your favorite?

It’s pie without a doubt.  Cherry is my favorite, but every once in a blue moon I get a craving for carrot cake and I even like fruitcake at Christmas, even though for the longest time I couldn’t stand it. I guess it’s an acquired taste, too. Now in the Christmas season I’ve got to have it!

How do you most enjoy using your creativity and why?

It constantly changes but I think it’s important for everyone to have an outlet.  To fill a need to create something seems to be inherent to human nature. I was pretty heavy into plastic model kits for a while and I liked seeing them get progressively better over the years.  That got me interested in painting in general. Now I dabble in that and who knows where it will lead.

What are you most passionate about in your life?

Right now I am primarily passionate about business concerns since we are at a critical point in our growth. Many of our competitors out there don’t care about their reputation and or what kind of work they do, although it seems counterproductive. They just constantly replace customers. I’ve turned down jobs in the past from some of them because my work matters to me and the fact that it does so is bringing in more business since everyone wants to get what they pay for and they care as well.

Who or what is your inspiration in life?

My inspiration in life is any real life hero, those people who do the right thing regardless of personal cost. I am talking about people like Karen Silkwood, Buford Pusser, Serpico, and others. I read many biographies along those lines and always wonder what it is that sets them apart from the rest of us. My only hope is that it is something all of us have and can use if we so choose.

What is one quirky or interesting random fact about you that most people may not know?

That’s a tough one. My favorite word is defiance. I like Green. There are some words I can’t stand because the way they sound bugs me. I also pop a lot of aspirin since my job is so physical.  I am older than most people think (I won’t say how old exactly, but my son is 25, the same age some think that I am) and I’m superstitious with slight OCD. There are some rituals that I perform religiously based on even/odd numbers. It’s also very hard to get under my skin although a few have tried!

Do you have any final words about the site? Your role? The community?

There’s not much we can improve there. I would like to see more education for guests and the ability to talk to them in the near future. I find too often that when many register, they are surprised by the fact that we (the Supervisors) are even there and they shouldn’t be. Also, I’d like many fewer warnings.  Edits wouldn’t be needed if we could curtail some problems early on and probably keep more contributors actively helping others.