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Thread: Airgun's worst decesion in a long time

  1. #1

    Unhappy Airgun's worst decesion in a long time

    I tried to respond to this later on the board but the thread about Jeff being let go from Airgun Designs was closed.

    I just want everyone here, including Tom, to know what a valuable person Jeff was at Airgun Designs. He invented new products (superbolt), cut down Airgun's bulky guns (like those Jax guns), and troubleshot more guns on his weekends off than most gun techs do during the entire week. Jeff was the reason I played with an RT for years after it was out of style do use an airgun product in the NPPL. Jeff is the reason dozens of people play with them.

    I honestly thought Airgun paid Jeff to take those weekends off to play tournaments. I'm amazed at how much time and effort Jeff put into Airgun during those weekends. He teched guns for free and Chicago players and teams have been famous for using mags because of it. Have you been to a tournament out of state? No one uses mags anymore. CPSA players to NPPL players from Chicago do because of Jeff. You should have encouraged him to travel instead of trying to tie him to a workbench to do repair guns.

    If Airgun has listened to Jeff more during the week they would know what is important to players. Lighter guns! Double triggers years ago! No huge front battery packs! Then maybe you wouldn't have to lay anyone off because sales would have been up instead of down.

    Tom - I really hope you have called around and gotten Jeff a job locally in paintball. He was the best employee you ever had. You just didn't bother to notice.

    John

  2. #2
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    Just to let you know I did not close the thread and I don't know who did. The fact remains that a small company like ours can not afford to have people leave at their convinience. If I do it for Jeff I have to do it for everyone and hence the problem. Yes Jeff had a lot of good ideas and was a great ambasador for our company. Jeff was in today and we arranged for him to tech the Masters at Challange Park. He is not interested in any full time job until after World Cup.


    AGD

  3. #3

    closed thread

    I'm glad you didn't close the last thread. Hopefully an overzealous moderator won't close this one.

    Did you offer Jeff his job back? I would hope he wouldn't accept it. Jeff put 8 years into your company and I know if people there has listened to him more, you would have sold more guns.

    Have you ever tried talking a 17 year old into buying an RT Pro? Every Piranha since 1999 has come with a double trigger but the RT Pro didn't. How silly is that? I know Jeff advocated double triggers but he was told not even modify his own personal gun. That is counter productive. If you guys had simply sold the RT like Jeff's personal gun right away, you would have sold more. Instead AGD waited years before making a cheap imitation (RT Pro) and left off the two most important parts - smaller lighter front grip and a simple double trigger.

    Jeff made Airgun's guns better. However, AGD forced him to do it one gun at a time. He could have done it by the thousands. I've been an advocate of AGD for a long time because I've had the pleasure of playing with a gun Schreiber put together. I just wish AGD would have listened to him as much as I did.

    John

  4. #4
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    I must say i can go either way on this one. Jeff was a great tech and always helped me out. But we do have to realize that Airgun is not a multi million dollar corporation with hundreds of employees. I think i remember Tom telling me at skyball that they had like 15 employees. I think Airgun does a fine job keeping up and we shouldnt complain. Dresser you do have a good point but we cant give one man all the credit for running Airgun's tech support and influence on players. I was the first one in my neighborhood with a mag now theres around 8 players in my town. Either way lets not get all hot about this. Thanks!!!
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  5. #5
    Originally posted by AGD
    The fact remains that a small company like ours can not afford to have people leave at their convinience.
    AGD
    I realize there's all sorts of background I don't know here, but you can't call going to a tournament allowing people to leave "at their convinience [sic]." Those things are scheduled out at the begining of the year.

    Jeff playing paintball with his tournament team is what inspired me to buy an E-Mag. I sold it later once I found out it didn't really work very well and it was really front heavy. I bought it because I wanted to get jeff (although I didn't even know his name at the time) to trick it out for me.

    Have you ever seen Jeff at an event? I was under the impression at the Zap IAO that he was being paid to be there. From what you said it sounds like he wasn't. He works on guns and coaches mag teams that he doesn't even know. Jeff is the man.

    DM

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    Post

    I have been away for a few weeks so... while I am upset that Jeff is gone for the time being, I understand where Tom is coming from. I was never aware that Tom had so few working for him. With the way Airguns handles the company, I figured Tom had atleast 60 or 70 people working for him.

    While I do not know first hand how hard it is to run a company, I worked for my father over the summer and I see the stress he goes through...but he has over 200 working for him...
    ~Bub~

    "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up."
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    John,
    I don't think you are getting the big picture here. The recent events in the U.S. have caused an economic slow down (its starting to pick up a bit now.) Airgun Designs is such a small company that it cannot afford to have employee's "floating" around (from what I can tell.) I am sure that if Tom could, he would have kept Jeff around. I am guessing this purely a business related decision. I am sorry if this comes off as a flame but it is/was not intended to be.

    -Ben

  8. #8
    Jeff was let go on September 11th. He wasn't let go because of the terrorist attack or the results of it. However, today's economic times will probably make it harder for him to get another job especially in a boomtime industry like paintball.

    I'm not sure what you mean about Jeff "floating" though. He worked as a senior technician at AGD. I first talked to him when I bought my first RT (#505 I think). I had many many problems with it and after a few weeks I realized that Jeff was the most informed person there. Everyone else answering the phones was talking out of their a$$ and caused more problems with my RT than they fixed.

    John

  9. #9
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    Jeff was not fired he was laid off along with three other people the same day. Unfortunately the economic slowdown has forced us to do this. Jeff is a very dedicated paintball player and a long time friend of ours. He has to leave 6 times a year to play tournaments. When he does, repair guns and final testing of Emags gets backed up for weeks and puts a major strain on the company. We would have had to tell him that he couldn't go to tournaments anymore and he wouldn't be able to do that so this was our only choice. We are talking with other paintball companies in the area to try and get him a job. He can now collect his profit sharing money without penalty to get him out of his financial bind.

    AGD
    By floating I meant it looked like he left many times in the year for tournaments and such, so he wasnt full time (Again, I do not know him personally so I do not know the extent of this but this is just from what I can tell.) You just got on AGD's case about having him laid off and I guess I didnt like it too much because Tom stated why he did what he did in the closed thread.

    -Ben

  10. #10
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    i think that agd is in respects correct about leaving on convienince suppose i decide that i want to play in the tourney saturday and i tell my employer friday "oh i wont be here tommoro im busy" that wont cut it and about jeff working for free fixing guns wow all i can say is that the cocker and angel techs that work at my local shop go to all the events (there required to) and fix the teams guns for free its a service to the gun holders provided by the gun makers you dont want to see a team lose because your gun broke and you couldnt fix it do you thats bad advertising
    my .02

  11. #11
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    I know this is a little off color, but...

    I bought my 'mag used about 2 years ago. I remember I called about a thousand times to check what I had, make sure it was what it was supposed to be, and occasionally just to make sure "Why's that there again?" Anyways... I don't really remember who kept answering my phone, but I remember asking him what his cerial number was on his 'mag, and he replied "#00001". I talked to him about 50 times total, and his tone never changed, he was always helpful, curteous, and kind. He gave me a lot of help, more than I've gotten from local airsmiths even. Many times I had asked what I'm sure are monotonous questions, but he always sounded as if he had only heard them once or twice, but answered as if he had been thinking about the problem before I said it. If it was Jeff, thanks Jeff, and I'll cya around hopefully - if it wasn't, thanks #00001 and keep up the good work

    /\G|} |2()>< !!!!!!
    Coming Soon:
    Who knows anymore...

  12. #12
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    I believe that Tom (AGD) keeps all the products with the serial number "00001".

    "The BEAST"
    "No-Rise" E-mag
    Level 10 Bolt
    AGD Flatline 91cu in/4500psi
    Black HALO B

    "Red Heatseeker"
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    noo

    jeff's gone.......time to sell the rt and get a bushy........
    AOL sucks...

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    To John Dresser...

    You don't know me, and I don't know You or Jeff. But I find it appalling that you come on this public forum and criticize the business decisions of the owner of AGD! Your statements about AGD not doing as they should have are idiotic. Believe me, in case you haven't noticed, Tom knows exactly what he is doing, and apparently knows what is best for HIS company. If AGD is not the first to come out with something new so what. We are happy waiting for products to come out, knowing that when they do, the wait is always worth it. I know 500+ mag users on the East Coast, and I can tell you that not 1 of them knows Jeff, and not 1 of them purchased a Mag or AGD product just because Jeff was "keeping Mags alive". None of our mags are "Schreiberized" , but they rock just the same. The reason we purchase AGD products is because we don't like our stuff to break. These products are of the highest quality, and the customer service is second to none. I understand that Jeff was a great asset to AGD and I also know he is a top notch mechanic. But there are plenty of "Jeffs". And "Jeffs" will come and "Jeffs" will go over the years, but AGD will continue to thrive without them, knowing that there is a faithful clan of "MagMen" out there, all over the world, who will support AGD forever. You made it sound like AGD is going to go under because he they laid a couple guys off. How would you like it if Tom told you how to run your business? If you tried to tell me how to run mine, we would have a problem. Give the guy some credit! He is the leader in paintball technology and didn't earn that title by making "bad business decisions". Sorry for the rant, but it pissed me off.
    LONG LIVE AGD!
    Last edited by Tunaman; 09-24-2001 at 08:38 PM.
    Email me for low prices on ALL AGD Products and more. tunaman5@verizon.net
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    # 0001 Valves

    Actually Jeff had Automag Valve # 0001. Some guy that plays in the NPPL has RT #001. He was still playing with it as of Atlantic City. I remember seeing the RT recently, but the Automag one isn't played with.

    Infamous G

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    Word up my gilled friend.

  17. #17
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    Re: To John Dresser...the really smart guy

    Originally posted by Tunaman
    Tom knows exactly what he is doing, and apparently knows what is best for HIS company.

    These products are of the highest quality, and the customer service is second to none.

    He is the leader in paintball technology and didn't earn that title by making "bad business decisions". Sorry for the rant, but it pissed me off.
    LONG LIVE AGD!
    Wow. Where to start? If Tom knew exactly what he was doing, would AGD be in danger of closing its doors? I don't think so!!!

    The products are of high quality. The customer service was so good because their senior tech was one smart guy. Now he is gone.

    Of course Tom has made bad decesions! When is the last time you shot an automag pump? How well does your Z-Grip work? Or is this too old skool, but that automatic CO2 cartridge changer was too little too late considering constant air was already around. Not to mention the big stupid battery pack on the front of every E-Mag. Sorry, every E-mag but Jeff's.

    If there were more Jeffs in paintball, there wouldn't be so many guns down all the time. Every paintball gun would probably work.

    Infamous G

  18. #18
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    I'm sorry. I do not know Jeff. What I do know however is that this thread has become nothing more than a flame fest, this was entirely the reason why, I believe, the earlier thread was locked. Why are we questioning what is going on in the business aspects of Airgun Designs? What brought you into the world of Automags? Was it the product or was it one man? To my understanding, the automag was a product ahead of its time, it set the standard in the paintball world for a long time. To my limited understanding, the popularity of AGD is on the rise. It started with the introduction of the RT, Warp Feed, RT Pro, and now, the E-mag. I do not know of any other company that has such devotion to their product and their customers. I am sure that Jeff is a great man, a true technical wizard and genius, I have not heard of him till today. Why are we flinging dirt at this company for making, what must have been, a needed decision. Do you know what is going on in the halls of Airgun Designs? If not, and I am sure most of us do not, let us all keep out of their business. Great companies are not made by one person, but by many. I do not know if you realize it, but even we have helped propel AGD to where it is today and we will help it in the years ahead. Now let us all be good little children. Grow up and be good to one another.

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    Please look at it this way, even though he might be a GREAT worker, the economy is taking a nose dive right now, small companies are really getting hurt by this. He was only a part time worker who had a very flexible schedule, and part time workers are the first to go during times like these. You do not have any clue what is going on moneywise behind the scenes at AGD, they maybe getting hurt just as bas (or worse) as everyone else. Please look at it from a realistic standpoint.

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    Re: Re: To John Dresser...the really smart guy

    Originally posted by Grendel


    Wow. Where to start? If Tom knew exactly what he was doing, would AGD be in danger of closing its doors? I don't think so!!!

    The products are of high quality. The customer service was so good because their senior tech was one smart guy. Now he is gone.

    Of course Tom has made bad decesions! When is the last time you shot an automag pump? How well does your Z-Grip work? Or is this too old skool, but that automatic CO2 cartridge changer was too little too late considering constant air was already around. Not to mention the big stupid battery pack on the front of every E-Mag. Sorry, every E-mag but Jeff's.

    If there were more Jeffs in paintball, there wouldn't be so many guns down all the time. Every paintball gun would probably work.

    Infamous G
    Well it's like this...My Automag pump works just fine, my Z-Grip functions perfect, and my 6-pack is a necessity for those stock games we still play. And my Emag battery will stay where it is, and not rigged up like a ghetto rig. And I am waiting for another manufacturer to come out with a smaller "stupid battery pack" that will run my Warp, Revvy AND Emag. Not gonna happen. And one more thing...if you drifted over here from the Dojo, why don't you just drift back over there. I believe I speak for many in saying we don't need comments like yours in our forums.
    Last edited by Tunaman; 09-24-2001 at 09:08 PM.

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    Part time?

    Originally posted by irbodden
    He was only a part time worker who had a very flexible schedule, and part time workers are the first to go during times like these.
    How was AGD's Senior Tech a "part time" worker? How did he have a "very flexible" schedule? Why are you making things up? According to this board, Jeff worked at Airgun 8 years.

    I met Jeff at an event where he was very nice to my team. He made such an impression:

    1. I was very impressed
    2. I thought he was being paid to be there
    3. I bought an E-Mag

    Sorry, but I don't post on paintballdojo.com. Sorry I don't have as many posts as you do, but it doesn't mean I don't have a point.

    G

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    I'm locking this one also, since you didn't get the hint from the last one...

    <center></center>

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    Uhh, being a person who's been laid off within the past year and has had a firsthand experience with the economy...

    I say stop raggin on AGD. Really. It's rediculous. Jeff was a good guy, but he's still getting agd benefits and working for them.

  24. #24
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    Hey Tunaman and Tom Kaye

    First off, do you really know 500+ users of Automags. Second off, how many emags do you think Airgun sells... I have a friend who uses these guns exclusively, his name is PGP... Give him a call he is the captain of the Jax Warriors, and ask him what he thinks about the guns he has. Oh yeah then ask him how many times he asked Jeff to work on them. Maybe you and your 500 friends could become the best scenario team in paintball. The fact of the matter is AGD showed no loyalty to Jeff. Another thing I use an angel and I just had to pay WDP $25 in Atlantic City to fix it. As for cockers I know Danny Love and if you don't you can bet your sweet a$$ your getting charged to fix that cocker. When I mean loyalty, I am speaking of the last thread where it said that Jeff would have to be asked to quite tournament ball. That option was never even given, just a haul a$$ thank you for your time and give Rennick all your secrets so that he can try and keep my company afloat. In case you are wondering what that is... Rennick has made a deal with AGD to do a Shocktech version of the bulk mag. "EMAG"

    In saying all of that you can post your response but know this Tom will not send you that free T-shirt you and your 500+ friends were hoping for.

    Grendel


    PGP's number is 904-274-2282 "Paul Bollenbach"

  25. #25
    Please lock it. What I see here are a few of Jeff's friends trying to flame his former employer. Privately held company, private business. That's how it should be. If Jeff has a gripe, lets see him take legal action and claim wrongful termination. Otherwise, shut it.

  26. #26
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    This is sad...

    I would stick up for a friend, just as much, but not in this fashion. Absolutely without class... and nor have you heard 'both' sides of the story.

    From what I know of Jeff so far, he sounds like a great guy and even better, someone who cared for the company - AGD in this case - and genuinly did his best to serve it's customers. And you know what? He sounds like a great guy off the job and the field as well, according to all the positives I've read of him.

    Chances are, I might have even had a conversation over the phone with him when I had problems with my marker.

    but... I have a feeling Jeff himself can... Take care of himself? And I also have a feeling, that Jeff and Tom have spoken about this issue. Who are you and the others, to come here and points fingers and generalize the whole issue, even belittling Jeff in my opinion, in the whole process.

    I'll go even further to say that you're probably not a bad guy at all, and in any other situation, we've probably would have had a decent conversation. It shows character that you would stand up for a friend and speak for him... but guess what? I think I speak for the majority, who visit this public forum, when I say this (along with all the other posts) isn't doing Jeff, much good at all.

    Not at all.

    By the way, my apologies as well. I don't know the whole story of how this started or where it'll lead to. You and the others who have posted in 'protest', probably do know a lot more of what's been happening. This still isn't a way to go about it though.
    Last edited by Arturus; 09-24-2001 at 11:06 PM.

  27. #27
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    Army, I opened this one back up because I feel that even though this is getting into a flame people will think we are censoring the subject to protect ourselves. I am on the hot seat here and I believe I am the only president of a paintball company that would be willing to sit here in public and get shot up. The same thing happened last time when we let Sparky go years ago and people said the EXACTLY same thing, but of course no one talks about him now.

    Of all the paintball gun manufacturers there were in the eighties there are only three left now, Worr Games, Tippman and AGD. Sure I make mistakes, but I must have made a few less than a lot of other gun manufacturers. It's not that we didn't listen to Jeff, we were too busy doing other things like military guns. Up until last week military stuff might have looked pretty stupid but I sure have a lot of people from DC calling us now.

    Custom guns are a great idea, light weight Super Bolts are a great idea and I give Jeff all the credit. Only problem is they wear out, sometimes REALLY fast. Now Jeff couldn't solve that problem so if you would like one that may or may not last see him, if you want one with a replacable sleeve then you have to wait for me to solve that problem.

    The most important thing in AGD is NOT me, the managers or the staff, it's the customers. Right or wrong I try to make decisions that will ultimately benefit them. This forum and the 2000 people that come here every day are evidence of that. These people here are a cross section of who AGD needs to listen too and we do. I didn't design the Intelliframe, I didn't name the Intelliframe and no one at AGD packaged the Intelliframe, everyone HERE did. The back of the package has the name of the AGD customer that created it in tribute to his genius.

    A lot of times I purposely do not listen to customers if what they want is something that doesn't do what they think it does. For this I am constantly belittled by others in this industry "give them what they want, who cares if it works" I am not now, nor have I ever been a snake oil salesman. I would rather die bankrupt and pennyless than have one person come up to me and say I lied to them about my products. I will be the first to admit we are loosing the snake oil war. It's all I can do to keep quiet when I see young guys work their tails off to buy something THAT DOES ABSOULUTELY NOTHING!! Of course there are a thousand experts that will tell you exactly why it does work so Tom must be wrong..... fine I'm wrong. If I didn't listen to Jeff it's because I didn't believe the idea had a basis in fact.

    So that is my rant, there is more to the Jeff story but that's between him and me. I didn't wake up in the morning and decide that this is a great day to lay off a bunch of people, it was a calculated, long studied, carefully weighed plan that had to happen. Jeff is a friend of mine and in the end this move will help him get out of his current situation and get him going again. He came in and we talked for a half hour today about a lot of different things. If his friends wedding doesn't conflict he will be teching at the Masters. If he wants to setup shop Shrieberizing guns we will support him in that endeavor, it's up to him.

    Right now there is a recession going on and for most of you this is a new experience. The good times are over people, there are now thousands of people out of work here in Chicago and it's getting worse every day. The rest of the staff here at AGD agrees with everything I did. I hope this was the right move to air our dirty laundry in public, most inteligent businessmen would say it isn't. This is another one of those things that someone can point too later and say "it was stupid for him to do that..."

    AGD

  28. #28
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    Thanks tom.

  29. #29
    Well said Mr. Kaye, and thanks for clearing this up for me anyways, you still have me as a customer even tho I am seling my mag, b/c I am buying another. Thanks for the great company and customer service.

  30. #30
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    Originally posted by Grendel

    Wow. Where to start? If Tom knew exactly what he was doing, would AGD be in danger of closing its doors? I don't think so!!!

    Infamous G
    Have you ever been in the 'business' world before? Run your own business? Had business partners? Worked at a major corporation?

    Or hell, even been a customer to a company that could care less about you?

    Then you'll understand, when I say this. Many companies that aren't in danger of closing it's doors, are often the same ones who could care less about you and those you speak of.

    Cheap material, low quality, 2nd rate customer service... All ways of making money and have the ability to give a company huge profit margins. Are you honestly on here, to criticize the way a company does business?

    I mean look, BE is doing a great job... Good business decisions right? (sorry, BE has it's role in the industry and I respect it, but had to use some real world example). I'm sure they're on a constant look out for new customers.

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