Did you know Epic Games had a M.O.M.? Anne Dube is Epic Games‘ Mistress of Morale; the person who makes sure everyone at Epic is content and having fun. While it sounds like the most fun job in the world, it takes a lot of work to plan a picnic or party for over 200 people. Anne started as a contractor for Epic on February 5th, 1999 and as a “real girl” in April of the same year. She was hired to close the offices in Rockville and train the person they hired in North Carolina. She would go to the offices in Bethesda a few days a week. She was in the office herself and was surrounded by boxes of Unreal and shipping equipment.
In early April, Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein drove up from Raleigh and took Anne to lunch. They offered her the job in North Carolina. Anne was hesitant to move her family for a temporary position, so she worked out of her house after the lease on the office expired. Mark kept pushing Anne to go to Raleigh. In July of 1999, Anne went to visit. She returned home around 10:00 PM on a Friday and told her husband she wanted to move to Raleigh. They moved with her two kids, aged nine and twelve in October of that year.
When she started there were only eight employees; Tim Sweeney, Mark Rein, Steve Polge, Alan Willard, Jack Porter, Brandon Reinhart and Eric de Neve. Shane Caudle and Jay Wilbur were also on the team as contractors. Only three of the employees were married. Anne was the only one who had kids. She was also the only one who showed up before noon every day and there were no company policies. In fact, Anne worked every holiday because everyone else did and she wasn’t sure if she could take them off!
We asked Anne what it is like to be the Epic M.O.M. She said, “It is absolutely the best job in the world. I am so touched when the guys get excited to tell me good stuff that is happening to them. When Jack Porter bought his house, he called me up as he left settlement and said, “I couldn’t reach my dad, so I thought I would call my mom and tell her that I had bought a house!” I don’t mind telling you I teared up. Just Saturday, our systems administrator, Woody told me that he and his girlfriend Ali had gotten engaged. It was the look on his face when he said it that was so cool.”
What is really amazing, is Anne is terrible at video games! “The one and only time I played Gears, I hid behind a truck because every time I moved from behind it I got killed. When we were porting Unreal Tournament to the PS2, Cliff asked me to try out the controller. He wanted someone who was not a gamer play to see if the controls worked well, if they needed tweaking. After about five minutes of running into walls in the game, he turned to me and said, “Can you bring your son in?” My son Frank was about ten at the time.”
“Annecdotes” – ” When I first moved to Raleigh, the refrigerator had those large magnet letters – the kind that children use to learn to spell and such. The guys used to spell out some very graphic things with the letters. Well, it was an office of all guys then. Tim typed up a note and hung it on the fridge telling everyone to stop it. I still have it.”
If Anne wasn’t the Epic M.O.M. she says she would be a caterer, event planner, or both. She loves to cook for the office and wishes she could do it more.
Happy Mother’s Day to the best M.O.M. in the world!