Humans of iQmetrix: David Daku, Client Experience

Our next Humans of iQmetrix mini-profile focuses on David Daku, who is Support Solutions Manager on the CX team. 

David came to iQmetrix after being a deep-sea diver and train conductor, by way of an astonishing backstory of survival. His team lead, Michael Craddock, says David is dedicated, driven, authentic, and consistent.” 

Here’s the remarkable tale of how this daredevil inventor came to be a much-valued member of our team.

iQmetrix: Tell us a bit about your role at iQmetrix and how long you’ve been here.

David: I’m Support Solutions Manager on the Client Experiences team and I’m also the team’s subject matter expert for payments. Pretty much any support issue that comes into to our frontline team and is about payments ends up hitting my eyes before it goes up to development.

My average day is constantly juggling numerous fires, but when people are dealing with their payments or their money, putting a little bit more expedience behind them is a priority. I spend my days of in and out of different programs, looking at reporting or device firmware — basically anything to do with payments and how it integrates with RQ and our providers. I deal with pretty much all our clients from enterprise all the way down to small clients.

I’ve taken a circular route to my current job. I started on Customer Support, then I worked for a while on Technical Support for payments when the Tech Support team was initially formed. But in June 2022, I moved over to ETS (Employee Technical Support, our in-house IT team) and I did that for about a year. Unfortunately, I was laid off from that job in 2023. But at the same time, they offered me my old position as Technical Support Analyst, working on payments again. So, I jumped back over to my old job, which was fine by me! And I’ve recently been made Support Solutions Manager. 

Circuitous job routes aside, how have you found working at iQmetrix?

When I started at iQmetrix, I fell in love with the culture right away because it was a completely different experience for me. It was like opening a library of knowledge to me when I got here. I can honestly say I have had nothing but positive experiences my entire time. Even switching teams and coming back, everybody I’ve worked with, all the people… it almost feels more like a family. And when I went back to my Technical Support role, it’s been great knowing the company recognizes that I have the skills that make me an asset. Just because one opportunity ends doesn’t mean the whole thing does.

I like what we’re doing, and I like having a bit more freedom to make decisions. It’s very much lifted a weight for me, being at a company where you have a voice — usually you’re just an employee number. That’s the difference. I enjoy the company and I genuinely enjoy my job. Where a lot of people can’t wait for the weekend, there’s a lot of times that I can’t wait for Monday because there’s always the next mystery to solve.

Another thing that really speaks to the culture and the people is what happened with my son, who is now diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. When we were first figuring it out, the doctors said it would be about a two-year wait for him to get in to be assessed. We had an immediate opportunity come up with a cancellation at a private clinic, but it was going to cost a bit more than we had and we’d already spent a good chunk of our savings paying for things like speech therapy and other appointments. One of my colleagues here, Amber Martin, started a GoFundMe for my son, and that’s how we were able to get him assessed so quickly — because of the generosity of my peers at iQmetrix. 

What was your background, and the story that got you to iQmetrix?

I have an unusual backstory. I graduated a few years early from high school with a really high GPA. I really liked adventure, so at about 16, 17, I left for the Northwest Territories in Canada to become an expedition guide. I was taking tourists out, guiding for bear hunting and fishing, that kind of thing. 

I did that for quite a while and then I became a certified deep-sea search and rescue diver. I’ve dived down as much as 1,000 feet in the ocean, been inside shipwrecks that are 304 feet down, taught divemasters how to dive… That was a crazy, interesting experience, but it’s a very cutthroat industry. Then after that, I worked as a conductor and locomotive control systems operator on trains, all over Saskatchewan and in BC and Alberta. I did that with both CN and CP for a good four or five years.

One day, everything changed. I was out in Winnipeg doing a training course with CN Rail and staying in a hotel there. I’d gone to get groceries and I was coming back, walking across a crosswalk, and I was hit by a vehicle doing about 45km an hour. They hit me dead-on and I flew up, but I didn’t touch the hood of the car and I landed on my head on the concrete behind the car. Because of the adrenaline, I managed to get up, walk off the road, and dial 911, and all I remember was being able to say my name and the address of the hotel I was at. But I had a significant set of injuries, to both my body and my brain.

I spent the next two years in rehabilitation learning how to walk properly again because of the brain injury. I had damaged my saccadic tracking in my eyes, so my eyes couldn’t track. I still have residual effects from the brain injury — I haven’t been without some kind of headache in about six years.

All the jobs I had ever held were safety-critical positions, and with the brain injury, I could no longer do that. So, while I was in rehabilitation, I applied for a course on full-stack Java development, as I’d always been good with computers, and had always done coding on the side. Right after that course, the first job after I finished my physical therapy, in August 2019, was iQmetrix customer support. I haven’t regretted it one day since.

What’s something else we might not know about you — a passion or a hobby?

I build things. I built a robotic lawnmower last year. I’m always inventing and building and tinkering. If I don’t know how to do something, I learn it. My wife jokes that I collect hobbies like some people collect coins. I do a lot of coding and building on microprocessors. I have a 3D printer and a CNC laser engraver here on my desk, so I manufacture a lot of my own parts for the projects I do. I also have an arcade machine that I built from scratch and programmed. And I bought an old camper van that I completely gutted and remodelled — I installed solar panels and turned it into an off-grid camper van for the family.

I love spending time with my son. Jaeger is three and a half, and being on the spectrum, he’s a little bit more high needs. He’s only just started talking, and his social cues aren’t all the way there. He doesn’t interact much with other kids, but he loves playing and building stuff with me, so that’s what of a lot of our time is spent on. He’s very much into cars, especially show cars, so we’ve designed cars in CAD like Lightning McQueen [from Pixar’s Cars] and then 3D-printed them for him. He just thinks it’s great because we can pick out whatever toys he wants and then magically make them.

Another thing about me is that I read about 100 books a year. Every year I pick a new genre and try to read the top 100 books in that category. 

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