BILLIE JO MILLER/PHOTO Ransom Briggs is back on stage with Higher Ground. Below from left: Ransom with his wife Kelly and son Jonas, 3; delivering lead guitar and vocals; and behind the desk at 2nd Chance PC.
CRESWELL – Ransom Briggs didn’t even own a tie when he landed his first IT interview.
“I was in my early 20s and I had to wear a suit and tie for the first time,” Briggs recalled Friday in his office. “I had an interview with the IT director and she looked at my resume and saw there was nothing there, but we talked and she really liked me. But she said we needed to bring in the general manager.
“He came in, looking at my resume, totally unconvinced, and said, ‘What makes you think you can do this job?’ And I just laid it on thick and heavy. I told him, ‘If I don’t own up to everything I just told you, I’ll leave voluntarily, you won’t even have to fire me. But I guarantee I’ll knock your socks off.’ He was like, ‘I like your attitude.’ He was a good ol’ boy from Tennessee, and he said, ‘Let’s give it a shot.’
“I wound up becoming the IT director of that company. It’s a Fortune 500 company called Corporate Express. I became their electronic commerce specialist and took their electronic sales from 3% to 26% on the Internet. That was the first 3½ years of my tech career professionally, and I really liked it.
“Each company I’ve worked for I’ve become their senior tech.”
In a nutshell, that has been Briggs’ formula for success everywhere he’s been. Once he displays his hands-on ability and troubleshooting skills, his upper-tier skill set becomes apparent. Then he becomes the boss – or at least his own boss.
Briggs, who just turned 45, currently has an office in Creswell – 2nd Chance PC – that faces East Oregon Ave. Whether you’re in need of advanced networking or any type of desktop support, he hopes people will consider 2nd Chance as their first choice.
Getting started was a rocky start.
“Fix my PC, fix this PC, fix a PC … every website was taken. Then I tried ‘FixMyGDpc’ as a joke, and it was available, and that wound up being the original name of my company,” Briggs said. “People in Long Beach thought it was funny.”
Soon thereafter, Briggs’ DBA Tech company became the No. 1-rated tech company in Long Beach, with the most Yelp reviews, as well as the highest-rated reviews.
“My dad called me to see if I had read my reviews. We hadn’t talked much lately, so I told him I hadn’t read them but I’d heard good things. Then he told me to sit down so he could read them all to me over the phone. It was really neat to have your dad do that for you.”
Briggs has quite a history with his father, Tim Briggs, who played in several rock bands before finally landing a spot with Alabama in the early 1990s.
“He came home one day and said he’d gotten a gig with Alabama,” Briggs said. “He said they have 41 No. 1 hits. But still it was country. We grew up on Hendrix, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton … Dad always said not to play country.
“He took us to Myrtle Beach Theater to see them live with laser lights and fog, and they rocked! I was so blown away.”
Ransom Briggs played in a few bands himself, then took about a 10-year break while concentrating on family and career in California.
A couple of disturbing events happened that led to him moving the family to Creswell, where his wife grew up.
First, while stealing a car at gunpoint from his next-door neighbors, five young men ran by, and one said, “Hey, baby,” to his wife. Because of that, she was able to identify him to police.
On another occasion, when two guys were trying to steal another man’s hoverboard, the victim fell down and Briggs’ young daughter Jackie, standing nearby, got a busted lip.
“We just decided we wanted to go to a better place to raise a family,” Briggs said. “We bought a house here in Creswell and it’s been the best decision of my life.”
He’s also making music again, with the band Higher Ground, which just played Saturday, July 17 at the Beer Station in Junction City.
“It was a great show,” Briggs said. “The place was packed and we really rocked. Everybody had a fun night.”
Briggs says he has plenty of history with all of his bandmates.
“I taught the whole band how to play,” Briggs said of his first band. “My drummer is my best friend since middle school and my wife was my high school sweetheart and I taught her to play.”
Briggs says he’s particularly proud of the band’s rendition of Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do” in which they play the full 17-minute voice box.
“We tightened up our songs and our song list, and go out and impress,” Briggs said. “That’s what I’ve been wanting to do.”
And, of course, he doesn’t need a tie for this job, either.