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09 Three Dots and a Dash

Meet Riley Our Utility Player!

Every agency needs a Riley. Somebody who can fill in for multiple different people and has the skills to be well-rounded enough to do almost any task. Learn more about how our former account coordinator turned digital specialist loves helping us succeed. 

Three Dots and a Dash


  • 1 1/2 oz. of your favorite white rum
  • 1/2 oz. of aged rum
  • 1/4 oz. of velvet falernum
  • 1/4 oz. allspice dram
  • 1/2 oz. of honey syrup
  • 1/2 oz. of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. of freshly squeeze orange juice
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • garnish with 3 maraschino cherries on a cocktail pick
  • garnish with 1 pineapple frond

Catelin and her in-home bartender have been on a tiki kick as of late. Three Dots and a Dash is an iconic tiki drink that you're sure to love! 

  1. Fill cocktail shaker with all ingredients.
  2. Add ice into cocktail shaker and shake well
  3. Strain into your favorite glass full of crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple frond and three cherries on a cocktail pick.


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Episode Transcript

Rich: Hello, and welcome back to Cocktails, Tangents and Answers. I am one of your hosts, Rich Mackey.

Catelin: And I'm your other host Catelin Drey. We are so thrilled that you're here.

Rich: We're absolutely thrilled that this is actually continuing and we're keeping it going.

Catelin: Right.

Rich: We're very proud of ourselves.

Catelin: Honestly, it's one of the favorite things that I get to do as part of this job.

Rich: I think so too. I told somebody I was nervous about it and then I'm like, no, I just have to sit and talk with my friend Catelin for a while.

Catelin: Right? Yeah. I think it's a really special blend of all of our talents.

Rich: I would agree. Well, speaking of talents, we'll have more on that later. However, I think the first talent is, you have a cocktail recipe to share with us.

Catelin: I do. This one comes courtesy of my in-home bartender, AKA spouse. He is a cocktail enthusiast and has really been honing his recipe skills over the last two years.

Rich: Well, and I just need to pause for a minute. So cocktail enthusiast is not a euphemism for drunk.

Catelin: No.

Rich: Because he's not that. He is just super enthusiast.

Catelin: Sometimes, but not like,

Rich: But not regularly.

Catelin: No.

Rich: He is sometimes drunk. He is not a drunk.

Catelin: Correct. Yeah.

Rich: But he just really loves especially old craft cocktails and things like that.

Catelin: Yeah. We've recently really gotten into Tiki drinks and the kitsch culture. So this is called three dots and a dash and-

Rich: Oh, I think I've heard of this.

Catelin: It's so good. So it's white rum, aged rum, velvet falernum, which is the most fun thing to say, allspice dram, honey syrup. So like honey simple syrup. And some fresh citrus lime and orange. And then just a dash of Angostura bitter. In the industry they call them Ango. I call it Ango. It's very annoying. But the garnish is where I get really excited. So it's three of the Luxardo cherries.

Rich: Of course.

Catelin: Well, it's three cherries. Some people just choose a straight maraschino, but I really prefer the Luxardo cherries.

Rich: Yes. Yes.

Catelin: And they're just so much richer. We've talked about the cherries.

Rich: We did. We got into it.

Catelin: But on a cocktail pick. So the three cherries are the three dots. And then the dash, the dash of the bitters.

Rich: Oh

Catelin: I think is the dash.

Rich: Okay, I was going to literally viewing a dash. The pick is the dash move through the dots.

Catelin: Maybe it's like a, choose your own dash venture, who knows. But it's just like, it's layered. And I love citrus. It's very fresh. But then the cherry garnish just adds this second kind of component of deliciousness.

Rich: That sounds actually very awesome. So I look forward to drinking that one when we're done recording here.

Catelin: When it's quiet.

Rich: What's funny about that is we went out booze shopping because I had somebody in, this will come up in a future episode or a past episode. I don't know what order these are going and that's up to Zach. But we just bought allspice dram.

Catelin: Yeah.

Rich: This last weekend, because there's a drink that we're going to make with it. I don't think it's that one. It might be, I don't know. But I had created a booze list on our grocery list of a bunch of things I needed.

Catelin: A secondary list of all the-

Rich: I was just adding stuff because I was tweeting with somebody and getting into gin drinks. As you know, I've started doing more gin.

Catelin: Fully endorse the gin drinks.

Rich: I know. And I never thought I would be a gin drinker. And we now have five kinds of gin in our house.

Catelin: Is that all?

Rich: It's just five. It's fine. Until-

Catelin: No I'm saying, get more gin.

Rich: We have two empties, if that helps. But it just killed me when you're like, allspice dram. I'm like, oh wow. I know what that is because we went one place and they did not have it. And then we went to another place, the giant Toys R Us, Booze.

Catelin: Emporium?

Rich: Emporium in Omaha. And they had it, which was great. They had two bottles is all. And the guy's like, yeah, it's a fall thing. And we just got it in for summer.

Catelin: Yeah. It's very, it's Christmas almost.

Rich: Yeah, but he's like, yeah, supply chain. We get all of our fall booze in the summer and we're like, well, we'll drink it. It's fine.

Catelin: Yep. Yep. You're practicing for the fall.

Rich: Absolutely. And I think if anybody tries that, then we need an email or a call or something.

Catelin: Yeah, please.

Rich: So listen at the end, you'll have ways to contact us. But yeah, we definitely want to know if you like the three dots and a dash. It sounds heavenly to me.

Catelin: It is. My husband slash in-home bartender says that he's a self-proclaimed garbage drinker because he ruined his taste buds early with whiskey neat and a heavy Maduro cigar. And so he has a much higher tolerance for things that taste to me like motor oil, and has since been trying to dial that back. So he's like, hey, could you drink this? And the three dots passed. That's for sure.

Rich: Oh yeah. I mean, I don't know. There's nothing in there that I would think, I could drink all of that straight almost.

Catelin: Yeah. He just,

Rich: Especially the dark rum.

Catelin: He really loves, he wants to peel paint. And I'm like, can we take it a step back, please? I'm not ready for that. So he'll hand me something and be like, can you drink this? Can you drink this? I'm like, oof. It's taken a minute to get him pulled back enough where it's tolerable.

Rich: Yeah. That reminds me of another drink that if you forget the twist and the garnish, it's got to twist of grapefruit. If you forget that grapefruit oil, you could peel paint with the drink.

Catelin: Yeah.

Rich: Cause otherwise it's just gin and vermouth.

Catelin: I don't think I'm interested in that.

Rich: We'll try it. We'll get that in another episode. I think we're probably going to need to talk a little bit about who we've got joining us today.

Catelin: I'm really excited for this because I consider myself a little bit of a utility player.

Rich: I would agree with that.

Catelin: I think I'm the elder utility player.

Rich: That works for me because you came in as an account person.

Catelin: I came in as a project manager.

Rich: As a project manager. That's right.

Catelin: Yeah.

Rich: And then realized that there's a piece of that you love and a piece of that you don't love so much.

Catelin: Yeah.

Rich: And so we hired a project manager who loves lists and orders and she's fantastic.

Catelin: So fantastic.

Rich: We'll get her on here one of these days. And then you shifted to account service. And then even in that, you figured out that, we figured out, I guess, or you did, we all did. You're super good at keeping a website moving, keeping project based things moving. Not project management with the global list, but keeping one or three or four things moving. In particular, websites. And have revolutionized our time to market websites.

Catelin: It's mostly just like, hey, we still need that. Can you please get us your stuff? We're ready, ready, ready.

Rich: Yeah. So that's been really great. So you're not the utility player interviewing today.

Catelin: All that to say, we're really excited to have Riley join us. And is Riley the newest member of our team?

Rich: No, that would be Stacy, is the most member.

Catelin: Yes.

Rich: Riley would be, I think second newest. Yes.

Catelin: Need a flow chart for this.

Rich: I know, we do need to have. I pull up my HR spreadsheet.

Catelin: It might be third.

Rich: Yeah. And he joined us as an account coordinator, which is a nebulous job anyway.

Catelin: Yeah.

Rich: It's not really defined. It's kind of, what do you need to do to help everybody out. And then kind of learned that his role, he likes being useful and so has actually migrated out of just account service and does a whole bunch of other things, which I won't get into. I know most of them, obviously now,

Catelin: I don't know if I know these things, I'm so excited to talk to him.

Rich: You're going to have to do the interview with him and find out what he's doing in account service, outside of account service. And I think the title of this, what exactly does it mean to be a utility player in a marketing agency, should be really interesting.

Catelin: Yeah. I'm looking forward to it. So with that...

Rich: Should we get to it?

Catelin: Yeah. Let's go.

Catelin: Welcome back. Thank you for sticking with us. I'm here with Riley, who is our utility player, ultimate utility player. And I first want to say, thank you for being here. I don't know if you had a choice necessarily, but I feel like you're a willing participant.

Riley: I am pretty willing.

Catelin: I think the vibe I get from you, just working with you, is you're kind of game for anything. Yeah.

Riley: I would say that.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: Yeah. There's not a lot of boundaries you have. I'm just kind of like, unless it's not life or death.

Catelin: Which is great. Yeah, no, you just are game to help however you can. And that is such an admirable and necessary skill and personality trait. I think, especially in a small agency setting where we don't have a real deep bench, so you're kind of our backup to a lot of things.

Riley: Most definitely.

Catelin: So start at the beginning of how you got here and we don't need to go back to 1991.

Riley: Of course.

Riley: Well, it was 1999, no. I graduated high school. I didn't really know what I really wanted to do.

Catelin: I still don't.

Riley: A lot of people

Catelin: Know what I want to be when I grow up.

Riley: Exactly. A lot of people go to college. I have no idea what I want to do. So I know, it's whatever, but. Decided to go on a visit to Morningside and saw their business classes and all that kind of stuff. I was like, I think I might want to do business. It's pretty broad, but at least it's kind of like a safe bet. But when I went in my visit, they had, oh, here's advertising, here's marketing.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: I saw advertising and it had a creative aspect to it with graphic design, there was photography and all that. And I was like, yes, I'm game for that. So I only really went on a visit once with them and I was like, I'm just going to go there because I don't really like to get out that much. I like to stay comfortable where I'm at.

Catelin: That is interesting because I, you strike me as still a little bit of interest.

Riley: Sometimes.

Catelin: But pragmatic, I think, because not to delve too personal, but you were able to live at home all four years, which saved you a ton of money.

Riley: Oh definitely.

Catelin: Which I admire that. So I think some pragmatism involved in that choice as well.

Riley: Exactly.

Catelin: Carry on. This is also my analysis of all of your personal choices that we're going to talk about.

Riley: I enjoy it. Thank you. But yeah, I went to Morningside, graduated with an advertising degree and a graphic design minor.

Catelin: I don't know if I knew the minor part. That's a fun surprise.

Riley: I mean, it was more of kind of like, you'll need one more class for a minor. I was like, let's do it.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: So that was, I don't know. I was just kind of out for a summer looking for a job as I was working at Ivy, being the meat man.

Catelin: The meat man?

Riley: Yeah, exactly. But my friend Zach and my other friend Christian

Catelin: Podcast producer, previous podcast guest.

Riley: Exactly.

Catelin: Also, which I guess you're going to get to employees. Remind me, were you also in one of Rich's classes?

Riley: Yes, I was.

Catelin: Okay. Okay. So you knew a little bit about what you were getting into before.

Riley: He probably had one of the most just well rounded classes at Morningside.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: Because when you go to Morningside for business, they kind of tell you and they teach you just kind of like, this is what you might see. Or they'll teach you stuff that happened 20 years ago and it's not quite...

Catelin: Not necessarily accurate.

Riley: But it's still useful information. But being able to see something that's modern and something that you're going to actually step into.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: Really eye opening.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: But yes.

Catelin: So Zac and Christian.

Riley: Yes. Going back to them, they ended up getting a job here at Antidote 71 and they were like, hey, there's an account coordinator position open. You might as well just go for it. And it was either Sioux City or Omaha. I of course wanted to stay in Sioux City.

Catelin: In your bubble and your comfortable bubble.

Riley: It's a safe option. But yes, I ended up going for it, applied for it, ended up getting the job and great decision.

Catelin: I remember because we do a maybe non-traditional interview process. I don't know the last time I sat through a traditional interview situation as the interviewee. But I remember when you came in, I'm remembering a fun shirt, but then also we just spent the whole time talking about food and we're like, well he's hired. We needed no other information.

Riley: After I left that day, I was like, I don't know how to feel about it. Cause you didn't talk about the job. It was more about what food would you take if you were stranded on an island or something like that? I think was the question.

Catelin: The question is, if you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Riley: That's what it was.

Catelin: Did you pick pizza, I feel like?

Riley: I think I had pizza or pasta just because it's well-rounded.

Catelin: Those are common answers. Also, that's my favorite question. One of my favorite questions for people because it really forces you to think, but then you find out about- people can be shifty where they're like, oh I will choose generic pasta because you can put lots of things with it.

Riley: Yup.

Catelin: And so I remember being, well he's creative cause he picked a multifaceted food.

Riley: Yeah. I want to say I did pick either one of those two.

Catelin: I should be keeping better track of people's answers.

Riley: Yeah. Get a running list going.

Catelin: Right. Yeah. So what is it that you enjoy about what you're doing right now?

Riley: Well, it's a mix. It's a mixed bag. So it's just kind of like, when I come to the office every day, it's not the same thing. You could be getting some of this. You could be helping work on that.

Catelin: What are some of those things?

Riley: So you could be helping put together a website. Entering some data. Or you could be doing billing or you could be messaging clients via email for different things that they have going.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: It's a bunch of different stuff. It's a lot to keep track sometimes, but it's a good, healthy mix of a lot of different things.

Catelin: Do you have a favorite thing?

Riley: For right now? I think I probably enjoy doing billing the most just because it's just like...

Catelin: That is amazing.

Riley: Yeah. It's a routine task that I can narrow down and I'm kind of priding myself on trying to get better at it every time or faster.


Are you setting a timer where you're like, last month I did 27 minutes. This month, I'm going to set a new PR.

Riley: It's usually, I'll go by days. Oh it took me three days last month or this time it only took me a day and a half. And now if we had everything pulled, I could probably do it within a day.

Catelin: I want to give you a standing ovation right now. That's really spectacular. Also, no one on our team is like, you know what I love to do? Billing. No one is signing up for that. So the fact that you're like, I actually enjoy that. That's really very valuable.

Riley: It can be pretty monotonous for a lot of people, but it's like, you have to have the small monotonous tasks in life. So you can sit back and just think about things.

Catelin: You just want to tick stuff off and move through it.

Riley: Exactly.

Catelin: Yeah. So in that vein then, if that's your favorite thing right now, what does it mean to be the utility player? What does that...

Riley: So, usually tying it back to an old episode, it could be old. It could be, but tying it back. You said you like sports references.

Catelin: I love it.

Riley: I think it was during Zach's interview.

Catelin: I appreciate that you've researched this.

Riley: Yes.

Catelin: You have a back catalog.

Riley: But tying it back with a sports reference, utility player is commonly related to baseball, which is just a player that can cover a lot of positions. So relates just in any other work, other sports, whatever, you can cover a lot of bases.

Catelin: So, you're like a power forward scenario.

Riley: Yup.

Catelin: Or an EH situation. Okay. DH.

Riley: DH. Yep.

Catelin: What is EH? But there's an EH, right? That's also a thing?

Riley: Probably.

Catelin: Don't ask me about the sports. I'm doing my best. Okay. So talk to me about what you feel like the skills are that you have that make you the utility player.

Riley: So I think one of the best skills that you can have being a utility player is being able to adjust on the fly with a lot of things. So if somebody drops, here, I want you to do this. And you're just like, I have no idea. I've never done this before. You kind of have to adjust, go with the flow. You have to be water.

Catelin: Fluid.

Riley: Fluid like water. But another thing is you have to be, kind of drawing a blank here.

Catelin: I think if I was going to answer for you, which I'm going to do right now, but I would say your willingness to jump in. You have such an enthusiasm for being helpful, which I really identify with because I have a similar. I'm like, how can I make this easier for someone else? And I feel that from you and I also, you're not a complainer and you're just like, I'm going to do it. If you ask me to do something that I don't know how, I'm going to figure it out. I might have some questions, but I'll put my head down and do it. Which is really, really admirable. Admirable? Admirable.

Riley: Admirable, same thing. Tomato, tomato.

Catelin: Exactly. Potato, potato. I think too, we kind of have that in common where my knowledge base is probably an inch deep and a mile wide. Where I know enough about enough things to be a little bit dangerous, but it also kind of allows us to slot in where we can be most valuable too, where it's like, I'm curious about this. I'm going to learn more.

Riley: Exactly.

Catelin: And then maybe I can deepen or fill a different role or slot. And I think we'll talk more about this in probably in our episode, but just the nature of a small agency where, I mean, we kind of touched on it. We don't have a deep bench.

Riley: Exactly.

Catelin: We're 12 or 13 people now. And we all have a pretty specialized role in that roster. And having somebody that can back in or step back up or step in when people are on vacation or we just need a fire put out. That's so valuable.

Riley: When I was researching, that was a big thing when I saw that. In small companies are always going to have people that specialize in different positions, but it's really useful to have different people that can specialize in a lot of different things. Just like you said, cover bases.

Catelin: The role of generalism.

Riley: Yes.

Catelin: For sure.

Riley: Exactly.

Catelin: The other thing that's valuable, especially because you're young. As the elder utility player of my wisdom, but I think it's also really helpful to rule out what you don't want to do. Where I have done a lot of jobs in the classroom. I learned some things from this, but I know that I never need to do that again. So you're able to hone in on what feels good to you.

Riley: Exactly. Touch all the bases now and then.

Catelin: Yeah. Whoa, bases.

Riley: Say yes or no.

Catelin: So many sports references!

Riley: Keep a tally, how many times I say touch the bases.

Riley: But exactly.

Catelin: Have you done any digging into how your day might differ from a normal account coordinator or somebody at a larger agency? Or you're just so thrilled to do what you're doing that you don't care?

Riley: Yes and no. I mean, I haven't really gone out and looked and see or reached out to people like, oh, what do you do on a daily basis? Because they may or may not be a hundred percent truthful on that. I like where I'm at in my lane. I don't need to ask other people how they are. But it's just, I can also kind of suss out the differences a little bit as well.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: Cause if you're just a normal account coordinator, you're probably just doing the back and forth work a lot. I differ because I'm just kind of like, we help out in a lot of different areas. I can figure out how to do this. If you need help, just tell me.

Catelin: Yeah. I mean, there was even talk in the office the other day of potentially teaching you some backend web development where you're like, maybe there's a minute where we need somebody to throw in a new image or whatever that web work looks like. And you're like, yep. Sign me up without any reservation. And yeah, I just think that's really, like I said, really important and really admirable, especially in someone as young as you are.

Riley: Yeah. I would say a big thing, like you said, a lot is just being able to help and know you're helping out for the bigger picture.

Catelin: Yeah.

Riley: It may be a small, oh, I just need you to throw these in a document or something, but it's still, you're shaving time off by doing that.

Catelin: The efficiency piece is really, really valuable. Yeah. This was a delight. Thank you so much for letting me pick your brain a little bit. I hope that you continue to love billing because if I never had to send another invoice, it would be too soon.

Riley: Well, I want to thank you for having me on.

Rich: For this week's quick tip, try to find something that you enjoy doing and are good at doing, that nobody else is good at doing. That's called job security. Nobody's going to want to get rid of you.

Rich: That's it for another episode of Cocktails, Tangents and Answers.

Catelin: We hope it was as much fun to listen to as it was to make.

Rich: You can find me on Twitter or Instagram at @RichMackey. I try not to make it too difficult. It's just my name. And you can find our agency at Antidote_71. That's A-N-T-I-D-O-T-E underscore 71 on Twitter and Instagram as well.

Catelin: And you can find me at home sipping a craft cocktail prepared by my in-home bartender. It's my husband.

Rich: We'll be back with another episode every other week and a whole new cocktail recipe, plenty more tangents, and of course answers to those pressing marketing questions.

Catelin: And if you'd like to send us a question, you can go to to send us an email.

Rich: Or you can call our hotline at (402) 718-9971 and leave us a voicemail. Your questions might be used for future episodes of the podcast.

Catelin: For now, like and subscribe and tune in next time.