Take a peek inside quarantine life at Allovue in this reflection by our very own Moose. Jessica “Moose” Garrett is Allovue’s Director of Culture and Community - which is a very fancy way of saying that she wears many important hats. In addition to planning and managing company-wide events (coordinated across multiple states and time-zones), creating and upholding Allovue’s Diversity-Equity-Inclusion policies, and working tirelessly to make Allovue a great workplace for all its employees, she’s keeping the rest of us sane with her sense of humor, sharp insights, and Slack surveys.
Have you heard? About how these are unprecedented times? I heard this juicy nugget from a personal email from Gap, Inc. and they really wanted me to know that they are here for me in these times which lack any precedent. They let me know this by offering me 15% off when I bundle three or more items.
And thank goodness. I’ll admit that, hyperbole aside, each time I receive such an email there is a part of me that nods and thinks, “These times certainly are unprecedented.” So, maybe the Large Marketing Conglomerates are on the right track. Quarantine (or shelter-in-place or “just try to not go out, ok?”) is not easy. As I peruse Slack everyday, I can see how quarantine is taking a toll on my beloved friends and co-workers. Parents trying to figure out how schooling is going to work, people trying to move as their spouses start new jobs, weddings and large gatherings postponed indefinitely— it’s all very stressful. Have we gotten anything out of all this time at home?
I had to ask the Allo-team: “What’s your biggest quaran-complishment?”
As the responses rolled in, I turned my notifications on in our “Etcetera” Slack channel. Normally, such aural distraction would be the death knell of any productivity in my day, but I needed the pick-me-up. Let’s just say it was worth it.
Maggie jumped in immediately:
@maggie Learning to ride a onewheel.
“A what?” I demanded.
“Same,” Jake chimed in.
“IT’S NOT A UNICYCLE,” he added.
“Then what is it???” I would not relent.
So begins my afternoon ritual of asking our staff a prompting question and ignoring a few work tabs for twenty minutes to see the answers pop up. I work with a bunch of unabashed, creative, silly, deeply intelligent, and empathetic weirdos, and their responses never fail to delight and amaze.
“Maggie show them what we mean,” Jake responds, prompting Maggie to share a video of her demonstrating her new skill.
This was just the beginning. People didn’t just teach themselves to ride one-wheels, they were making some serious life changes.
@angela Bought a house in a whirlwind 10 days wherein we went from "maybe we should look" to having our offer accepted on a place.
@jake on reflection i think the biggest accomplishment was getting Hank. I’ve wanted a dog my entire life, and seriously wanted one for the past 5 years. I continually came up with excuses about why I couldn’t.
New skills were acquired ...
@desmond I learned how to play poker & realized the game itself is fine it was the people who played that I wasn't a fan of. Pushing through that bias to discover something fun has been cool.
@meghan This one is ongoing but I bought a tarot deck that I'm gonna try and figure out how to use for readings!
Personal bests were demolished and long-time goals accomplished ...
@jess I had my highest bike-riding month ever in July (77 miles) and I’m aiming for 150 miles this month (currently at 74.7)
@amanda I finally learned how to borrow library books on my Kindle! I probably should have taken the few minutes to figure that out about 8 years ago.
And the Allovue cooks came out in force ...
@moose I learned I can make a great pot roast! The secret to pot roast is leaving it in the crockpot for 27 years
@mallory We made risotto for the first time and I thought it turned out restaurant quality
@laura I was able to remake a pretty spot-on replica of the Bluebird Cocktail Room’s Old Fashioned (has just a hint of vanilla).
Zae built a computer FROM SCRATCh ...
@zae This is gonna be reaaaalll nerdy but I built my first PC from scratch + redid my whole office setup and I'm super proud of how it turned out!
And we were reminded about what's really important ...
@megan I think for me, it was truly committing to slowing down. I had always been interested in working toward this ideal of having relaxed time at a home as family, but could never break the cycle of wanting to go, go, go (lest we miss out on all the things). Having no other option but to stay home has helped me to be more content with our little corner of the world being "enough." A work in progress, but we've made huge strides!
So, as Bob Dylan is I’m sure pontificating right now, the times, they are unprecedented and many of us are cobbling together a new kind of life. One likely full of more cooking, pets, and projects than the old life. So when it’s time to log off and check-in at home, we’re doing so risotto and old fashioned in hand, dogs and kids by our side, riding off into the sunset on our one-wheel (it’s not a unicycle).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica “Moose” Garrett is the Vice President of People at Allovue. She works closely with the CEO to plan and execute diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, facilitate events, and maintain and enrich company culture. In addition to her work at Allovue, Moose is a writer and comedian who’s taught and performed internationally, opening for some of your favorite acts. She lives in beautiful Baltimore City, Maryland.