I had just under two weeks of virtual training completed with my team here at The Get Smart Group when the pandemic lock-down orders started in my home state of California on March 19th. At that time, my concern was mostly about not celebrating St. Patrick’s day with a proper pint of draft Guinness and a festive meal of corned beef and cabbage. When I learned that the parades for that weekend were cancelled in my college city of New Orleans, I knew this was serious. If they’re not celebrating in New Orleans, nobody gets to celebrate.
As the gravity of the situation became clearer, I had no idea what to expect in my new field of backyard and at-home recreation marketing in terms of the pandemic. I worked in marketing for my family’s restaurant and bakery chains before this, who were now facing forced layoffs of dedicated employees, altered hours, and no more dine-in guests. My fear for them seeped into fear for my own future and the unknown territory that we are now navigating. As lots of people around me were joking about being productive and getting into new hobbies like making soap and fermenting vegetables, I was wondering whether or not I would still have this new job that I was still celebrating landing.
Meeting My Team
The first time I “met” my team was on Friday, March 13th. We work remotely as a rule full time, but occasionally have in-office work days for those of us who live in the area. Social distancing was in place by then, and schools were temporarily closed, but we were allowed to go to non-essential gatherings with less than 10 people. So I wasn’t able to shake anyone’s hand, and I had to keep an appropriate distance from all of my brand new coworkers. There was a strange feeling that something much bigger than us was about to happen.
The pandemic lock-down orders crept across the country, eventually altering all of our lives in large and small ways. Going through this with my co-workers has shown me the importance of having a company culture that is supportive, empathetic and genuine. Our company leadership has made a tremendous effort to give us the space we need to process this global crisis. At the same time, this has made all of us more motivated to work harder and pull through for all of our clients who are relying on us as industry experts especially now.
Luckily, with vacations cancelled and ‘staycations’ on the rise, The Get Smart Group is still bringing on new clients and continuing to provide expert pool and hot tub marketing service (so I still have my job, thanks for asking!). I am grateful to have something positive to focus on every day with my role at The Get Smart Group rather than woolgathering about how grim the future may or may not be.