Questions and Answers:
What does a typical workday look like for you, and how has your work changed due to COVID-19?
Wow, have things changed. I used to spend the majority of my time on the road, and working in parking lots, but now I am confined to my house with my wife/cubemate. I try to leave her alone and find another place in the house to work. My days are filled with so many different things like creating quotes, tracking orders for customers, hunting down ISBNs and logging calls in Salesforce. You never have the same day twice, so it is always changing.
One of the things I miss most is seeing my customers face-to-face. It is my favorite part of the job, and I have made some great friendships over the years with my customers. This job revolves around relationships, and so does life. Once you build trust with them, it goes a long way!
COVID-19 has changed the face of education, too. The market was not ready for it, and I have spent a lot of time teaching customers how to best use our online platforms. I remember back in 2012 sitting at a National Sales Meeting talking about how everything was going to be digital by 2020, and we wouldn’t even be publishing books. Well, here we are, but I didn’t expect it to happen this way.
While many of us are new to working from home, you’ve been working remotely for 14 years! What’s your favorite way of staying connected to your team while working from home?
We talk to each other constantly whether it be a text message, email, or quick call. We have a tight team in New Jersey, and try to meet in person quarterly to discuss our territories, events, and customer relationships. It also gives us a chance to catch up on what our kids are up to and what’s happening in our personal lives. It’s great to know that I can call them at any time to ask a question if I need help.
What are some of your favorite hobbies or activities?
I play guitar and sing in a grunge band called Flannel Jam. It’s a great way to relax and find balance in my life, which really is essential to staying happy. I also am a huge foodie and love to cook. I received a pizza stone for my birthday last year, so I have been experimenting with different kinds of pizza. What would a great meal be without wine? I have been making wine for over 20 years now. I have made wine with grapes from California, Argentina, and Italy. My colleagues know I can geek out on wine for hours, but I try not to bore them too much.