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The GSG QuaranTEAM: Jefrey Pollock & Ben Keenan

Jefrey Pollock

President
Isolating in Pleasant Valley, NY (Dutchess County NY, about 1.5 hours from NYC – I would call it upstate; Maura would say I’m lying.)

My picture: The “When Pigs Fly” logo you see over my shoulder on the Monday meeting is from a restaurant that went out of business in the area and has become the brand for the home. Also kinda the family motto.

What has been the biggest challenge, surprise, or learning since changing to a remote work environment?

I always thought that the incessant travel was a huge burden on my schedule. The constant trains and planes made my schedule so hectic that it just always felt like it was crushing. But I miss it now, and miss it badly. What I have realized is that’s the time I got to not work (a plane without Wi-Fi was kind of a dream at times!) and watch a show on Netflix. Or catch up on email. Or read. And now I don’t have that time. It was also a good excuse to miss the 14th conference call of the day. So honestly, I’d like a plane or train right now! 

How do you differentiate your “work” vs “personal” time?

There’s no way to do it. Like we all try, but then Jesse walks into a Zoom and does some sort of dance. Or you’re on a call and that’s the time your spouse has to start yelling at THEIR clients. Like, who gets the yelling rights? I think the most important thing is to find the time to do the things you need to give you the “me” time that you need. For me, that has meant a slavish devotion to the Peloton.
I also am just amazed at the dedication of all of my colleagues at GSG. This has not been easy for anyone. From the new staff and those who share spaces with roommates, to the parents of young children who have tried to balance family and work in ways that we never imagined. I know I have it easy comparatively with kids who are self-sufficient.
And finally to the many teammates of mine who have stepped up at this critical time of introspection and upheaval – I am in awe of all of your efforts, thoughts, and work. I can only try to do more and emulate those of you who have done it all.

What is the first thing you plan to do post-isolation?

Travel. See people. Meet people. Karaoke. Not sure in that order.

What is the last show you binge watched or guilty pleasure movie of choice?

My daughter has made us watch Avatar: The Last Airbender which has been great. I have watched all of Ozark. My son made us watch Space Force. And my wife has made us watch Younger with Sutton Foster. I have loved them all.

What meal have you made the most often?

So, as some of you know, I have become a devotee of Goldbelly and it’s been a fun way to get the food that I like to eat when I’m out in the country traveling for focus groups delivered to me at home. Things like pot stickers and bao from Wow Bao in Chicago, lobster rolls from Maine, Kansas City BBQ, Nashville hot chicken, and more. It’s been great to support these local businesses and also enjoy great food from around the country.
Otherwise, we have made a lot of proteins from our local butcher here, which of course is both a butcher shop and a gun shop. Naturally.

Ben Keenan

Associate, Communications & Public Affairs
Isolating in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle

My picture: Me and the infamous non-CDC approved “gather” sign that has been in the back of most of my Zoom meetings.

From a public affairs perspective, what/who has impressed you most in their coronavirus management?

Living in Seattle, we get the pleasure of having Jay Inslee as our Governor! Although we were the first hit area at the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve been very impressed with how Gov. Inslee has stood firm in his commitment to science and the protection of every Washingtonian, especially in times of uncertainty. While he has been criticized here and there for his slow reopening, he has remained unwavering in the face of public pressure and let the data inform his decision making – the mark of a true leader.

How do you differentiate your “work” vs “personal” time?

I bought myself a desk! For the first three months of quarantine I was sitting on the couch for work (and killing my back in the process). Unfortunately, there was no differentiation between “work couch time” and “personal couch time” After buying a desk, I now have two different spaces for work and personal time…even if those spaces are still technically only three feet apart.

What is your favorite coronavirus meme or internet creation?

Everything is cake.

Most fun discovery about your new “coworkers”? (partners, children, pets, etc.)

I finally figured out that when I give my new coworkers enough to drink, they actually grow! (Also, my coworkers are plants.)

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