COVID-19 Staff Stories

Joanne Mallett

To sum up how I feel succinctly, I have a lot of mixed emotions. I love working from home, I always have. I like ditching my commute and instead spending that extra time with my dog. I like having lunch with my husband. I like having the quiet and space to create content with the deep focus it often requires. I find meeting with people virtually can be tiresome, but often it also means I get their full attention for that time.

Outside of work, my husband and I have never had so much time together, and luckily for us we are enjoying that. Our apartment is cleaner than it has been in longer than I care to admit. I’m reading more. I’m reaching out to my family and friends more. Our dog is relishing in all of the extra attention, though he is longing for a good off-leash run.

And that is where I see my struggles start to come about, in the small, seemingly unimportant things, like missing the dog park. Being suddenly hit by a craving for a chai latte that I simply can’t replicate at home. Wanting to browse shop windows and grocery store aisles. Dreaming about going to a movie theatre or concert or festival. Trying to provide value in a new role during this challenging time.

Yes, starting my new job at Delvinia a mere two weeks prior to us moving into full work from home has been a unique situation. The hardest part has been developing relationships with people and getting them to trust and know me enough that they come to me as well as Susan for things. Thankfully, I’ve actually seen that begin to happen. I have felt exceptionally grateful to be at Delvinia, not only for the stability of the company in the face of this crisis, but for the transparency the entire Executive Team has provided us with.

To be frank, I am not used to every level of leadership being as open and honest as Delvinia’s has been with me and the entire company. I love it. I know I made the right decision because of it. I have been able to step up and contribute because I’ve been given the space to do so, even during this crisis. I feel incredibly lucky to be working for a company that cares about its staff, about its community, and that further motivates me to want to do whatever I can to help us be successful during this time. I appreciate everything that our Executive Team is doing, the time and energy they are spending, to keep everyone feeling as secure as possible.

But I still feel my bigger fears and worries. A dear friend who is pregnant needing to urgently get to the hospital, and having to go alone. Fearing for friends who aren’t able to work. My dad being sick and fearing it might be COVID-19 (which, thankfully, it was not). Wondering when I will see my family again, as they are all located in Edmonton and I don’t know when travel will be available. Sometimes, just not seeing an end in sight to all of this.

When those fears and worries become too big, I am grateful to be able to turn to my meditation practice, to the virtual classes my gym is running every day, to a cuddle with my dog, to a movie with my husband. I remind myself daily how fortunate I am, and try to give back both to non-profits and small businesses where I can. But I also allow myself the space to be anxious. To be agitated. To not be as productive as I think I “should” be. What I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that there is no “right” way to get through this crisis – the important thing is that we all find our way. That we continue to respect one another, look out for one another. I believe that as long as we remember that we are all in this together, we can come through to the other side.

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