Mandi Brown , CISR Client Relations Agent Mom of Maddie ( 13 ), Liam ( 8 ) & Sebastien ( 3 )
HOW WAS TAKING LEAVE UNDER FMLA ?
I struggled with not being able to work remotely during quarantine . I always strive to give 100 %, and taking the FMLA often made me feel like I was letting down my team . But physical school was closed , Sebastien ’ s daycare closed , and I did not have alternate childcare . My fiancée was considered an essential employee . I needed to be home with my children .
WHAT DID YOU MISS ABOUT THE OFFICE ?
I missed my people , collaboration , kindness , laughs , smiles , and the feeling of being a team . I enjoy the work I do and the career path I have chosen . Deeley is my happy place .
HOW DID YOUR FAMILY COPE AT HOME ?
We struggled to communicate at times , we fought , we cried , but we also smiled , laughed , encouraged , and loved each other . And blew enough bubbles to last us a lifetime .
Client Advisor Dad to Donavan ( 26 ) and Theo V ( 19 ) & “ Top ” Pop to Niylah ( 4 )
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO CHANGE YOUR CAREER JUST BEFORE THE PANDEMIC ?
My previous career as a Maryland State Trooper presented unique risks on a daily basis . COVID-19 definitely caused some concern for me in the early months . Working from home didn ’ t allow me to ask my officemates questions by just turning around in my seat . I came from a career where I was accustomed to having the answers , not questions .
HOW ARE YOU OVERCOMING THOSE CHALLENGES ?
My family ’ s support allows me to maintain my focus . I have used webinars and online training to close educational gaps . This pandemic has proven to me just how strong our team is , even when we are socially distanced . My colleagues and I continue to collaborate when issues arise . Success in the face of adversity is the most fulfilling type of success . I realized that if I could succeed now , I could do greater things when the business environment becomes healthier .
Senior Claims Analyst Guardian to Kamryn ( 5 )
WHAT NEW CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE DURING QUARANTINE ?
Being a caregiver to older members of our family that do not live with us opened our eyes . Grocery shopping for multiple households made us rethink the days and times we were going through , because we were limited to the items we could get . Having a five-year-old in the house full time , we had to set up activities for him that were fun but educational and allowed us time to work without interruptions .
HOW DID DEELEY PUT THEIR CLIENTS AT EASE ?
By letting them know it was business as usual . That gave them reassurance at a time when so many things were uncertain . Some clients were surprised to get a person on the phone . They said that with so many businesses working from home , they were getting voicemail more often than a live person , and it was refreshing to talk to someone going through the exact same thing they were .
Operations Analyst Mom of Payton ( 13 )
HOW DID THE QUARANTINE PUT YOU OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE ?
I ’ m a rigid planner — it totally turned my world upside down . With a busy lifestyle of working full-time , raising a teenager , maintaining a family life , and attending college , each week had a schedule that was pre-planned . To squeeze everything in , there was no choice but to follow lists and check the boxes ( literally !) When COVID-19 hit , all those plans were uprooted .
HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THAT CHALLENGE ?
Lots and lots of Wite Out ! Communication with those around me was key . The support of my family , my friends , and Deeley made the “ new norm ” of life much easier . Everyone was in the same boat , which made me realize that even without plans , we ’ d make it through just fine if we stayed focused on the things that mattered most and kept a positive outlook .
WHEN FACED WITH THE UNCERTAINTY OF QUARANTINE , WHERE DID YOU SHINE ?
Adapting . Work changed , school changed , sports changed — everything was different , very quickly . There was no choice but to adapt to what was happening in the world around us . I ’ m thankful that I could push through it and use my experiences to help others through it . When faced with remote school , helping my daughter transition to the online world was easy , and that was due to my experiences with online learning in college .
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF DURING QUARANTINE ?
That I ’ m more patient than I thought I was . When your norm turns into chaos , it ’ s easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated . I was able to step back , look at the situation , and make choices that have helped me grow , both personally and professionally .
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR IF THERE ’ S A SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19 ?
Shockingly , no ! Weird for a planner to say , right ? Well , I ’ ve learned that you can only control certain aspects of life , and a pandemic is not one of them . All we can do is be prepared the best we can , pivot when needed , and take it a day at a time .