Leadership / 05.04.20
We’re Not Kitten! INTIX ‘Co-Workers’ Make Working From Home More Fun
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many ticketing professionals to work from home. Some of us have done it for years, but it’s a whole new adventure if you normally work at a venue or in an office.
The transition, however, has been made easier by the pets who are being elevated to “co-worker” status. They give us joy and something to laugh about, too. Some are even becoming stars in their own right.
In no paw-ticular order, here are 25 pets from the INTIX community who make working at home a bit more fun.
Cate Fotlin, Business Manager at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, has been busy processing refunds from home. Hank, meanwhile, was slacking off on the job!
Thank goodness he has since mastered the art of paw-ticipating in Zoom meetings.
Rachelle Walsh found herself working from home in late March, too. The Box Office Manager for Carolina Theatre got up for a minute to stretch, and officemate Pia took her place!
Pia was adopted last year when her human had to be hospitalized. “We couldn't resist that face,” gushes Walsh.
So, what is Pia up to these days? Well, says Walsh, she is working out a new “nap tour” around the house!
“She has finally gotten used to us being home all day but still comes around every once in a while to make sure I am still working,” Walsh says. “And she is quite the taskmaster. Pia offers her two cents periodically, but I’m not sure our patrons would appreciate her tone. Zoom meetings are her time to shine as she frequently chimes in.”
The nap tour, we love it!
“Pia sits in the window behind me, and occasionally I’ll feel a paw on my back like, ‘Hey, stop working and pet me.’ They do make it a bit easier to be home all the time,” Walsh says.
Wolfgang and Chico
Maureen Andersen, President and CEO of INTIX, lives in California. In this photo, her feline colleague Wolfgang is hard at work … sleeping!
“He is my direct report manager,” Andersen says. “He does nothing but give directions and issues orders via long, pontificating memos. He is skittish and trots away to hide under his bed in the office when you need him. Wolfgang worries a great deal about temperature controls. He works best at night, devising ways to add to my schedule.”
Andersen’s co-worker Chico has an even better idea: He’s taking the day off!
This little cutie was recently adopted by Jennifer Dobrowolski, Box Office Manager for the Walton Arts Center and Walmart AMP (Arkansas Music Pavilion). In this photo, Agatha Jane has clearly taken over.
“She's very good at customer service and surprisingly agile in database maintenance,” says Dobrowolski, “although her mousing and birding skills are unmatched!”
“She says she has keyboard paws, whatever that means!”
Louise’s mom Janette Roach Ramirez is a Producer at Unique Lives and the “Box Office Wizard” (their words, and we LOVE them!) for the Oshawa Little Theatre.
“My office mate doesn’t understand personal boundaries. Six feet apart? Pfft,” says Rochelle Clark, who works in the Patron Services Office for the University Musical Society (UMS) at the University of Michigan.
Clark and her partner are also musicians who have been doing Facebook Live concerts. “Echo’s favorite part of those events is howling along and trying, unsuccessfully, to find the third harmony line,” she says.
We love Bob, and he’s so well known in ticketing circles that he rarely needs an introduction. Bob was also featured in our popular Top Dogs in Ticketing story.
When he’s at the ballpark with mom Mardi Dilger, Director of Ticket Operations for the Miami Marlins, the seven-pound Chihuahua makes everyone happy.
Bob wasn’t impressed with being at the home office in Minnesota in the early weeks of the shutdown, but he’s since found his smile again.
Bleu and Big Kitty
We laughed when Pam Hamrick, Admissions Manager for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a Division of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), first shared this photo.
“My staff,” she says, “have been in meetings.”
So, we had to ask, what have Bleu and Big Kitty been up to in more recent days?
“The two cats are still meeting,” Hamrick confirms of her gray-and-white cat named Bleu and the orange Big Kitty.
While both are rescues from the Pulaski County Animal Shelter in Virginia, they live and work for the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Bleu enjoys the operations side, and especially virtual box office training,” Hamrick says. “Big Kitty is more about the customer service side and enjoys joining all my committee meetings. They both seem to have issues with their immediate supervisor, as they have come to me continuously with issues they are having, like seeing the bottom of the food bowl, not enough pets and more. They really are not grasping the level of leadership that I prefer in my department, but we are working through that in our one-on-one meetings.”
This sounds like a purrfect way to handle things!
“My ‘supervisor’ is totally micromanaging me,” says Renee Smiley, Senior Manager of Ticketing Services for The Atlanta Opera. “Jake has eased up on the micromanaging but now just sits in the window micromanaging the squirrels outside.”
This gorgeous rescue pit bull, Mazeroski, was first introduced to the INTIX community when her human Amber Leigh Patton, Ticket and Box Office Manager for the Pullo Center at Penn State’s York Campus, was interviewed in our Getting to Know You series. Named after Bill Mazeroski who played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Amber and husband Kevin call her Mazzy for short.
Paton shared this picture and said, “Mazzy was caught putting tickets on hold for her and her furriends for all of our new upcoming season shows!”
Another Top Dog in Ticketing, this Parti Poodle was named after legendary Who founder and frontman Roger Daltrey.
“Daltrey is best at sleeping on the job,” says mom Laura Zehe, Director of Operations for True Tickets.
This Chinese Crested cutie is one of four pets to have stolen the heart of Jennifer Parker Clark, Box Office Manager at The RP Funding Center.
“Since I’m working from home, he thinks he should be held while I’m working or on video conferences,” Parker Clark says. “He’s spoiled. I have three other littles, but he’s the attention hog.”
Oh, Oden. You certainly are the star of the show!
How would you describe this beautiful dog?
“Marley is 85 pounds of work-from-home therapy!” according to mom Teri McPherson, San Diego Theatres.
Awww, it looks like some-bunny loves flowers!
Meet Obie, who manages and works with Emmy Gengler, CEO of Softjourn.
Before the pandemic took hold, Doolie went to work with mom Tiiu Eva Rebane, Director of Audience and Donor Relations at the San Francisco Playhouse, at least once a week. “Now that we’re sheltered in place,” says Rebane, “he’s working every day!”
And what does Doolie do for San Francisco Playhouse?
“He works mostly in patron relations and greeting at the ticket window. Occasionally he comes onstage and does the pre-show announcements with me, but he demands union scale in snacks, so it's rare,” Rebane says. “During the day, he focuses on creating a relaxing office ambiance by providing a Zen-like, paw-licking soundscape and forcing us to open windows to air out the place.”
Goodness, Doolie. Roses. Think roses! Like these ones in the photo with your mom, which were used to dress a set in a show last spring and then scavenged from the strike pile.
“This is Skye. She joined us a week ago!” says proud new dog mom Sarah Stratton, Head of Business Support at Sage Gateshead. “She enjoys eating laptops and barking at boxes.”
Stratton adds, “Skye loves joining in with meetings. She is also an excellent jumper and climber; yesterday morning I came downstairs to find her on the kitchen table!”
Hmmmm. Well, at least she’s mastered the art of being cute!
When Jackie Kotary, Box Office and Registration Director at Bonnier Events, is hard at work, Wampa isn’t much help.
“Working from my lanai on this hot Florida day, and my co-worker is definitely not helping with any work! His greatest skill,” says Kotary, “is to lay down on top of mom’s hands while she’s trying to type!”
Mickey Brazeau, Ticket Office Supervisor at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, shares that Tulameen helps ensure physical distancing.
“No one wants to be close to a big dog who has been lying in a mud puddle!”
This may be the dog version of a mosh pit!
Here’s a pup who knows how important it is to dress for success. And pink is definitely her color!
“Piper is my office manager who has managed to remain smartly dressed while working from home,” says Debbie Eidson, Director of Ticketing Systems for the Morrison Center at Boise State University. “She attends Zoom meetings with me and acts as gatekeeper for anyone who might provide distraction — husband, daughter, Amazon guy, etc. I am happy to have her keeping me company!”
This cutie is one of three pups who live with Jessica Reveal from the Duke University Box Office.
“Being the smallest furry friend in the family, she gets to hang out on the desk while mom works! She is most helpful at being a good arm rest and ensuring mom doesn’t have too much screen time at one time,” says Reveal.
We think Roomba is pretty adorable.
“So are her brothers, the vacuums (Hoover and Dyson),” gushes Reveal, “but sadly, they aren't allowed in the home office!”
Harley, Rossko and Buddy
Now these pups have the right idea! Gail Anderson, recently retired Ticket Office Manager at the Minnesota State Fair, shared this message from Buddy, Rossko and Harley: “This work stuff is boring. We are going for a walk. See ya!” Sure glad these happy boys can help you ease into a well-earned retirement.
Like these boys, remember to take a break in your day to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.
If you’ve got a “co-worker” who would like to paw-ticipate in a future story, please send their name, photo and fun facts about their work habits to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tags: Leadership , Workplace , COVID-19 , Coronavirus