A journal of daily life and technology in the year of #Covid19.
Saturday & Sunday, March 21 – 22
- Did my family CIO act, and instructed the older generation on how to have multi-family chats between UK and USA via WhatsApp.
- Thankful to have a good weather weekend. We went for a hike near the ocean however the bobbing & weaving required to achieve #socialdistance felt more like a St. Vitus dance. Walks along the rural roads and less known trails in and near our town are more peaceful. After our outings we basked on our front porch, which faces completely south with no trees. We’ve renamed the porch “the beach.”
Work: Participated in weekend Twitter chats on “the new innovation.” Key message: there are new Key Performance Indicators in town; measures of how senior executives and boards demonstrate stewardship of the resilience and stability of the company, customers, employees and communities. The larger the company, the higher the stewardship KPIs should be.
Friday, March 20. TGIF? Yes. TGIF.
- Week 1 of remote work along with my husband. Was going to pat each other on the back but then remembered….wait…. we worked for the same company for almost a decade, including working in the same building & floor. So this is sort of a “Back to the Future” moment, except instead of me in a power suit and him in a tie, I’m in athleisure and he’s in jeans.
- “Save the Date” cards arrived for my youngest daughter’s wedding in January 2021. January 2020 seems as distant as Mars, January 2021 feels as distant as Alpha Centauri. But I am hopeful, so let the addressing begin.
- Have decided that digital peer pressure to stay home and social distance is OK. The greatest love we can show for each other right now is to stay away from each other.
Thursday, March 19.
- My digital life routine is social media musical chairs (theme song Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”). Periodic visits to Instagram and FaceBook for friend updates. Peruse WhatsApp for any posts from UK & Italy family. Check NPR (infrequently!) for news. Make a couple of Marco Polo videos to share with immediate family. Participate in text streams on/off all day.
- Personal accomplishment for the day: in homage to first day of spring, assembled a little greenhouse.
- My digital work routine is social media and collaboration tool musical chairs. Theme song: a tie between “Heigh Ho” by the Seven Dwarfs and “Manic Monday” by the Bangles. Check three e-mail channels for updates. MS Teams, Jira and Confluence up all day to monitor and manage client projects. Create, refine and review Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Visio documents and diagrams. Keep an eye on Twitter and LinkedIn for posts and messages from colleagues.
- Weekly #CIOchat on Twitter meeting, hosted by @MylesSuer. Topic: #CX – Customer Experience. Some nuggets:
- Introduce new functions and modalities with care right now. People are dealing with an enormous amount of change in their lives and don’t need to cope with unnecessary changes to their online experiences.
- Innovation now means the ability to shift to important to master the fundamentals with empathy, understanding and support.
- Don’t get so wrapped in & in love with the technology that the end-user gets forgotten.
- A great #CX enables trust. It takes many interactions to build trust, only 1-2 to break it.
Wednesday, March 18
- Data center outages in the middle of the night? Application rollouts going down in flames? Having someone threaten to “throw this damn computer out the window?” Yeah, nothing I ever faced is akin to what CIOs and their teams are facing now, and IT units in healthcare settings are at the top of that list.
- Theme of day: waving and waves. On lunch break, walked the beach at a “social distance” from family members.
- In the weeks (months?) to come, tech is a tool for helping to keep a sense of community & support our mental health. Watching a live stream of a local musician and future son-in-law Lewis Goodwin, and seeing comments from family and friends locally and from as far away as UK was a huge boost.
Tuesday, March 17. St. Patrick’s Day.
- Connector points in Visio diagrams are like slippery eels. Just when you think you’ve got them tied together, they jump to another box.
- If social (Twitter, LinkedIn) and private (Jira, Slack, Teams, Zoom) collaboration tools are any indication, productivity seem to be “anec-datally” going up. I’m seeing decision making and delivery accelerating in my work and networks. Pay attention, markets. People are adapting and figuring this shit out.
- The equivalent of texting in 1950s England: my mother unearthed this postcard, sent by my grandmother to my uncle, about train times on his way home from boarding school. A tactile record of a life event, vs today’s fleeting bits and bytes of organizing meet-ups and travel logistics.
- Loved me some Dropkick Murphys, livestreaming a St. Patrick’s Day concert on YouTube. What a great sense of community seeing hundreds of fan comments scrolling by!
- Speaking of musicians, let’s support the local musicians whose livelihood depends on playing in those eateries. My son-in-law Lewis Goodwin is doing live Facebook concerts and asking for Venmo contributions. Brighten your day and his on 3/18 at 6 pm on Facebook – Lewis Goodwin Music – link here. And look for other musicians doing the same.
- It was my late grandfather’s birthday yesterday. He was a naval commander in World War II. He was away from his family for years. He made it. We’ll make it.
Monday, March 16
- A CIO colleague on Twitter described how a vendor was tone-deaf as she sought to quickly expand technology capacity. Vendors, if you are profit-centric now, it won’t age well. Double-down on being customer-centric.
- The downside of technology as it applies to the markets: computers can go faster than humans can apply their own logic. When we look back, will we ascertain that we ceded too much to systems and not enough to people?
- Spent a big chunk of time refining a Jira backlog today for an Agile project. So soothing to write “As….Need….So That” statements and ponder story points.
- My husband and I had our first official day of both working from home as his company moved from voluntary to mandatory remote work. 20 years ago, this would have meant the day starting with the screech of a dial-up modem. Now, it is the faint clicking of keys.
- New Hampshire closes restaurants and bars effective tonight. My friends and I have a text exchange about scheduling virtual drinking games.
- San Francisco has ordered a “shelter in place” effective tonight. We have extended family out there who have a restaurant business; concern deepens for them.
- Daily humor medication: Re-watching Schitt’s Creek on Netflix.
- On my daily run, saw an older woman with a plastic bag picking up bits of trash. We thanked her; she said with the students gone from UNH there is less trash. (A very faint silver lining, but I’ll take it.)
Sunday, March 15. The Ides of March.
- I listen to a podcast (Pivot, with @karaswisher and @profgalloway) that opines that the priority should be widespread testing, and that government would do well to engage tech giants like Amazon and Salesforce with their powerful distribution and analytics capabilities to help.
- A neighbor (we stayed 6+ feet away from each other) expresses concern about the broadband capacity in our neighborhood to handle all of us working and learning remotely. She says a national broadband provider is going to provide free services for at-home students who need it. We both hope that more big companies step up.
- Found this CDC site with guidance for managing anxiety and stress during this difficult time.
- Life: Stayed low, like Julius Caesar should have in 44 BC. Only outings were a walk with husband, a run by myself. At one point went by a playground where various families and young children were enjoying the sunshine; wondered if taking ones’ family to a playground was sensible right now.
Saturday, March 14.
- #CIOchat weekly question on Twitter about what CIOs should be doing. I stress that prioritizing while not over-reacting is key. Take a Now, Soon, (Much) Later approach. Another colleague reminds the group that working from home is not all about tech – people may need chairs and desks.
- Getting texts from friends with kids being sent home to learn online for the reset of the semester asking for my insight as to what the experience will be. I tell them that it will vary widely and wildly depending on faculty preparedness and familiarity with online learning modality and toolset, the schools’ technology capacity and capability, and the student’s home network. One friend comments that they can’t believe what they are paying to have their student sit in their bedroom and do online learning.
- Walked Jenness Beach in Rye with my mother and husband. Reminds me of the Geoffrey Chaucer quote “time & tide wait for no man.”
- Later in the day, went with my daughter and part of the bridal party to choose her wedding dress – we (wedding scheduled for 2021, thank goodness). Moments like this are sharp and intense right now even with no hugging or touching; the emotions were higher – either because of or despite this.
Capturing the details feels important right now…..
- Forsythia branches, forced indoors, to have a splash of brightness inside.
- Sneakers, as I am determined to run or briskly walk every day.
- Wipes and anti-virals, as part of daily cleaning and health routines.
- Hand lotion, to help with the super-dry skin that comes from frequent and prolonged (+ necessary) hand washing.
- A favorite mug, with photos of my children and grandchildren, as I’m drinking lots of tea and staying hydrated.