Transitions: Baptism by Covid19 – My first 30 days on the job during a global pandemic

Days on the Job: 25; Days of Shelter-in-Place: 16.

If anyone told me two weeks into my new position as Director of Professional Development that a global pandemic would hit, I would have to work remotely from home, homeschool my child, wear a mask and gloves when in public, and hope I didn’t get a potentially deadly virus by standing within six feet of a community member, I would have laughed in disbelief. A new position always brings with it change and metamorphoses, but this? This is a whole other level.

When we were given the directive to work remotely, the Professional Development team had two key priorities: launch virtual New Employee Orientation within one week and master the usage of Microsoft Teams, which is our vehicle. Like the Avengers, Jennifer Benson, Donna Delancy, Mackie Mahmoud, Karl Ronicker and I (the rookie teammate) delivered. With lightning-quick help from IT and our co-facilitators from other departments, we were able to on-board three new positions with no disruption of flow.

I’ve always believed people show you who they truly are in times of chaos and uncertainty. How easy it is to remain poised when everything around us is predictable. My team had no choice but to get to know me very well – and I, them. They have heard me yell, ‘Do not stand on the counter!’ in the middle of a call. They have received late night emails from me because my afternoons need interruption to assist my son with his 3rd grade zoom conference calls. They saw me get pelted in the face with a dart gun while preparing for a project launch. Way to make a great first five impressions, right?

In a very strange and ironic way, I feel very at home at TCC (sincere pun intended).

I imagine one day we will all tell our grandchildren and family members about COVID-19. Who were the people we hunkered down with? How did we encourage life to go on despite a public health pandemic? What new system or structure allowed us to continue to navigate?

Each of you is part of the story I will tell.

I am excited to see what we produce.

Be safe out there!

Judith Dumont is TCC District director of Professional Development. She loves spending quality time with her son and family, riding bikes, reading books Yoga and Pilates, cooking, hiking, traveling and taking in stand-up comedy.