045: Working with Large Global Teams with Dee Teal


About Dee Teal:

I’m a remote project manager with Human Made, leading WordPress agency and makers of Altis DXP. I work with teams and stakeholders to bring projects to life, all from the comfort of my own home in Melbourne, Australia.

I’ve studied digital communication and culture, and am excited by the unique power, and challenges we experience living digitally interconnected lives and I love that WordPress has such a huge part in facilitating connection. I’m looking forward to talking more about that with the Women of WordPress.

Find Dee Teal: Human Made | Twitter | LinkedIn


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045: Working with Large Global Teams with Dee Teal

 
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Amy Masson:

Welcome to Women in WP, a bimonthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop and more in the WordPress community.

Angela Bowman:

Hi, welcome to Women in WP. I’m Angela Bowman.

Tracy Apps:

I’m Tracy Apps.

Allie Nimmons:

I’m Allie Nimmons.

Angela Bowman:

Our guest today is Dee Teal. Dee has been a blogger, developer, and freelancer, and is currently project manager team lead with Human Made a WordPress agency and product company. Welcome Dee.

Dee Teal:

Hi, guys nice to see you.

Angela Bowman:

We’d like to start off each episode asking our guests how they got into WordPress. How did you get started?

Dee Teal:

I spent a really long time working my way into web development in a large not-for-profit group in Sydney in the early 2000. We were working on a CMS, we’re fiddling around with it. I was made an ASP, so I was learning all of that, the basics of how this thing works on this, what is now of course, quite an archaic system. And as I spent more and more time working with that, I started exploring outside of work, other ways to do web stuff, and people were asking me, can you build me this? Can you build me a website? And so I was building all of these static websites and of course the more and more you dig in, the more you want to be able to do. And so while I was doing that for friends, I was also running my own blog, it was on Movable Type. Moveable Type started to become a paid product, I wanted to stick with the free.

Tracy Apps:

I remember that very vividly.

Dee Teal:

Oh my goodness. It was a scene. And then, yeah, so bit by bit I was using WordPress personally and then started to see the benefits for it professionally. I think I made that final leap to making all of my client projects. In 2009, I think I did my first client project on WordPress in 2009 and then progressively, by that stage, I was freelancing and came across the community and my first WordCamp in 2011. That’s a really nutshell story. It’s a long story.

Tracy Apps:

So I remember I was on Movable Type and then went into WordPress. What do you remember, what the most difficult thing of transferring that or was that like? Because I don’t really remember it, but I did. And once it was starting to pay, I was like, “Oh, well, I already have worked with WordPress.” But that process of going from HTML and then Movable Type and into WordPress. How was that?

Allie Nimmons:

Will you give little background of what Movable Type was for anyone who doesn’t know because I don’t know what that is. I don’t have any context for that question.

Tracy Apps:

Oh nice.

Dee Teal:

So blogging was kicking off in those early 2000s. And so there were all of these different platforms that people were using for blogging, of course, Blogger which was Google’s product, and WordPress, and Movable Type was another product put out by Six Apart.

Tracy Apps:

B2 was before WordPress.

Dee Teal:

Yeah.

Tracy Apps:

Cafelog, and that my first blog was on that. And then that was formed to became WordPress, and Moveable Type came around that same time if I remember correctly.

De Teal:

Yeah. I don’t remember what the timing of all of that. I’ve just picked it up because that was the thing that people were using it. But the difference with WordPress is a PHP database type product, Moveable Type was a pale product and it was static publishing.

So you would create your entry in the little interface. It’s not that little, in the interface that they provided and then you would hit publish and then Movable Type would rebuild your whole site. So it was rebuilding all of these static pages. So every time you hit publish it just took forever, the longer your blog was the longer it took. But the thing that I loved about Movable Type was that you could use variables within the sheets and change your colors and bits of pieces by just changing one variable. I remember being frustrated for years until we could actually do things like that in WordPress using SAS. And so when SAS hit and I was fiddling around with that, I’m like I’m back where I was. All those years ago when I was tweaking film modules. So sorry. Yeah. You got the technical version like that. Yeah, it was a blogging tool. That’s a little bit of a different process for publishing.

Angela Bowman:

That’s awesome.

Tracy Apps:

I didn’t know much about the backend because I was still learning and I was using it. I want to say maybe starting to dive into making themes and customizing stuff. Because I started off with just HTML, CSS. But then when I got into WordPress, I really started getting into the themes and all of that into the PHP and the backend stuff. But so I don’t know I [crosstalk 00:05:17].

Dee Teal:

CSS was a mystery for me for so long. I remember, you know when you start learning something and plug away it and you go, yeah, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, but I have no idea why I’m doing what I’m doing. And it took, I remember weeks and weeks with CSS going, do not understand what is happening here. And then that moment when you go, ah, in my career it’s one of those best moments going, I figured… I couldn’t do it now. I haven’t touched code for years, but those moments I’m like, yes this is why I do this… Those moments that you get from time to time.

Tracy Apps:

I had that moment when I got the template hierarchy with WordPress.

Dee Teal:

Oh yeah.

Tracy Apps:

One sec click, I was like “Oh, the possibilities are endless.”

Angela Bowman:

For anyone who’s watching the video. I’m going to hold up this book. And this is what got me through.

Tracy Apps:

Oh yeah.

Angela Bowman:

The CSS Anthology from SitePoint. You see how damaged this is.

Tracy Apps:

Oh nice.

Angela Bowman:

There’s coffee stain. So I just kind of married this book. It was just stuck to my desk and I just spent every time I needed to do something, I would just look it up in the SitePoint CSS Anthology. And that’s how I figured stuff.

Dee Teal:

I’ve got a tutorial on SitePoint that’s still out there. I think I Googled myself a while ago as you do from time to time to see what people are seeing. And that tutorial for old school, how to build a website saying from… Oh, God, it must be eight years ago or more. I’m like, “Oh God, guys can you just take it down now?”

Angela Bowman:

So you discovered the WordPress community in 2011. Is that what you said or?

Dee Teal:

Yeah, I had to freelance because all of the avenues of financial support that I thought I was going to get when I quit my job with that organization and went to university to do my master’s degree didn’t happen. So it was freelance or die or staff. And so for the 2009, I just worked my ass off full time, both freelancing and studying. And then at the end of that year, the next year I had a business with a reasonably good footing. And so throughout that year, I was just building websites for people. I got towards the end of 2010 and I’m like [inaudible 00:07:48] conferences for? WordPress. And I Googled it. And fortunately in the not too distant future, there was WordCamp Melbourne happening at the February of 2011. And it was 50 bucks. And I’m like, I don’t understand this, but it’s 50 bucks and a return ticket to Melbourne from Sydney where I was living at the time was a couple of hundred.

Dee Teal:

And I’m like, I can do a conference for 250 bucks. I’ve got people to stay with. There’s a million things that.. This is going to be the cheapest week in Melbourne ever. And so I went and I walked around and there’s always people who are now close friends [inaudible 00:08:28], Peter Wilson, and Bronson Quick. And all of these people who were standing up on the stage doing these talks. And I’m like, I had that full on thing go, “Oh God. Oh my God, I couldn’t possibly talk to you. I don’t know anything.”

Dee Teal:

But I sat and I learnt about child things sitting next to somebody in a talk that I think Paul Gibbs was giving about multi-site and somebody was explaining to me. It was a total napkin conversation, this is what a child theme is. This is why you need to understand child things. And I’m like cool. And I’m like I don’t know what are you talking about, but I’ll figure this out. And so that room I had no idea, none of us do. Right. Some of those first seminal moments. I look now, I’m at Human Made because of half of those people. I have spoken at conferences all around the world because I made connections with those people. And I met that community and got so excited about it, that I started to build into it and have a career in WordPress because I built into that community. It was amazing. And so that was my first one. And then I’ve lost count of how many have done since.

Tracy Apps:

Really is amazing, it’s true.

Angela Bowman:

Yeah. And you’re on the All-Women Release Team for WordPress 5.6.

Dee Teal:

I don’t know what were they were thinking. Francesca pinged me just as that started to happen. And I’d put my name on that. I think just if I did that first tweet and I put my name on it. said, “Dee, I’ll be up for that.” And then Francesca just glommed onto it. And she’s like “Dee.”

Tracy Apps:

Same thing happened to me. Exactly.

Angela Bowman:

So tell us what is that likely behind the scenes what’s happening in your?

Dee Teal:

What’s happening?

Angela Bowman:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:10:23] and all of that.

Dee Teal:

This is the thing. I didn’t even really know. So Francesca said, we’d love for you to be the release coordinator. I’m like what does that mean? And we had some meetings about it. We talked about it. Basically I’m doing project managing, not the whole project, but the process. So what happens at the moment right up until beta went out was Tuesday. A lot of what I’d been doing and the cohort that are around me are doing is we’re just running dev chat. So we’re coordinating some of those conversations. We have a private channel with a major release squad hangs out, and we talk a lot about what’s going on. I’ve got this constant stream of people when I’m running a chat going, and I’m not sure about something. I’ve just got this other little private channel that I can jump into and say, is the right thing? Or should we be talking about this here? Or can I move people on?

Dee Teal:

I’m the face of a much, much bigger organism behind all of that. And so at the moment, what I’ve been doing is planning the agendas, posting those. I run dev chats for the APEC cohort, which is the 0500 UTC chat. And then occasionally depending on how I’m feeling and without really fancy getting up early in the morning, I’ll then also run occasionally the 2000 chat as well. And then the transition now, the rubber has started hitting the road, of course, because we’ve started releasing. And so the next big part of that role is to facilitate the release party process. So it’s getting on top of our understanding of what’s all going on in the background and there’s a lot of technical stuff going on.

Dee Teal:

And I think it’s been really helpful for me to have a technical background to be able to read the scripts and go, okay so when somebody says Travis, I actually know what they’re talking about. When we’re creating the package, I’m like I’ve got a reasonable idea of what’s going on. And then what I’m also doing is helping document that, so that future people who get to do this role, who may not be as technical, but are also equally capable can actually pick that up and go, “Oh, now I understand the background of what we’re doing and can actually also participate as well.

Dee Teal:

So it feels a small thing, really. It’s just organizing meetings and run it. But this is a group of a huge number of people. And it’s trying to keep the conversation on target when we were in chat and not getting too carried away with dead jokes. I think in the release party, we ended up on 100 bit of a dead joke rabbit hole. Come on folks, come on back, before we’ll start getting into “Well, let’s post our pet pictures.” “No, no, no, settle down, we’ve got some things that we need to do here. Let’s get the job done.” And we did, and it was reasonably smooth. And now people can start experimenting with 5.6, which is very cool.

Angela Bowman:

It’s awesome.

Tracy Apps:

Yeah. I’m a part of the design team and it’s a lot of Slack conversation.

Dee Teal:

You have to get good at talking really fast, but it’s wonderful to actually have that written archive. So it’s a headache and a blessing all at once.

Tracy Apps:

Yeah, exactly. And I like what you say about having that technical background to be able to help you with, because I see the same thing when I do design and the project managers that I’ve worked with that have at least a knowledge of technical things are much easier to work with. And so that’s really great that you bring both of those worlds together. So you are a project manager Human Made you sit with the project lead. What does that mean?

Dee Teal:

Projects manager team lead. So we have eight, nine, I think if I went through, I think have got eight or nine, I should have actually counted the numbers. The numbers are unimportant. I have a number of project managers, as you can imagine, an agency of our size we’ve got a number of project managers.

Dee Teal:

We have them in all three of the regions that we work in, which is Europe, at least Africa, Asia Pacific, and then the Americas. And my role is a management role. So Human Made reached the size where we actually had to start being a little more intentional about how we look after the team that it’s not.. We hit reasonably close to 70 people and we’re in the past when I was there, it was 40 people. We all looked after each other.

Dee Teal:

Once you start growing to that kind of size, you actually need to be more intentional about it. And as my role as the team lead was that intention. It’s like okay, so we’ve got these eight project managers whether they want to go, what makes their work great? What do they enjoy? How do they want to progress? How do we address any issues? And so my role is very much a coaching, leadership role.

Dee Teal:

I watching them pick up and run with agile and all of these amazing different ways of doing things. And I’m a scrum master and I had that agile experience, but seeing people dive in and watch them just go run miles ahead of where I am now. So it’s interesting at the moment to be going, oh yeah, am I still a project manager? I don’t currently have an external client project that I’m working on as I’m working on a bunch of stuff internally. But yeah, most of my time at the moment is making sure that they have what they need and are going where they want to go and have some way that they can escalate some of the issues that they’re dealing with.

Tracy Apps:

That’s awesome.

Dee Teal:

It’s fun. It’s been interesting transitioning. I’ve gone from all of those other random careers before I hit tech and then tech and then doing WordPress and freelancing and hitting that point where I didn’t want to be running my own business anymore. I wanted to do the work, but I didn’t want to run a business because if I wanted to keep progressing and growing, I was then going to have to hire staff and I didn’t want to do that. And I was shopping at every part that I could, that I couldn’t do well, which is things bookkeeping and doing your taxes and all those things that are the hard parts for me of running a business to that point were watching development change and then knowing how much I was going to have to learn to keep up. When JavaScript became so dominant, I’m like, oh, I don’t think I can go there. And so Human Made came along. A number of other things came along, but Human Made in the end came along. That went, okay, I don’t need to contract to do this anymore. I could be employed to do this.

Tracy Apps:

How was your experience with JavaScript because for me it’s a [crosstalk 00:17:26] relationship?

Dee Teal:

I took one look at it and said, yeah, I don’t want to do that. So I can see those ones starting to change. I did a WordCamp talk. I heard Matt saying, learn JavaScript deeply. And I could see where that was going. And I actually got, okay, so I have an option here, I either had to dive in if I’m going to keep progressing and being able to do what I do for my clients, or I need to pivot and will I change tech basically. And just hit push more into the project management side of things at that point, because I needed to stay present and current, but I wasn’t able to do that. And on that same trajectory, so moving off to the different direction kind of made that happen.

Tracy Apps:

I feel I did kind of a similar thing, so I can relate.

Angela Bowman:

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Angela Bowman:

Your employees where are they located?

Dee Teal:

So in my reports, the individual contributors, we call them I have one, two, three in Europe, one in India, one in Australia with me, and two in Americas, one in Canada and one in the US. So my days are often broken between meetings in the morning with the Americas.

Tracy Apps:

Yeah, how do you schedule meetings on that?

Dee Teal:

When I started I was deep into the servant leadership thing going, if anybody has to be inconvenience, it’s always going to have to be me. That wasn’t sustainable for the long-term because that meant 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM meetings for the Americas crew, so that they were still having their meetings within work hours. And then 7:00, 8:00 and sometimes even 9:00 PM meetings for AEMI.

Dee Teal:

So initially I would do those and then take time during the day, but it’s really, really easy just to get your head down and get stuck in and then find yourself you’ve worked 14 hours without realizing, not sustainable, as you can imagine.

Dee Teal:

And so we would then… I’ve gradually managed to… We’re a global company. We understand that all of us are going to at different times be inconvenienced just by the nature of the fact that there aren’t really very often any of us all in the same town, let alone the same time zone. And so gradually, I mean, I’m still doing meetings outside of work hours. That’s always going to be a feature of what I’m doing, but I’m a lot more careful now about how I schedule it. I keep my meetings Tuesdays to Thursday so that I have a standing Monday dinner with a friend I have Friday night and I’m like you know what? I had Friday night, I don’t want to be doing a 9:00 PM call. I block it all out on my calendar so that people don’t just scurry their way in there and go, “Hey, I saw that. I’m just going to add in a call.” And I’m like, “Sorry I can’t do.”

Tracy Apps:

That’s something I feel it takes a long time to learn kind of how I had to get to… Honestly getting into CrossFit classes or some of thing that was every day, every other week, every other day or whatever it was. And then just have that blocked on my schedule because that helped dictate that I wasn’t going to be working 14 hours one day.

Dee Teal:

I got into… I think Angela was going to ask a question and then I-

Angela Bowman:

Oh, I was going to say, Allie, you’re working with a big team too. Aren’t you with WP Bobs?

Allie Nimmons:

Yeah.

Angela Bowman:

With Dee’s experience do you have people in different time zones as well?

Allie Nimmons:

Oh, absolutely. I mean, we have people all throughout South and Central America, we have handful of people in Europe. We have one person in Serbia, I think she’s the furthest away. And then we just have one new person in Australia I believe.

Allie Nimmons:

But the thing about Bobs is we have very few meetings because so much of our work is answering tickets in the desk that everyone can work very, very independently. So yeah, just by the nature of what we do, we don’t have necessarily that problem. But I have had situations where it’s like I really need to ask someone a question or get in touch with somebody to follow up on one of their tickets or one of their messages. And it’s, oh, they’re not going to be awake for another 10 hours or so. But yeah, I don’t have anything like what Dee was going through at all.

Dee Teal:

We try and operate fairly asynchronously, but it’s hard. So I’ve had to be really, really strict about notifications on Slack, because it would be really easy for me just to bounce. It’s a family friendly oriented sense within the company. The culture within the company is really collegial. I have a very much a pull approach to Slack, so I don’t have any notifications on any of my devices, but I am constantly just jumping in to see what’s going on. Who’s there? Oh, someone is there. We have a quick chat. So it’s really, really, and I feel like I’m kidding myself if I think. Even that by only having a pull approach to it, instead of a push approach. I’m minimizing the distractions, but it’s a welcome distraction. But one of the biggest challenges that I’m never getting at the moment, project managing our retreat. Now in normal circumstances, we would all shut down for a week and we would all go somewhere. And of course we can’t do that, but we can.

Allie Nimmons:

You’re doing in [crosstalk 00:24:43].

Dee Teal:

So we are planning a whole series of events over a six week period, which has a whole lot of different challenges. This will be jumping in and out. You can attend what you wish to attend. Some of them are knowledge sharing. Some of them are team building. Some of them are social events. So we’ve got a whole different series of events. I wonder if we look back on it and go, we probably should have shut everything down for that week that we would normally have done and then just done a whole bunch of online events in one concentrated period, but this is an experiment. We’ll see how it goes. Because at the moment planning all of the allocation and resourcing around all of that is actually quite difficult. But I’m using Slack Workflows, getting to tweak my technical skills again using Slack Workflows to make a scavenger hunt for the whole team.

Dee Teal:

I can’t wait to write a post about that assuming that it goes well. We’ll see what happens if it’s a total disaster, you won’t hear anything.

Tracy Apps:

How many people total at Human Made now?

Dee Teal:

I think we had quite a lot of transition during COVID and so I think we’re somewhere around 65. We were up to 70. And we’re slowly building up again. We’ve had a rush of hiring going on lately.

Tracy Apps:

Oh, cool.

Dee Teal:

So yeah. Herding those kinds of cats over three times zones and multiple cultures that’s going to be fun too.

Tracy Apps:

Oh, yeah.

Dee Teal:

Yeah, it’s a good challenge, I really loving it.

Tracy Apps:

I can’t have to read that. Yeah.

Angela Bowman:

You could write a book.

Dee Teal:

Oh good.

Allie Nimmons:

You should in to get in touch with the organizers of WordCamp Austin and see if he can do some of the retreat in VR, get everyone VR headsets.

Dee Teal:

That would be amazing. Somebody did suggest it at one point. A few of the team I think they may well end up being a VR event at some point, because quite a few of the team, when we have all these interest channels, quite a few of the team and the interests gaming channel have VR headsets [inaudible 00:26:54].

Tracy Apps:

For WordCamp Denver we had local musicians perform in between sessions. And so perhaps if you had some musicians from different parts of the worlds that were local, that could perform, then people would want to tune in because it would be like a party.

Dee Teal:

That will be so fun. Yeah.

Tracy Apps:

It’ll be awesome. It was just interesting how well that was received.

Dee Teal:

Well, it takes you out of the ordinary every day. One of our team members is a DJ. And so he’s got a couple of sets that he’s going to throw to give out.

Tracy Apps:

Nice.

Dee Teal:

We’ve got somebody who’s going to do a virtual escape room. I’m pretty confident we’re going to have a number of little different outposts of about us games popping up. There’s the state of the humans, which is the big address from the C-level team about where we’re going and where we’ve been and heck projects and workshops. And hopefully by the time that we’ve all done, it we’ll all come away and go, yeah, that was a good experience, that was fun.

Tracy Apps:

I’m attending a virtual dance party on Friday actually. So we’ll see how that goes. And I think it’s also a costume, some, I don’t know but.

Dee Teal:

That’s sounds amazing Tracy. I can’t wait to see it.

Tracy Apps:

And it’s all TikTok people, so I’m sure it will be documented.

Dee Teal:

Of course it is. It will be so good. I follow you on TikTok, I uninstalled TikTok. I did due to the whole TikTok panic and I uninstalled it but every time something pops on Twitter from you, I’m like jump it and have a look and then end up in a rabbit hole [crosstalk 00:28:37].

Angela Bowman:

I love it. How’s COVID been treating everyone with Human Made and with you and Australia? Give us a view of the world where you are, we’re in the US, we know what’s happening for us, which is in our differences-

Dee Teal:

We know what’s happening for you so-

Angela Bowman:

Kind of a nightmare for us.

Dee Teal:

I’m so sorry. So I’m in Melbourne, Victoria. And so we went into lockdown the first lockdown at the beginning of March, and I was a little earlier than the rest of the state because I flew back from New Zealand then had two weeks mandatory quarantine when I came back from New Zealand.

Dee Teal:

So I think I went into quarantine on the 17th of March and on the 1st of July. And what that looked is very different than what we ended up in the second round. So we didn’t have a curfew in that first round. That was all quite time. And then 1st of July, we went back to some semblance of normal, and I had a booking at a restaurant and the people that I was going to go to the restaurant with, went to a Black Lives Matter rally.

Dee Teal:

Supper important, absolutely don’t deny the need for them to have done that, but then we were all like, wonder why we put ourself at risk at that point? Maybe we’ll just cancel a booking. And then on the 1st of August we went into hard lockdown and that’s 5K radius limits. That’s a curfew at 8:00 PM initially, and then lifted later to 9:00 PM.

Dee Teal:

There were four reasons you were allowed out of the house. We were allowed to go about to do the grocery shopping, but only one person from the household was allowed to do that. You were allowed out for an hour to exercise which is later lifted to two hours for exercise. And that was just the the top level and a long list.

Dee Teal:

Gradually we were hitting this point and I know that I say this to people who are seeing thousands of cases a day, but we hit this point where the highest number of cases a day was 750 and 20 deaths. And so our fairly liberal leaning government said, we’re not having it. And so people of Victoria, we are in this together. And for the most part, it was mostly Metropolitan Melbourne, which is of course the city that I’m in. This is how we going to deal with it. And we had dealt with it and they’ve been hiccups along the way. There was an outbreak because of, I won’t even get into it. You end up in a political discourse and you really don’t want that.

Dee Teal:

Only now, so I had been on lockdown effectively of some kind for seven months. And we are now down to one, maybe two cases a day. So it is possible, but it took the whole collective group of people living in Victoria to go okay, we were in… So at the beginning of November, back to the hairdresser, you could tell that I’m going need to. God bless him. At one point, he actually packaged up the dye for me, because it was double that length and sent it to me, charged me 50 bucks for it and then send me a video saying, “Here is how you do it Dee.”

Angela Bowman:

Oh, love it.

Dee Teal:

So there’s all sorts of… As hard as all of that has been, there has been so many stories like that that are also, oh my God, this has given us an opportunity to connect with people that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Dee Teal:

I know all of my neighbors, I’m in a building as five apartments. I know all of my neighbors. In my first lockdown, one of them knocked on the door and said, “Hey, I understand you, if you’re kind of be stuck here for a bit, what can we do?” And they went and did grocery shopping for me. All of those stories have been amazing and hopefully come 1st of November, I’m now allowed to go 25Ks from my house. So my girlfriends and I we had this one little sliver of crossover and we found a park in that and we could go and sit in the park for two hours. And so the first time I’d seen Fiona in months since March, we sat in the park last Sunday.

Angela Bowman:

Wow.

Tracy Apps:

Are the borders, the States still closed?

Dee Teal:

Well, in theory.

Tracy Apps:

In theory.

Dee Teal:

The government set up this travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.

Tracy Apps:

[crosstalk 00:33:27] little bumble.

Dee Teal:

So you could come from New Zealand to either New South Wales or Northern Territory. But they’re not allowed to go to Queensland, they’re not allowed to go Victoria or South Australia or Western Australia. What happens? They all arrive in Sydney. And then I think 50 different people from New Zealand ended up in all of the States they’re not supposed to be in. So we have the word bubble, but no practical responsibility to actually make sure that doesn’t happen.

Angela Bowman:

I will put this in a little perspective. Melbourne has a population about the population of the state of Colorado, where I live. We are averaging 1,080 cases a day and we had people constantly complaining just because they have to wear masks to the grocery store.

Angela Bowman:

We have never had any restrictions on the level that you have had at all, at all. The most it’s like, okay, we need to limit the number of people in restaurants. When we had locked down, it wasn’t a real lockdown. There was no curfew. There was people stayed home simply because things were closed. We had businesses were closed and that was what our lockdown. But it is interesting I’ve been watching Australia carefully and particularly Melbourne and noticing, wow, when your cases started to go up, you were just shut that stuff down.

Dee Teal:

We’re not having that.

Angela Bowman:

We’re not having that.

Tracy Apps:

Interesting. It makes so much sense.

Dee Teal:

It’s been hard and so many people about six months and I was reaching my limit. I ended up taking a couple of mental health days off at work because I’m like I’m not coping. Every little thing that I would see would make me burst into tears. And there’s so much political wrangling going on here in the media that it has not been popular. We’ve got the conservative media saying, you’ve got to open up these businesses, these businesses, the economy, the economy. You’ve got all of that going on. And because we do have, from my perspective, the luxury of a liberal government. And I use that word small little liberal because our conservative party is called the Liberal Party, don’t even get me started on that. So we have a small liberal government here in Victoria and that whole sense of we don’t want any more people to die has been the driving thing, right.

Dee Teal:

And we know it’s hard, but it hasn’t been perfect. The implementation hasn’t been perfect. It’s unprecedented to use that hideously overused word. And so to have the expectations on the government to be able to do it right the first time when we don’t have experience of having to do this a first time at any other time is… But they are less people dead, and that’s the thing that I just keep on, how do less people have died. My staying home has meant that somebody else didn’t get it, somebody else didn’t lose a family member, then I’m okay. But I’m ridiculously privileged. I’m used to working at home. I work for a company that has weathered this reasonably well so far that I haven’t lost my job and so many people have.

Dee Teal:

I’ve had some inconvenience for seven months. And at the end of the day I’ve been looking at, my grandparents went through a war. I were with my minor, very privileged and convenience if it means that. At the end of the day, we all stronger because of… Sorry [crosstalk 00:37:21].

Allie Nimmons:

No, that’s so wonderful. I mean, so much of it is about perspective. I think if you have a strong sense of perspective and self-awareness, it’s a lot easier. I’m getting married in less than two weeks. And we had to shrink our wedding down to two friends and my mom. I’m going to cry. I feel the same way as you where it’s I can be okay with that if it means that my family and friends are going to be safe. If one person came and got sick, I couldn’t live with that.

Allie Nimmons:

So I think that’s an incredibly strong way of thinking about it when you’re starting to feel all of this pressure is like, I’m doing what I have to do for others.

Dee Teal:

I’m part of a much, much bigger story, right? I hate that I’ve canceled four trips. One of the things that I love about my job and I love about what we do is that I get to travel and I get to meet you guys and hang out. And I love that stuff. And I get to meet my friends “my humans” the other human, my team. We get to hang out and have a few wines and play stupid board games and all the things that I absolutely love to do. But we are part of such so much of a bigger picture. There’s so much unrest and so many things happening, even for team members at the moment. And I’m like, I couldn’t go outside. Like seriously, what am I… I mean, I look at my friends in America and go, well, all of the stuff that you guys are walking through at the moment. And I’m like, I couldn’t go outside. What have I got to complain about that?

Tracy Apps:

Well, so we have a mask mandate in Wisconsin and we are now one of the hotspots because everyone’s no, I don’t want to. I was like okay, well, they don’t work, well, let’s find then if it don’t work, then you lose putting some fabric over your face. If they do work, you save a life.

Dee Teal:

Exactly.

Tracy Apps:

Kind of what’s the-

Allie Nimmons:

Willing to make that gamble.

Tracy Apps:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. I’ve been going to the protests every so often, but everyone’s wearing masks. I get tested right afterwards and negative. So it’s like, well, do you do actually kind of work. And so it’s frustrating to me because yeah you said, we have the privilege. I did lose my job, but I also freelance, I work on the internet. I work in technology, which is an industry that’s going to survive this and will survive just fine. But there’s other ones that will not, will probably not. And there’s restaurants and places that are going to close. I hate seeing that. Like you said it’s just perspective here, it’s sort of.

Dee Teal:

I love some of the creative things that I’ve seen develop out of this. So the creative things that have relied on our kinds of technology to actually happen. So there is a website that’s sprung up where we are, because again, this has been months and some of the higher end restaurants have all gathered together and are all part of this website. And you can order all of your favorites from there to get delivered to your house.

Tracy Apps:

Yep. I have several of them.

Dee Teal:

Like the restaurant that Peter and I were meant to go to in that break in between is our favorite and thou are on that list. And so I can order their beautiful meals and come to my… We have our Monday night dinner, the place that they go to, they do this… I’m not a vegetarian, we do this amazing chicken schnitzel and I’ve had that delivered three or four times. My little restaurant across the road, they just do takeaways and so I can go. So there’s all of those creative things happening, I can get all of these things delivered and it’s the web that’s making that happen. And it’s WordPress that’s making that happen for some of those people. I love that, but it’s giving some of the people in our industry an opportunity to go, Dee, show us what we can do to help your business survive, I do think is phenomenal. And I get to eat my favorite things and so on.

Tracy Apps:

I feel the same, I love it. Especially since I did have a job for most of the time. So I was like okay. My duty is to order food from these good restaurants that I want to see survive and buy this artwork from local artists that fill all of my walls with art. I was everything I possibly can do in it, sure, I gained 15 pounds because I’m all of this is such good food. It’s a sacrifice I was willing to make for the greater good.

Allie Nimmons:

I appreciate your sacrifice.

Dee Teal:

Events online. I have a comedian and musician whom I follow who’s hilarious and has been documenting this and basically keeping Melbourne alive and entertained throughout all of this. And so I’m Patrion for a number of people just to like, hey, if this is the thing that you’re putting your tip diary out so that we can help because the arts has been absolutely… Restaurants can do it a little bit more, but the arts has really, really suffered and will continue to suffer. I had tickets to go and see the Harry Potter thing. They got canceled very, very early on. I had tickets for Hamilton and Sydney in March opening night. Everything in me is like [inaudible 00:43:51].

Tracy Apps:

I have a subscription to the symphony, some box seats in the symphony. And I was and now that’s online and kind of, and I’m like but-

Allie Nimmons:

Not the same.

Tracy Apps:

Not the same, yeah.

Angela Bowman:

It has been so great to talk to you and Allie, we want to see wedding photos.

Tracy Apps:

Yeah.

Allie Nimmons:

Oh man.

Tracy Apps:

You are going to be the most gorgeous bride. It is going to be wonderful. I’m going to start crying. We love you. Just being able to spend time with just the four of us even online. And Allie gets to be a guest co-host and every now and then and her company your company allows her to take time to contribute to various projects, including our podcast, which kind of awesome. So Dee can you tell our listeners where they can find you online?

Dee Teal:

I think if you Google The Web Princess you pretty much find me on Twitter. I’ve been a little bit more active there, I spent years not doing Twitter at all, and I think this whole pandemic has made it easier for me to get back into that. So The Web Princess on Twitter, on Instagram yeah. Or google Dee Teal, I’m pretty much the only one out there at this stage, so you can find me out.

Angela Bowman:

Well, lovely, stay safe, eat good food, and we hope to see you in real life soon.

Amy Masson:

Thanks for listening. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter or join our Facebook group. We would be honored if you subscribe to the show, you can find us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and iTunes. Finally, if you want to be on the show or know someone who would visit our website at womeninwp.com. until next time.

 

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