In the last 34 days, my wife has learned more about my daily work routine, than the prior 16,210 days of our marriage!
The Coronavirus has forced many of us to adapt to a new way of living … and living together. As mentioned in last week’s post, the term “Disruption” seems to be the buzz word of late that is often used in changing business for the better. Well, for sure, this virus without a vaccine has not only disrupted nearly every business around the world, but it has disrupted every aspect of our daily lives.
My bride of 44 years is Nancy. I refer to her as “My Better 90%”, as she is way more worthy than being just “My Better Half.”
It was back in late February that we took off down the road to spend a few weeks at our home in Fort Lauderdale, so as to get a break from the daily grind of Commercial Real Estate and Frederick County’s winter weather. The plan was to attend some spring training baseball games with the World Champion Washington Nationals, visit with friends and enjoy the Florida sunshine.
No question that, during the first weeks of our get-away, we accomplished all of our goals. We connected with some longtime local friends, and later Nancy spend a lot quality time with a group of Frederick girlfriends, while I cruised the state with some buddies catching several major league ball games, while the sun shone upon us.
For me, there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in a small ballpark, about the same size as our own Harry Grove Stadium, enjoying a beer while watching a bunch of the major league’s best players with the Phillies, Red Sox, Twins, Astros, Rays … aka, the 2019 also-rans, among others.
Then came the end of a very competitive match between the Nationals and the Yankees in West Palm Beach on March 11th. It was a close game, with the Bronx Bombers pulling it out in the ninth.
Then the real bomb was dropped! It was announced that the remaining three weeks of spring training was being canceled, due concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic.
While we were all following the growing concerns over the Wuhan, China import, I guess that is when the idea of a true Disruption really hit us! Things were going to get serious.
Nancy and my plans were to spend another week in Florida, with a visit from out of town friends; then head home and for me, back to work. But as things turned out neither happened, as the two of us chose to stay put and wait it out, until the coast was clear.
Hey, don’t feel sorry for us, we knew that basking in the Florida sunshine on the water wasn’t going to be too insufferable!
No matter where I was to be located, it was time for me to get back to my CRE clients and tend to their transactions. So, with the card table set up in the family room, next to the sliding glass door overlooking the pool and the dock on the canal, I set up shop and settled into my regular 9 to 5 gig.
It wasn’t long before I learned about Zoom meetings and became a subscriber. Be honest, who had ever heard of Zoom 6 weeks ago? Frankly, it’s a regular part of our lives now – business meetings, connecting with the grandkids … and what about those two and a half hour virtual cocktail parties?
I have to admit that occasionally, I’ll take a phone call in my bathing suit while catching a few rays on the chaise lounge by the pool.
Surely, every businessperson will spend a few days carrying on some business, while away from the office, but what became unique for Nancy and me was that just about every spoken word from our mouths has been overheard by the other within the confines of our little rancher over the last 34 days.
Now, we have been happily married for nearly 45 years and share a lot about our days over dinner and on the weekends, but I have to admit, this COVID-19 thing has changed the landscape.
The good news is we’ve discovered that we are very compatible; so when I choose to retire, I think that we’ll get along great!
The bad news is that Nancy has heard enough of my conversations with clients and customers that she now has a better appreciation for what I do all day. But that does not come without her share of critique and suggestions! Days of long conversations that sometimes feel like they go nowhere, but in the end, work out okay. Then there are several days focused on mediating one continuous negotiation. Back and forth … back and forth. Day after day.
And what is the one line and follow up question that have I heard constantly from my loving bride?
“I hope your clients appreciate all the hard work you are doing for them on that deal,” and “Are they paying you enough?”
That’s why she’s my better 90%!
Stay safe, my friends!
Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland, has been an active member of the Frederick community for over four decades. He has served as chairman of the board of Frederick Memorial Hospital and as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Frederick Mutual Insurance Company. Established in 1843, it is one of the longest enduring businesses in Frederick County.