Kids activity break during remote online classesAs a Program Manager for the AppDynamics Customer Experience Center (CXC), my job is all about connecting with people, discussing their accounts, and figuring out the best way to support them. It looked a lot different in early 2020 than it does today, as I traveled to meet as many Account Managers as possible and help define the right approach with the then-new program we were rolling out.

My husband and I have no idea how to sit still. In those early months of 2020, he had traveled for most of January, I was gone for two weeks in February, and we each had at least four more trips planned. At one point in February, we passed each other at the airport! Me arriving, him leaving. With our two daughters, ages 7 and 9, a life on the move was the only life we knew. Until it wasn’t. Until the day we were told to stay put, to not leave our apartment, go to the office or even to school – to just stay home

So, there we were, four humans, one cat, unsure of what exactly was happening, inside our San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go.

To be honest, my daughters were thrilled to not have to go to school (oh, if we only knew then what we know now – and how long they would wind up being home for!) and were ecstatic to stay home and roam around the apartment all day, to the dismay of our old cranky cat.

To the adults, the days quickly grew much longer, as we had to figure out how to BOTH work from the kitchen table as the kids ran around and made demands for food when they were not torturing the cat.

What made my success during this time even mildly possible was working for the right company. Cisco/AppDynamics leadership was quick to address the situation and keep us as updated as best they could through weekly check-ins. They ensured we knew that it was okay to focus on what matters most – our families, our kids, and our health. And they reassured us time and time again that we would get through this.

Kids enjoying remote online music class

I had no idea that I could feel so supported by my employer, and we saw the humanity of our leaders in these moments.

And it didn’t stop there. As I chatted with friends who also work in tech, it was obvious to me how unique Cisco’s support was (and is). There was dedicated focus on so many levels – one of those was in supporting working parents. Numerous online classes were offered to our kids. Magic shows and virtual zoo visits were planned to entertain the children throughout the day, and music lessons, art competitions, and coding classes were all on the schedule.

It is in these big moments, where you see the little things that bring us together. Cisco has somehow perfected the art of sharing knowledge, connecting, and taking care of their employees – and our families. It’s truly a moment that mattered for us.

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Lora Tomova

Program Manager