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Amos King

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 Chris Keathley

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 Anna Neyzberg

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Episode Transcript

 

Amos: Welcome to Elixir Outlaws, the hallway track of the Elixir community.

Amos: You, you look nice and shaven today.

Anna: Oh, I like the background, Amos.

Amos: Hey, thanks. A friend Jonathan.

Chris: Is it a coaster or is it a glass?

Amos: Yeah. Jonathan took a picture of it. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a coaster that has our logo on it. And he had it sitting in, it looks like some carbonated water or something.

Chris: I was gonna say, is a cup of La Croix?

Amos: It probably is. That would be hilarious. I didn’t ask him.

Chris: La Croix.

Anna: La Croix. Keathley, how are you doing?

Chris: Oh, you know, I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m getting better.

Amos: You look less disheveled.

Chris: Yeah. I feel like, you know-

Anna: -You’re in your house. With power. And internet.

Chris: I have internet, I have power again. I’m mostly back to normal in terms of my physical surroundings. Uh, that feels good. Uh, you know, I’m doing well on those sorts of things. Um, and otherwise I’m just journaling a lot and, uh, trying to stay active and just generally deal with the sort of fallout of all the emotional stuff from everything else.

Anna: Yeah. That’s crazy.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, we’re, it’s a weird thing. I mean, we’re, um, we were super fortunate that, like, we didn’t have nearly the amount of damage that anybody else had even like in our neighborhood. Um, storm basically, like landed, like four houses past us. It’s like, that’s like when roofs and stuff started, like coming off people’s houses.

Amos: Wow.

Anna: So crazy.

Chris: Yeah. So we got really lucky. It’s weird to feel lucky and walk around the neighborhood and be like, I’m really glad that we were lucky . At the same time, then you just kind of feel like a scumbag because you see all the people who weren’t lucky. And so then you, like, are mad at yourself, et cetera. So there’s a lot of that to sort of process and work through. You know, there’s a, there’s a lot of like, uh, just sort of like self-care stuff. We’re all sort of doing in the house right now.

Anna: Right. Important.

Chris: Um, trying to stay connected to people as much as you can.

Anna: Plus a pandemic, so that doesn’t make it easier.

Chris: Yeah. That’s really that’s that also doesn’t help, that doesn’t help at all. So. But I own a generator now.

Anna: Wow, look at you.

Chris: And a chainsaw, so I’m pretty much prepared.

Anna: For anything.

Amos: Yeah, you can do anything.

Chris: I really have gone, like I’m making a list, I’ll put it up on my blog at some point, of like, just sort of like essential things you should probably have if you live anywhere near the woods, basically. And it’s very close to like a prepper kit. It’s like-

Anna: What is it missing that would make it a full prepper kit?

Chris: Probably guns, is what I’m gonna go ahead and say.

Anna: Oh, okay.

Chris: Um, but.

Amos: We should brand this and sell it.

Chris: Uh, it’s like a prepper kit, but for, you know, yuppies.

Anna: Right.

Chris: Uh-

Amos: It’s got some avocado toast in there. Freeze dried.

Chris: Yeah, exactly. Well, and some like, you know, some heirloom coffee, uh, you know, it’s got a hand grinder, a water boiler type situation.

Anna: I did just get a new hand grinder.

Chris: Hand grinder is key. You gotta have a hand grinder.

Amos: What one?

Anna: Um, I’m not sure. Like, not that, it’s not that fancy. I just needed a new one because mine broke. I’m debating getting a new coffee machine.

Chris: Are you going to get like a, like a, like a fancy apparatus?

Anna: I think so.

Chris: Or like, automated apparatus?

Anna: I think a fancy ape- or Alex Daniels, one of our old coworkers, has a fancy one that I -not super fancy, but kind of fancy. So I’m thinking about moving up to Tahoe for a while.

Chris: Oh, cool.

Anna: We’re working from home. I actually have to move soon because my roommate’s moving to Seattle in a month or two, month and a half. And so I could find a new place in the city or my parents have a place in Tahoe.

Chris: That makes sense.

Anna: I could have a house to myself over the summertime.

Amos: Nice!

Chris: Yeah. And you’d be sort of like, away from like, the city.

Anna: It’s super nice up there in the summer.

Amos: You could go fly fishing every day.

Anna: If I knew how to fly fish, I could go fly fishing every day.

Amos: I’m driving up to your house.

Chris: The whole summer to learn.

Amos: That’s right.

Anna: But obviously I’m thinking about priorities and coffee. You don’t have a set up up there. I could have a pour over set up up there but like-

Chris: Do you need- er, here. So I’m gonna boy dire this for just a minute. Are you talking about espresso, or do you need like, like some like, like American style drip coffee?

Anna: No, I want espresso.

Chris: Oh, espresso? Now, see, you’re already fancier than I, I know very little about espresso. What I do know about espresso is that the Australian espresso machines are good and um, very affordable.

Anna: Oh, really?

Chris: They’ve, like, they’ve pushed the prices of like fancy espresso machines down.

Anna: Interesting.

Chris: Yeah. They, they sort of made it into the American market like a few years ago and it really, it forced a lot of like, uh, espresso machine things to, to sort of drop in price quite a bit.

Anna: That’s awesome.

Chris: They’re still costly. Like, let’s be clear.

Anna: Yeah, I mean they’re still costly. Even the one I’m looking at is costly, which seems ridiculous right now. Like to talk about buying a fancy coffee machine right now. Well, everyone is like, losing jobs.

Chris: We are in the very precipice of a recession, so maybe not the smartest financial decision ever, but also.

Amos: Look at the coffee jack.

Anna: A coffee. What?

Amos: Coffee jack.

Anna: Coffee jack.

Amos: Yep.

Anna: Actually, I have debated, for that reason. I’m like, that’s probably not the smartest decision ever.

Amos: The coffee jack is a little, little one that fits on top of your cup and you pump it. And it does like eight bars of pressure, 12 bars pressure, whatever

Anna: I mean I could just bring my arrow press. And like, I’d be fine.

Amos: This is like the arrow press, but has the pressure of, of an espresso machine.

Anna: Oh, really? Have you used it?

Amos: No, they’re not there. It’s on Indiegogo.

Anna: I see it. A lot of people have gotten them.

Amos: I know. I, I, I keep debating going back and forth. I have like a million coffee machines at home though, so. A million might be a slight exaggeration.

Anna: Oh, they’re like just releasing it now, right? May 22.

Amos: Yeah.

Anna: Wow, good timing.

Amos: And their production got slowed down a little bit. Cause of everything.

Anna: Pandemic.

Amos: Yep.

Chris: I’m trying to find the actual like, brand, of the ones that I was aware of. Um, but I can’t, I can’t find-

Anna: -Sorry to all of our listeners who don’t care about coffee.

Amos: I really hope that like half of them are looking this stuff up online with us. They’re like, “Oh yeah!”

Chris: Oh, we’re going to get comments. Like people, people have opinions.

Amos: I know. I like opinions.

Chris: What -that’s why you do this show with me.

Amos: That’s right.

Anna: Yes. That’s why we’re friends with you, Keathley.

Chris: Exactly. I will say, um, I will say I love my Moka pot.

Anna: Your Moka pot? And maybe I should just be normal and do that.

Chris: Well, if you just want a well it’s-

Amos: Yeah.

Chris: If you like us, espresso, it’s a thicker, you know.

Anna: Yeah, my sister’s obsessed with it.

Chris: I love it. It’s great. I use it every morning. Uh-

Anna: -Maybe I’ll just do that and save myself, like, an insane amount of money.

Chris: It’s really a lot of money.

Amos: I would if not everybody in my house drink so much coffee, but we do.

Anna: And what do you use for grinding, Keathley?

Chris: Well, I am still rocking my same, um, like Barazza, I think it’s an Encore is the name of it. It’s basically the entry level. Like Barazza Burr grinder-

Anna: Okay.

Chris: That I’ve had, um, for a decade now. Um, it’s really good. I really like it. It’s, it’s sort of starting to like show it’s, uh, it’s, it’s age. Like it’s, it’s not quite as tight as it was. Um, it’s not quite as consistent as it used to be. Um, I think I could probably fix that. Um, but I love it. It’s great. It is, again, it’s a little bit of a costly thing, but I’ve had mine for like.

Anna: That’s not that costly in comparison to like-

Chris: No, it’s way cheaper than the- so my, my general advice, if you want espresso, is that you actually should spend about double whatever you’re going to spend on the machine, you should spend about double on the grinder.

Anna: Exactly. Well, unless you’re getting a crazy machine.

Chris: Exactly. But, but that’s that blows people’s minds when they think about that.

Anna: Yeah, nom the grinder is super important.

Chris: The grinder is actually key.

Anna: Yeah.

Chris: But I do have a hand, I have a hand grinder. I have one of those little, um, oh, one of those little ones, the one that everybody has a little, little, uh, little hand grinder.

Amos: Hario?

Chris: Yeah. And I do that. So we make, we typically make a lot of like, French press, or I’ll make a Moka pot for myself. I use a Moka pot basically every day. And I love it. That’s what we do.

Anna: Maybe I’ll just do the Moka pot.

Amos: French press, French press and Moka pot.

Chris: Those are really, I’m all about the mouthfeel. And so-

Anna: -You sound like somebody I know.

Chris: I don’t want it to feel like water.

Anna: I haven’t heard the word mouthfeel since Jeremy.

Chris: So I’m all about the mouthfeel (cracks up) Sorry. And, and a Moka pot really is, it, it hits me, uh, there. It’s good.

Amos: All right. So most important question today.

Chris: Hmm.

Amos: Where do you like to get your coffee from? What origin?

Chris: Oh, wait, like, are you talking about a roaster or are you talking about a part of, part of the world?

Amos: A part of the world. Because they have different flavors. So, like, I like Ethiopian coffees because they’re generally like citrusy, like blueberry and a grapefruit type flavors. And, um, my wife loves chocolatey stuff from other places. I don’t even know where this stuff comes from. Cause I don’t care.

Chris: Uh, I like coffee, is the thing.

Anna: I like good coffee.

Chris: And so there’s tons of regions of the world that I like, but I also, I don’t mind to blend. I don’t mind people.

Anna: Me neither. If it’s good. If it’s good. If the roasting is good, like I don’t mind.

Chris: Yeah. That’s the thing is like, I love trying to trying out of a whole bunch of different stuff and, but it really comes down to the roaster and the who and who’s blending it and like all that stuff.

Anna: Who’s your favorite roaster, Keathley?

Chris: Oh, man. I don’t even know. I have, so, I’ve done a bunch of them. Uh, I’ve done a bunch of like those like subscription things and I’ve like tried to find other roasters and stuff. I mean, like, I don’t know. I like all, I much like all the other, um, yuppies, like I like all the big name, like well-known roasters, like Stumptown and Blue Bottle and all those, although Blue Bottle is like-

Anna: -Blue Bottle is not good anymore.

Chris: No, it’s really gone- it really has actually gone sort of downhill. And also it’s like the, the level of judgment that I feel when I walk into a Blue Bottle in San Francisco is just high enough now where I’m like, all right, this is just silly.

Anna: Well now they’re NBC-backed companies.

Chris: Yeah. So in any case, I take Stump Town I’ll pick up Stump Town, or Counter Culture. I really like Counter Culture stuff. And they’re also from this region, so that makes me feel good. Much like everyone else, um, I’m trying out Trade right now. Um, so that’s pretty cool because you can like get ritual coffee from San Francisco and, but you can also get one of my favorite roasters, um-

Anna: -What’s Trade?

Chris: It’s a subscription.

Anna: Oh, subscription coffee. Yeah, that’s awesome. Do you like it?

Chris: I like it. It’s like very reasonable. Like you kind of interact a little bit more with the actual roasters. You can kind of select what you want. So you get a bigger range of stuff. I just got coffee from actually one of my favorite roasters, which is this place in Arkansas called Onyx. And when I lived in Bentonville, when I worked at Wally World, I, uh, I used to, I would go to the coffee shop that later became Onyx all the time. And it was like just this dude and his partner. And they were, you know, like, working at a different coffee shop together, trying to like start their own thing and start roasting and then were just like teaching themselves, all that stuff. And now they’re like an award-winning roaster, so it’s very cool to us.

Anna: That’s awesome.

Chris: So it was really cool to like, you know, know them when they worked at a coffee shop called Arsaga’s and like, you know, all this kind of stuff.

Amos: Like when you first asked him that question, I went to like what roasting machine he’s using, not the company, but Onyx, Onyx is good. We have one here in Kansas City called Messenger that, um, they’re, they’re pretty awesome. They have really good coffee and-

Chris: -You probably get the PT’s coffee in Kansas City too, right?

Amos: I avoid PT’s.

Chris: PT’s coffee.

Amos: There is a PT’s coffee. Yeah. It’s like from the Northwest.

Chris: Oh, maybe that’s a different thing. There’s another good.

Amos: Scooters.

Chris: I might, I might be confusing my Kansas roasters. There’s another good roaster in Kansas. That’s that we get coffee from sometimes but we actually, but the place I’ve been getting coffee from for a while is this place in Alabama called Bean Fruit. And I really liked them, but I’ve been using them for like a good while. I try to, I try as much as I can to, this is like a silly thing, but I try as much as I can to get coffee from roasters, like in the region that are like in sort of the Southeast or, or locally. We, we had a lot of good roasters locally and now we’re sort of down, back down to one in Chattanooga.

Anna: Who’s the one?

Chris: Uh, it’s a company called Velo, but they’re good. Yeah. Coffee is great.

Anna: Coffee’s important.

Amos: I was going to say it’s important to our job. I would not survive without it.

Anna: I think it’s just important in general. Like I would be so sad without coffee. People who like don’t drink coffee. I’m very, always impressed.

Chris: Yeah. Likewise. Well, so the day after the storm, we, so we didn’t have power. We’re, like, streets are completely destroyed and closed. Like no one can drive anywhere and like, you know, so you, and you have like sort of posts, posts, like traumatic stress, like kind of stuff. And so I was, I got up and I literally like, you know, every- my entire ability to make coffee is dependent on electricity. Cause like we didn’t, we didn’t have like, you know, a propane stove or anything like that when this happened. Propane stove, also a key thing to just have in a house.

Anna: And some propane.

Chris: With propane bottles. Yeah. That’s also key. Propane bottles. Um, and so the first day I was like, just walking around, like, I don’t know, like I didn’t have coffee, I didn’t have, I hadn’t slept. And I had all this other stuff and I was like in like this weird, like fugue state, like I was just sort of like, just sort of just like looking around almost like shock. Like I was just like looking around, like watching everybody else do things and being completely unable to motivate myself to do anything. I’m just gonna go sit back down on the couch, like in a big part of that was just lack of lack of caffeine.

Anna: Yeah. That’s a big deal. Well, I mean all the other things that happened, but you know.

Chris: Yeah. Well, but you know, now we can, now the really key thing is now if it happens again, we can make coffee.

Anna: And having all that stuff is kind of crazy, right? If you think about shelter in place or whatever, like generator, pro, you know, I mean, you never know, like living in earthquake country.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah. It, it really puts it in perspective, uh, how fragile the ecosystem is. And like I can’t- I just remember distinctly seeing all the people who were like, imagine how hard quarantine would be, if we didn’t have our refrigerators. And I was just like, yes, it turns out, yes, it is very hard.

Anna: It is very hard.

Chris: But beyond even the fridge, like, so, you know, we, we eventually got a generator, uh, you know, we got stuff started getting cleaned up and whatever, and we can start kind of like leaving. I mean, it took a week to get the roads cleaned up, to be able to leave. And so it was like 10 days or 12 days that we were out without power, something like that. And then about seven more that we didn’t have internet.

Amos: So what would you buy differently if it had been wintertime?

Chris: Right.

Amos: That propane stove gets important.

Chris: Yeah. And we were so fortunate that it happened, like, during kind of a cooler period before it gets really hot here. So it was, it was like down to like 30 or 40 at night still, but up to like 70 during the day. And so that was great because you could just put more blankets on, but it wasn’t so cold that you were, you know, you were worried about-

Anna: -You had heat.

Chris: Yeah, exactly. So, yeah. So I don’t know. It was pretty wild. Yeah. I dunno. Um, oh, right. But the hardest, the hardest part is actually like, once you get your fridge, like sorted out, like once you have food sorted out, if you can get food sorted out, the and, like most people were able to get some amount of food sorted out because like the Red Cross came down here and there was, you know, people bringing food around to everybody and all this kind of stuff, which by the way, basically all like social distancing rules just went out the window because it’s like, the choice is basically you can wear a mask and, and that’s about it. Like that was like, that was basically what it was. Cause it’s just like we got to, now we have to get out here and we have to clean these roads off because no one can get anywhere. So like that happened. Uh, but having the, having food sorted out that, that sort of made a big difference in that now it was just camping. Now you were just sort of camping, but you’re camping in your house and you could kind of like create a game out of it where you’re like, well, like we’re gonna play cards by, you know, the, next to the lantern tonight and all this kind of stuff. You can kind of like, make it fun. Once we had power again, then, that actually was harder in some ways, in some ways.

Anna: Why?

Chris: Because now you were completely isolated again. It’s like, you were, you had power. And so you like all the trappings of like, you felt like it was like an, it was much harder emotionally. Like it felt like you were back to normal life, except you weren’t, except you couldn’t talk to anybody still because where we live out here, we don’t have cell service really.

Anna: And without the internet, like.

Chris: And one of the cell towers went down too. So that’s the other big, so they were having to repair a huge cell tower. And because of that, like the, no one could make calls really. Or like I had to hike to one end of our neighborhood to be able to like make calls or like check text messages and stuff like that. Um, or drive out of our neighborhood, which typically took about an hour to get about, let’s say a mile and a half, just because, um, it was so, I mean, there was so many people out trying to repair stuff and whatever, but then, so that was harder cause you, it became like the trappings of, uh, your normal life or back, but you were like highly isolated at that point. And you can’t just like talk to your friends or whatever. And I had not really realized how dependent I had become on my ability just to like talk to my friends. Um, especially right now, like I have friends locally, but we talked to each other on, you know, chat rooms and stuff like that these days.

Anna: Right.

Chris: So yeah, that became, that became weird.

Anna: That’s hard. I mean, that’s hard. I feel like it’s hard. The isolating thing is hard, even if you don’t have a super traumatic event happen. So if you have a super traumatic event happen, I can imagine that being incredibly hard, right. Um-

Chris: -It definitely made me realize that, uh, yeah, just how fragile it all is. And like-

Anna: -How much of it is out of your control.

Chris: Well, and this really is, if you’re gonna, you know, if you’re gonna have a massive pandemic that forces everyone to be inside and all that kind of stuff, then like right now is kind of the best time ever in the history of the world where you’d want it- Like, you would never, you would not want to go to a different period of time to have a pandemic.

Anna: Right.

Chris: You would want to do it right now.

Anna: With internet and-

Chris: -With all of the trappings of that, we have our normal lives.

Anna: Like modern life.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. But the infrastructure behind it is just really fragile. You know, one fiber cable goes down and your whole neighborhood is dark.

Amos: And then two weeks later, your friends forget who you are.

Chris: Yeah.

Amos: You’re not sure you exist anymore.

Chris: I had to re-introduce myself when I came back to civilization.

Anna: What was your name again?

Chris: You know, I’ve been institutionalized. Like I’ve, I’ve had, uh, I’m feral. I had to come back into the normal world and uh, learn how to live as a human again.

Anna: Oh, that’s so crazy.

Chris: It was three days. It was three days in and literally I was standing in the living room and I was like, I have the caulk, I get to talk.

Anna: Oh my god, Keathley! It didn’t take very long for that to happen.

Chris: No, not at all. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing how quickly society crumbles in the house.

Anna: Amos, what were you going to say?

Amos: I just had Wilson sitting in the corner at my house. I was talking to him. It was, it was rather sad. Actually, my biggest complaint, I can’t really complain. I, I found out that we do quarantine quite well. My biggest complaint was I had just rented an office. And so I didn’t bring all my stuff back home from the office. And I was sitting in this little crappy chair with no back on it all day, every day, while I was trying to work. And I couldn’t like stand up, I couldn’t sit down. I had a bunch of boxes stacked up on a table to try to try to get my computer high enough to stand for a little while. And it was just- so my, my biggest complaints are like my, my comfort at work, but at least I still had work, right. So-

Anna: -Yeah exactly. Being fortunate, being employed right now is everything.

Amos: Yeah, that’s been pretty, pretty privileged to be able to stay employed. And I’ve, I’ve been trying to think a lot lately of how I can, how can I give, you know, like I’m at a distance and I used to drive around and we, we kept like packages for the homeless in our car and we’d give them out. But now there’s nobody really, even out there doing that. They’re not, there’s nobody looking for handouts cause there’s nobody around to get them from. And, and so you, even when you are driving around, I don’t see anybody. So I’m like, how can, how can I continue to give? And, and that’s been tough for me, especially because I feel so privileged to still have work and still have a job and, and not really to want for anything other than like, to be able to go to a state park. That would be great. But like I have no real, real needs. So what can I do to give to people? And that’s, that’s been a little tough on my psyche.

Anna: Yeah. It is.

Chris: You’re a, there’s probably, I’m trying to remember the exact, I think it’s called Feed America or Feed- Yeah. Maybe Feed America, something like that. I don’t know. But, um, there’s a website where you can find, um, food banks in your area and that’s where I’ve been sort of funneling a lot of that. Uh, and typically most of them, I think it’s set up so that they can, you can donate online, uh, and it goes directly to them and all that sort of stuff. So might check that out.

Amos: So if any listeners have a need to give.

Anna: Or suggestions, yeah.

Amos: Or that you try that out or, or bring us suggestions because I know that a lot of us, a lot of the people listening and I know that us here, we, we want to help if we can.

Anna: That is true.

Chris: So you had guests on while I was out, right? It happened. This is a thing that happened.

Amos: I did.

Anna: Yeah somebody was on.

Amos: Uh, we had, uh, Martin Gausby, and, uh we had put out that anybody else could hop on if they wanted to and right at the end, Connor Rigby hopped on.

Anna: Oh, that’s awesome.

Chris: Nice. Did you have to do our normal, uh, tactic of nagging them in order to get them to come onto the show? Cause I was thinking about this the other day when I was out for a run, I was pondering the world and I realized that essentially every guest we’ve ever had on the show originated because of something- We essentially said something on the show that was like your, they were like, “You’re wrong!” And we were like, “Come on the show and prove it.” And I was just realizing that essentially every guest we’ve ever had, we like negged onto the show.

Amos: I mean, unless, unless you consider pandemic negging, no, uh, no. It was like, uh, Martin, um,

Anna: How’s Martin doing?

Amos: He, he’s doing well. He’s, he’s getting out and going on runs and things like that, but, but he had a roommate right before and he had just moved out and gotten his own place and then everything in London got locked down and he’s like, so I can go for a run. And other than that, I’m in my flat all the time. Um, so I think I just needed to wait for him to get bored enough that he’s like, “Hey, what are you doing?”

Anna: It is funny how the smaller things make a big difference right now.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah.

Amos: Just, just happy to talk to somebody. Um,

Anna: Do you all feel like- I was thinking of this the other day. Does, uh, the way people feel about like access to digital community change? Is that, that feels like it’s like, does it feel different now, right? You don’t have access to physical community, right? Like you can’t see people in person. And so like, um, are the things that we want from our digital community different or like, do we need to foster them differently since like, that’s the only thing we have access to? I don’t know if that’s true or not, but-

Amos: -I think it’s harder to build relationships a little bit. Um, I think especially in work environments where often you see people in meetings and they turn their camera off and, and they don’t want to turn it on. There’s a cat behind Anna’s door. I saw its four legs go past.

Anna: My roommate’s cat.

Amos: Um, so yeah, I, I, I have found that it does feel a lot more difficult to, um, I guess, for me, to connect with people. Um, there’s a, there’s a little bit of empathy it’s missing. I think from when you’re not in person, I don’t know, that that’s and so there’s, um, there’s a lot more need for time to build those relationships, if you have new ones, I think. Yeah. I think it’s been easier to foster things with people I’ve known for a long time.

Anna: That makes sense. Yeah. I was thinking a lot about that. Like how do we effectively foster digital community that can’t access physical community?

Amos: It’s, it’s hard in a meeting, right? When you’re in a business meeting to know when to talk, when you’re sitting here, I watch more people step on each other. And then we have a group of men that we get together on Thursday nights. And I know most of them a little bit they’re from my community, but I don’t know them like, like I know people that I work with eight hours a day.

Anna: Right.

Amos: And so we get on there. And at first, the first, like, week that we did it, it was really quiet. And nobody really knew what to talk about.

Anna: And that’s the thing right? In these big- like I was just thinking of this the other day. Cause like in these big Zoom, when you have like one to many Zoom calls and you don’t know everybody because in a normal physical setting, right? Like you’re talking to one or two people, there could be a bunch of people standing around, but you’re not talking to everybody at the same time. But in these settings, it’s just like one person’s talking. At a given time.

Amos: Well, and in that close-knit setting where everybody can kind of talk in their little groups, you also get people that walk into that group and you get introduced and things and yeah, it’s, it’s hard to do when the group is 20 people.

Anna: Yeah. I don’t have a solution, but it was just thinking about that.

Amos: Breakout rooms, randomly assigned people.

Anna: Something like that. Or even like, you know, companies that I- I’m curious cause Keathley, you’re virtual, you’ve been virtual, you’ve been like virtual, I mean you’ve been remote working for a long time. But, like-

Chris: -No, I’m actually virtual.

Anna: My roommate was watching this show and I couldn’t watch it. Cause it was just too bothersome to me. Have you heard about it?

Amos: What show?

Anna: It’s called Upload.

Amos: I have not.

Chris: I think I saw some sort of ad for it, but

Anna: Oh my God, I couldn’t watch it. But you basically like when you, the premise is like, instead of like dying, like instead of like just completely being done dead, your consciousness is uploaded into this like software program that you live in.

Amos: Oh that’s-

Anna: -The singularity, essentially on some level.

Amos: I read a book like that too long ago, too, that it was people who went to cryogenic places and froze their bodies or their heads. And in the future they found out how to bring them back to life, but they couldn’t actually bring the bodies back to life. They, but they could like scan the brain into the computer.

Chris: Is this Transmetropolitan? Did you read Transetropolitan?

Amos: No.

Chris: It’s a comic book. This book, is this an old book or a new book?

Amos: Uh it’s, it’s fairly new, but-

Chris: Ok, so it riffs of Transmetropolitan,

Amos: But th- they don’t scan you into the computer to then be able to like walk around or anything. You were in the computer to be basically a slave.

Chris: That’s just the Matrix.

Amos: But you know that you’re a slave.

Chris: So it’s the Matrix.

Amos: And they’re like, we’re going to train you for this job. And if you won’t do it, we’ll just delete you. It’s super weird.

Chris: Uh, but yeah. So I’m virtual. What was your, what was your question about me being virtual?

Anna: No, I mean I was just thinking, a company like, especially cause if you’re in a company that’s and I think a lot of folks are now obviously working remote, how do you, it probably takes just more time and more effort and to foster relationships, I would imagine? Especially if you don’t get to see people and if you only talk to the few people that are, you know, working with day-to-day, right? Like it can feel disconnected from the rest of the company. So for somebody who’s been doing it for a while, like what has worked well and like navigating that.

Chris: Yeah. Um, that’s a good question. I think there’s a couple of key things. I think one is you have to be really willing and ready to over-communicate in a lot of ways. And I mean, not just in the, like, here’s what I’m working on today sort of sense or whatever, but just like being willing to be engaged when people do have like little conversations in Slack or whatever, like be ready to like jump in and like shuck and jive with people and, and, and, and like make it an effort of that. That’s really important. Being willing to like jump in and answer questions that’s really, really important. Um, and that’s a way to, I’m not sure, I’m not saying that’s the only way to do this, but that’s, that’s one of the ways that I’ve tried to create a, I like to make myself known at those companies and the, and that sort of makes it easier for people to like engage with you and to chat with you, um, and for you to chat with other people and just discuss stuff and do all the things that you would normally do if you were just like sitting around an office together, you know, share opinions and chat about stuff or whatever. So I found that to be really useful, like just going in with the notion of like, you kind of have to make like an extra effort, um, just so people know that you exist. And other than that, like, I, you know, finding people that, that you can kind of, you know, it’s, it’s, it ends up being that you will find people at any company, whether it’s, you know, you’re like remote or not, who you enjoy chatting with and enjoy talking to. And you can, you really can sort of like cultivate that. Um, and so I have friends, I have really good friends at work who, you know, we’re friends because like we met because I started working here, but we weren’t, you know, we weren’t in the same office. We we’ve always been remote together. And we just sort of like chatted a lot. We worked on some of the same stuff. We just like developed, uh, you know, developed like inside jokes and stuff, and like all the same stuff that you would do with like, people that you enjoy hanging out with. Um, and we just sort of made an extra effort to like, just have time where we don’t really talk about work, uh, or whatever, but we just like, hang out and play a game, or like just, you know, talk about whatever, what are you guys going to do on the weekend or whatever it is, you know, just like that normal stuff that you have to kind of cultivate that. And it’s easier to do if you can cultivate it on a, on a more one-to-one basis and less of a, you know, less of like a, like doing that in mass. Like, you don’t want to have that conversation with like 60 people. You want to have that conversation with, like, four people.

Anna: Right.

Chris: Because that’s like naturally how you would do that at work anyway, in sort of social structures anyway.

Anna: That’s true, that’s true.

Chris: And so, I don’t know. The way I do it is I just like, you know, messaged people that I like hanging out with and I get them all my, my superpower is I find people that I like hanging out with. And then I find ways to like, get them all in the same place, um, so that I can hang out with them together. And that’s, that’s kinda what I do at work as well. Like, I just create little chat rooms with people or DMS or whatever with like a group. And I’m like, let’s all, you know, let’s all do this. Or let’s say, Hey, let’s have a call and just like chat or whatever. And I try to like cultivate that.

Anna: Yeah. That makes sense. That makes sense.

Chris: It’s hard. I’ve also never joined a company where I didn’t know, I’ve never joined a remote company, a really, truly remote company where I didn’t already know at least one other person. So that also helps.

Anna: Right.

Amos: Its’ really hard to be at a remote company and not know anyone when you walked in.

Anna: Yeah.

Chris: Yeah. I think it is. Uh, or I, I have to imagine that it is.

Anna: I would imagine it is too, although we’ll see how the future of work changes now that, you know, pandemic Twitter’s remote forever.

Chris: Yeah. That’s interesting. Right. Like, I mean, they basically just said we’ll open the office eventually and people are welcome to come back, but we’re just gonna work from home.

Anna: I mean, I feel like everyone’s like, whoa, because it’s Twitter and it’s such a consumer-facing company. Um, but other companies have been doing that for a long time. Heroku has been operating that way for a while. GitHub’s been operating that way for a long time, right. So like, it, isn’t a new model to be like, we’re gonna have offices, but feel free to not. Google operates.

Chris: Citiyear.

Anna: Some of Google operates like that. Right. Um-

Amos: -The nice thing now is every company’s remote first. Cause you have to be.

Anna: Cause you have to be.

Amos: What are the, what are the hacks that you have for communicating? I know like for me, uh, I try not to use pronouns in Slack, like, any text conversation, because somebody else’s message comes in right before mine and now people think I’m referring to something in that message. It can get really confusing. So I avoid pronouns and sarcasm and text does not come across well.

Anna: Yeah. I try to be really like, sorry, I don’t. Yeah. I try to be really clear when communicating via text, because tone is really hard to read unless you really know your audience. Well.

Chris: I just add a winky face emoji to everything I say.

Anna: Oh, there you go.

Chris: So then everybody always assumes that I’m joking. Because that’s how, that’s, it’s like adding lol to the end of-

Anna: -Everything. Yeah, exactly. Just like, everything.

Chris: Everything is goofy. The thing is, is if everything is sarcastic, then nothing is sarcastic except literally everything that I say a sarcastic. So, I mean, I’m broken. I don’t know. It’s, it’s really a catch 22. It’s a throw 44.

Anna: Throw 44. There you go. Yeah. It’s interesting. It’ll be interesting to see how this new phase, this next phase of life happens. I think like we’re remote now for a while. We’ll see. It’s unclear until when, but like September.

Amos: I’m back in the office.

Anna: You are?

Amos: Yup. Yeah. Uh, had to come back to the office. The office building is open. I’m mostly in my room. Uh, I do have one other employee that comes in and when we’re both in here, we wear masks the whole time. But, so, for the most part, like I don’t, I don’t really see anybody. Um, I’ve, I think I’ve passed one person in the hallway all week and I wash my hands a lot and we don’t have a lot of cases here.

Anna: Yeah. I mean, even San Francisco is pretty low, but I wonder as soon as everyone goes back outside, I mean, that’s inevitable. As soon as everybody goes back outside, something’s going to go up, but like navigating a workspace, an open office workspace with lots of people. Um, I think companies are trying to be really thoughtful about how they do that. I think the hardest part is probably like the bathroom situation but like, it’ll be interesting to see how companies navigate that. Um, all right. So I have to run, um, I’ll let you all stay on. It was, it’s lovely to finally chat with both of you.

Amos: Yeah. I actually had to get out of here too, but I think should we at least announce what we found out yesterday?

Anna: Oh, yeah.

Chris: Sure, go for it!

Amos: We as a group are keynoting at Elixir Conf EU V, the virtual version of Elixir Conf.

Anna: So psyched!

Amos: Yeah, I’m super excited about it. Um, it’s either going to be really early in the morning or, or prerecorded.

Anna: Really early for me.

Amos: Really early for Anna, um, like two hours earlier. So Anna will be up at 4:00 AM. I told her just to stay up and drink all night and just show up sloshed.

Anna: Definitely gonna go over well. That would make up for an excellent talk.

Amos: Uh, and then, uh, also today I’m, I’m recording with the Elixir Wizards today. So-

Anna: -Oh! I Need to get back to them about that. I forgot about that.

Chris: How dare you?

Amos: How dare I? You are the, you’re the, how dare the podcast floozy. I was looking for a word.

Chris: Wow! Wow!

Amos: You’re on all the podcasts, Chris.

Chris: Please tell me you didn’t record them in our Zoom call.

Anna: Keathley gets around. Alright y’all. I will talk to you later.

Chris: Well, have fun. Recording with your other podcasts.

Amos: It’s going to be super exciting.

Anna: Wow, wow Keathley.

Chris: No, I like them. They’re cool, guys. Have fun.

Anna: Yeah. All right.

Amos: Thank you all. Bye.

Chris: Later.