At Bethany House, there are four marketing team members who work exclusively on fiction (plus Rachael who we claim because even though she writes copy for fiction and nonfiction, she reads a ton of fiction). While we’re very grateful we can work from home and keep amazing books coming to you, each of us shared two things we miss about being in-office…read on and you might discover some things you didn’t know about Bethany House’s work culture.
Amy, Fiction Publicist
The Lunch Table: Anywhere from 4-10 of us eat lunch around 12:30 most days, and after comparing lunches (the healthy salad, the tasty takeout, the bowl of Lucky Charms—with unicorns!—the half-eaten food from an editor’s kid he didn’t want to throw out) the topics of conversation range from informative to ridiculous. I miss my restaurant recommendations, random trivia, discussion of different punctuation marks, and even the conversations about sports.
Vocab Points and Faux-cab Points: Rachael’s office door is filled with sticky notes, each emblazoned with an impressive word a co-worker used in actual conversation or a meeting. Beneath them are the “faux-cab” points, which are words co-workers used that aren’t really words at all, sometimes accidentally blurted out, sometimes used because the real word proved elusive (“moistrous” instead of “humid”), sometimes invented intentionally because it should be a word. These past several weeks, I’ve paused a few times after using a particularly appropriate word…but there was no one to celebrate it with me.
Serena, Fiction Marketing Assistant
Break Walks: Once the weather is tolerably nice—and sometimes when it’s not so nice—we like to use our breaks to go on walks together. It’s nice to get a little exercise and a chance to chat with my lovely coworkers… unless we decide to try a new direction and end up traipsing through a golf course and down a dirt road for an hour trying to get back to the office. Yes, that did happen. (Amy: okay, that one was my fault. Oops.)
My Lovely Coworkers: I love working with the team at Bethany House, and I miss seeing their faces every day. I miss popping over to Brooke’s desk to ask if a shipment of author items arrived and the random gatherings of people in the hallway because someone is telling a funny story or has a picture of their newborn niece.
Brooke, Fiction Marketing Assistant
Puns: Is it strange to say that I miss hearing Amy Green’s puns? Many a team meeting has been had with Amy interjecting purposeful puns and then shaking her head after and saying it was “so bad” and I really shouldn’t laugh. (I think puns are great and remain undiscouraged in my amusement.) I eagerly await hearing more puns in-person.
Good ‘Ole Brainstorming Sessions: I’m blessed to be on a team of crazy-smart people who are willing to share their ideas and time with me. Whether I’m desperate for a fresh idea for a promotional item to fit a new title or whether we’re problem-solving something new as a team, I know I can come away with something to un-stick me if I’m stuck. Email and Zoom are great in the meantime, but I look forward to brainstorming in the office again and feeling the ideas spark around the room.
Rachael, Copywriter and Instagram Coordinator
Physical Books: While packing my office up to prepare for staying at home, I made sure to grab all the physical books I thought I’d need for the weeks to come—I even printed off manuscripts of not-yet-printed books! But even with that kind of preparation, I still find myself missing my bookcase and the easy access to whichever books I need to reference . . . as well as Brooke, my book fairy, (as I have nicknamed her) who delivers our new releases, hot-off-the-press, to my door!
Instagram Days: At least once a month, I distract Amy and Brooke for an afternoon or evening, and use them as hand models or book-balancers. We get many odd looks from passersby as we attempt new ideas and wander around with armloads of props and books. It’s not nearly as fun trying to photograph alone without witty comments and genius ideas.
Noelle, Marketing Director
My Fiction Team: My team of savvy ladies collectively inspire and intimidate me in the best of ways with their creativity and perspectives. The positive force of that just doesn’t translate as well over email: the new selection from Serena’s delightful hat collection, having Enya run through my head everytime when Amy mutters her oft-used phrase “who can say?” the very sweet Brooke appearing at my door with her mischievous finger tapping, or Rachael’s infectious giggles from down the hall.
The Free Stuff: There are certain counters in our office that are unofficially deemed the free sections (so be careful to not accidentally leave something on them). I’ve picked up so many delightful and random things there, including large home-grown zucchini, new car floor mats, pots for plants, cute woven baskets, a Christmas green table cloth, and a pack of gum. But these areas are known to feature not only items, but food (home baked and otherwise), encouraging many dashes. Though the extreme nature of these has seen its peak in past days*, there is still nothing like having free goodies be announced and hear the excitement resound throughout the office as each person reads his/her email. But beware if you take too long to read your email, lest it all be gone. Sure, I can make my own cookies at home, but where is the surprise in that?
*insert memory of poking my head out of my office after hearing a ruckus to find abandoned shoes in the hallway. Apparently they were deemed too much a hindrance to getting their owner quickly to the chocolate that had been announced available for consumption.
I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did! Is there anything you’ll be excited about being able to do once we can meet in groups in person, work-related or otherwise?