Here at PCS, we think that each of us is trying to determine what this new normal looks like. Half of us are in the office and the other half at home. Thankfully, PCS as a whole, is still able to provide the same level of customer service we always have – regardless of where each of us physically are.

Our relationships with our customers have always been our number one priority. Times like these are no different and maybe more of a focus now than ever. We believe that at the end of the day our human connections are what makes us just that – human. Maybe that’s why this social distancing and self-isolation is so difficult for us.  We yearn for relationships, human interaction, and a feeling of togetherness.

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This article isn’t about PCS, but rather, one of our relationships. Danae Cramer works for Kittitas County Public Utility District in Ellensburg, Washington. Ellensburg is located just east of the Cascade Range in Central Washington State – beautiful country. Danae is married to her husband Russ Cramer who is a firefighter for the City of Seattle. They share 3 children together – all boys, ages 8, 5, and 1. 

During the first part of March 2020 Danae’s husband Russ was exposed to COVID-19 through contact with a patient. Immediately, there were multiple decisions to make. The first and most obvious decision was that Russ would have to self-quarantine. Danae and the kids have now also been exposed. Do we ever really think about how many people we come into contact with on a daily basis?  Do we really ever take time to understand and appreciate how delicate of a balance these lives of ours truly are?  This new normal suddenly has us all asking questions we probably didn’t before. We’re suddenly prioritizing relationships, values, and what we as humans find most important.

Danae understood, as did Kittitas PUD, that this exposure obviously put the rest of the office at risk. They made the decision that Danae would be the first employee at Kittitas PUD to begin working remotely. A few days after Russ’ exposure, the Washington Public Schools shut down – much like everyone else’s across the country and a shelter in place order was given. The Cramer household suddenly became a school, office, restaurant, playground, and any other activity-based noun you can think of!  Russ – like the quick-thinking firefighter he is, suggested Danae move her “office” out to the RV they own that sits in the driveway. At this point, all of us with kids, understand how fantastic of an idea that really was.  Danae packed up and moved her operation to the RV.

Thanks to today’s technology, getting this accomplished isn’t as difficult as one would imagine. Danae has access to the PCS Insight Software via a screen connect program Kittitas is using – this can also be accomplished with Virtual Office. She has direct and immediate access to her coworkers through Microsoft Teams, and phone and email access just as she would have almost anywhere. It’s insane to think about how disconnected and connected we can be today – all at the same time.

As of this week (4/6/20) Russ is planning to head back to work. We can’t begin to thank him enough for the constant and ever-changing danger he puts himself in for his community and for his family. It’s our opinion that firefighters are among the bravest and most selfless people this world has to offer. Thank you, Russ!

Danae and the boys are good. The RV continues to be her escape, and her connection to “business as usual.”  While Russ carries a heavy responsibility as a father and firefighter – Danae carries an equally important responsibility. Danae is a mother, an employee of Kittitas County PUD, and the light to which, most families I know, look. A mom is most often the guiding light, and the person we turn to in life’s worst days. Thank you, Danae!

The Cramer’s aren’t unlike you and I – a lot of us have similar stories or are currently living them out as we speak. This pandemic has brought about a lot of negativity and provided hardships for many. On the flip side of that coin is all the positive. Has this brought your family closer together? Have you finally sat down at the table as a family and had dinner?  Have you helped your son or daughter with their homework because you’re the teacher now? Have you created your own activities because you’re stuck at home?  A lot of the answers to those questions for me, are yes. I would like to think they’re the same for you too.  So, is this the new normal?  Who really knows, but our hope is that we can roll over some of these new practices into everyday life moving forward – whatever that may look like.

PCS understands the importance of each and every one of us. Whether you’re a janitor, firefighter, billing clerk, general manager, or doctor. Relationships matter to us, they matter to Kittitas PUD, and they should matter to you. Thank you for the relationship Danae – stay safe and we’ll talk soon! Is this the new normal? Sometimes I hope so.   

Nate Houston

PCS Business Developer