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The Way We Work Now

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The Way We Work Now

‘You’re working on all these plants and you’re the only person who’s appreciating it’

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Jacob Nguyen, 27, is a horticulturist for an interior landscaping company in the New York City area. He spoke with Mai Tran about tending to the indoor plants left behind in empty office buildings after employees moved to fully remote work.

I was doing plant care for about a year before the pandemic. Normally, I have a list of sites and offices I go to that are all located in one part of the city. I would check in…


The Way We Work Now

Already it is a new day at the EPA under Biden

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Brian Kelly, 47, is an emergency responder for the Environmental Protection Agency and member of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 704 based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He spoke with Mai Tran about the shifting dynamic of working on environmental protections under the Trump administration compared to what Joe Biden proposes for his presidency.

I have been doing environmental work for 24 years, more than half my life; 18 of those years I have been working for the…


The Way We Work Now

We don’t have many doses yet. Giving them out fairly is a challenge.

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Leia, a thirtysomething pharmacy student in Texas, volunteers in administering the Covid-19 vaccine. She spoke with Mai Tran about the uneven distribution of vaccines across various regions.

I’m a doctoral student doing rural pharmacy rotations, and unfortunately, the majority of vaccines are going to large cities. Sometimes it’s hard to get our community to drive two or three hours to the nearest city that has vaccines. …


The Way We Work Now

I voted for the ballot measure because I thought it’d help drivers like me. Now I’m out of a job.

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

This anonymous delivery driver, 39, spoke with Mai Tran about being laid off from the grocery store Vons after its parent company, Albertsons, announced it will no longer offer in-house delivery services to customers. The decision comes after California passed Proposition 22, a ballot measure favored by gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft, which now designates drivers as independent contractors instead of employees.

All the drivers found out about the layoffs on December 8, when we got an…


The Way We Work Now

‘I did a parody of the WAP dance that made me go viral’

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Dr. Richard Lam, 30, is the founder of Refine Dentistry in Stafford, Texas. He spoke with Mai Tran about gaining 40,000 followers on TikTok to help attract new patients during the pandemic.

I was thinking about opening my own dental office for a while. I signed the lease in the beginning of 2019 and started planning and designing it. I opened for three weeks in March of 2020, then the government placed a shutdown in Texas, and we closed…


THE WAY WE WORK NOW

Librarian networks are trying to get books in the hands of people locked away in prisons and jails

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Mia Bruner is a 29-year-old librarian and founder of the Prison Library Support Network (PLSN). She spoke with Mai Tran about the difficulties of providing resources to incarcerated people during a pandemic.

Prison Library Support Network was founded in 2016, after Donald Trump was elected. …


The Way We Work Now

‘It’s been quite a learning curve’

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Ed Taylor is a 66-year-old Santa Claus impersonator living in Hollywood, California. He spoke to Mai Tran about how he’s used Zoom to meet with families remotely during the holiday season.

I wear two hats: one as a Santa Claus portrayal artist, and the other as the founder of an organization called the Worldwide Santa Claus Network, which has about 3,400 members around the world. I’ve worked in some malls, but mostly I do home and company parties, as…


The Way We Work Now

In California, I’ve seen a spike in landlords looking for creative excuses to evict tenants

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Frances Campbell is a housing rights attorney in Los Angeles and has been practicing law for 20 years. She spoke with Mai Tran about how tenants in California can protect themselves when facing eviction in the midst of a pandemic.

My firm represents tenants in lawsuits against landlords. We do a lot of wrongful eviction and fraudulent eviction cases where a landlord says to a tenant, “You have to move because my mom’s moving in,” and then mom doesn’t…


THE WAY WE WORK NOW

‘We had to keep traveling because it’s part of our job’

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Luke Martin, 26, is a Canadian food and travel influencer who operates the YouTube channel Chopstick Travel. He spoke with Mai Tran in mid-November about traveling to film new videos amid the latest surge in Covid-19 cases around the globe.

Right now, I’m in the parking lot of a grocery store in Turkey and I’m loading up on groceries. The country’s going into a partial lockdown tonight at 8 p.m. All the restaurants are only going to be doing…


The Way We Work Now

Our restaurant has been open at full capacity for weeks — even indoors

The Way We Work Now is a series chronicling how people’s lives and careers have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic.

Justin is a twentysomething server in a conservative pocket of Palm Beach, Florida. He spoke to Mai Tran about returning to work in a state where Covid-19 cases have topped 870,000.

I started working at a family-owned bar and restaurant in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the beginning of March. When I got there it was already in the “we don’t really know what’s going to happen” stage. In mid-April, we got the order to go into lockdown, and…

GEN

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