Each month, different members of our Tampa-based Dunn&Co. team work from our London office. Read what Mindy Gentry had to say about her travels with Michelle Kaloger. Mindy is a Senior Account Executive and all-around superwoman for our Healthcare Department. Her travel companion, Michelle, is our Director of Operations—she keeps the agency from falling into madcap chaos.
The moment Troy posted the yearly London office sign-up sheet, I made the quick and not very well thought out decision to sign up for the month of August. Although a little nervous to go alone, I was incredibly excited to be given the opportunity to travel and work abroad. As the day got closer, I struck up a friendship with Michelle and in one glorious moment over beer and wine, Michelle and I decided that we would be the perfect travel companions, and that she would join in on my August adventure. And boy, what an amazing adventure we had.
Being in London in August is hot but beautiful, much like Tampa. Unlike Tampa though, walking to work and taking public transit is not only common, it’s also the most pleasant way to get around. So, onward we walked. We talked, we laughed, and we literally stopped to smell the English roses. We took the stairs every day, not for health reasons, but because we never figured out how to use the lift and were afraid to get stuck.
As we got into the work groove, we started to notice differences in the way we tend to work in the U.S. vs. London. In the U.S. we tend to work without taking a break. We come in early, power through lunch at our desks, and go home late. In London however, the common culture is to have a greater work/life balance. The decision to adapt to our London environment required making small changes which resulted in a huge impact. Changes like spending time outside every afternoon, taking a real lunch, actually detaching from work and taking a break. We left the office on time and enjoyed our evenings fully. Whether it was going into the city or just taking in a stroll by the river, every evening was different and every morning we woke feeling refreshed.
London is beautifully overwhelming, awesome and diverse. It’s a mix of modern and historical architecture. It’s full of quaint neighborhoods and bustling streets. The people are at once orderly, lovely and lively. There’s also no shortage of incredible food and sites to visit. Our mission was to experience as much as we could and find the best spots to eat. Challenge accepted and mission accomplished! We toured the Victoria & Albert Museum, tried to get the Queen’s attention at Buckingham Palace and walked Tower Bridge. We indulged in a traditional English tea at the Wolsely, drank our dinner at Sketch, and brushed up on British history at the Tower of London. We had the full Camden Market experience and savored the most incredible cheese toastie in Borough Market. We ate fish & chips and meat pies, minded the gap, queued up, strolled along the Thames, had a once-in-a-lifetime experience and became forever friends.