Cloudflare TV

Home Office TV

Presented by Amy Bibeau, Vasti Porter
Originally aired on 

Join Amy as she provides you with a sneak peek into how the Cloudflare Team has been doing with the transition from daily office life to working from home. How is the team adapting to the shift? What do they miss and not miss about office life? What snacks are they eating? How has it been sharing a workspace with family or housemates? Tune in to find out!


Transcript (Beta)

Good morning or afternoon, wherever you might be. Welcome to Cloudflare TV, Home Office TV.

I'm Amy Bibeau. And today I have the great pleasure of interviewing my friend and colleague, Vasti Porter.

Vasti. Hey, welcome to Cloudflare TV, Home Office TV.

My little, uh, we're starting out the new year with our, uh, you know, um, intentions and we, we put 2020 behind us and, uh, how, how are you doing?

I'm doing well.

I'm, I'm with everything going on. Very upbeat. It's a new year. Very much looking forward to all the wonderful positive things that a new year brings.


Excellent. Excellent. How's it been going working from home? Like, so now we've been doing this nine months.

Um, how, how is your, like, what, what have you found has been like the best thing for you about working from home?

Um, more, much more managing of my time, uh, because, you know, working from an office like we do, you're there.

Um, um, but working from home, it's, it's, um, setting little alarms for myself working in, um, and have a master schedule and I, a lot different times that I actually have an alarm and, um, because there's so many diversions, you know?

Um, so just working within that, that time though, the windows, I call it an unscheduled kind of, it's like, it's an unscheduled.

Um, and then, um, then I get the, I, I'm, I actually think I'm a may be a little bit more productive.

I do miss collaborating, you know, like getting out of my seat at work and saying, let me go and talk to Amy about this or Nicole or other people on my team or other teams to get some input on a particular situation.

I miss that collaboration part.

Um, but you know, I can still ping people on Google chat or, or say, Hey, do you have five minutes?

Can we get on, on a hangout? So, I mean, it's not bad, but it's different, you know?

Yeah, it definitely is. Um, how do you know when to start and end your day when you're working from home?

Do you have like a process of like, this is my morning routine when I'm ramping up to work and this is like a, how I wind down?

Well, you know, it's interesting you say that because in, in the role I have, I'm on a, on different time zones.

So, you know, I watched the time zones and, um, to maximize, um, um, communication.

So my, you can't really use my example as a, a not, it's definitely not nine to five, although I try to adhere to that, but you know, I'm on a Brussels time zone or Singapore time zone or London time zone, you know, I have to work that out.

And so when I say unschedule, it's kind of like taking, you know, in an eight hour day, I'll take, I'll, I know that I have to speak to folks in Brussels or EMA or APAC or whatever.

And I'll take that time out of a nine to five schedule. And maybe I'm talking to people at 9.00 PM because that works in Singapore or, you know, 6.00 AM because that's the prime time to reach folks in the UK office.

So, so it's a, you know, it's an eight hour schedule, but I've, what is it?

I kind of rebalance the hours according to the different time zones.

Well, that sounds almost like a better situation than to be at home.

Cause if you were doing an eight hour day, you know, in the office and then also having to have those like 6.00 AM calls or that 9 .00 PM call, that can feel a little, that becomes like what a 12, 14 hour day.

That can feel a little oppressive, you know, from a, from a work-life balance, you know, perspective.

I know that that's one of the things, you know, that people just in general, when we're working in the office to have work-life balance, and then also to figure that out at home, it's like a whole new, it's like a whole new game, but it is nice when, you know, since we have this large global company and, you know, so much cross functionality and, and with the role you're in, what is the role that you're in?

Do you want to share that with our, well, well, I'm a vendor relations procurement for the places team.

And I've been doing a lot of, um, lease administration work, um, you know, working with, um, our new senior director of real estate and workplaces, Caroline quick, if everybody needs to hello, say hello.

Uh, and, um, with Corey and Laura, Nicole, you, I just have to do a shout out, Cody, Bevin, Carla, everybody.

Um, so yeah, it's a lot of real estate stuff, um, that I'm doing, um, but mainly supporting, um, our lease management, um, process.

And, um, has there been anything that you've started doing like any new hobbies?

Like since we're, we have all this like time to ourselves now, like I live alone.

I know you live alone.

You know, we're like, we have so much free time with ourselves. Like, have you started any like hobbies or has there been anything like personal projects that you've had a chance to delve into, you know, since we've been doing the quarantine experience?

Well, I've picked up chess again. Okay. Um, now, you know, I learned that when I was a kid.

And, uh, so I have, um, virtual games that I play with people.

Um, and, um, um, I've been doing that and there, I think there, Oh, and I, and I was really glad I picked it up because I was, there's a, a show on Netflix.

I think it's called, I think it was let's let's say, I saw called the Queens gambit.

That was really good. I'm no way a grandmaster. And, um, but, uh, so that's something, and that was truly, um, motivational for me to pick that up.

Um, and cause I, I, I enjoy crossword puzzles, but I'd like, I'd like chess.

I think a little, a lot more.

And I've been doing words with friends on my phone. I'm not a candy land or one of one of those candy crush.

I'm not one of those. So words with friends, crossword puzzles, chess, and then something that I've, I've done before, um, COVID and it's a hobby.

That's actually turned into a business for me. I have a business called dapper shoe care.

Um, but it's dapper shoe and leather care. I am a master, uh, boot black, but for those of you who don't know what a boot black is, I'm a professional, uh, artisanal shoe shiner and I do, um, patinas, which are, uh, it's basically for lack of better words, it's painting a shoe.

If you get a new shoe and you want a pair of wingtips for men or, and I do women, uh, shoes as well.

Uh, but for men's, uh, an example would be to get a pair of, uh, wing tip brogues or something that are new.

And what I do is mix colors and I, uh, will make the shoe look burnished or give it an antiquing.

Um, but it's an antiquing thing.

And, you know, it's a trend and I've grown my business and I work with some of the top shoe companies in the world.

Uh, Gaziano and Girling, Edward Green, St.

Crispin's, Wolverine, um, Stefano Bemer to name a few.

And so I work with them. Have you been doing that during the quarantine too? Is that still like a, yes.

Yes. And, uh, virtual trunk shows I've been doing, um, with them, um, before someone like Edward Green or George Cleverley would come to a major metropolitan, like San Francisco or LA, they would set up shop in a, in a hotel room and bring a trunk full of their, their shoes.

And then they have a preferred list of a clientele.

And then, um, they would show their shoe and these are made to order shoes.

A made to order shoe MTO is a shoe that has an established last.

So a last is how your foot is shaped and those are established. And what you do is you have your established, it's basically a stock last that you build on.

Uh, and let's say there's one in this particular style, there's a last number one, two, and three.

And according to the geometry of your foot, you would pick either a last one or two or three.

And then from there, you would look at, um, leather, um, swatches and trims and whatever, and then you create a custom shoe.

Now that's different. All the people that I've mentioned, those, those, uh, suppliers and craftsmen, um, Gaziano, Gerling, St.

Crispin, uh, Stefano Bimmer. They also do something called a bespoke shoe.

Now with a bespoke shoe, there is no stock last that the last is there's someone that comes to the trunk shows as well, who is a trained last maker and he'll take paper out and then you'll step on the paper.

He will trace your shoe. And then he'll take an instrument that looks like, it's an interesting thing.

It's like a Calper, um, a ruler kind of thing. And then he'll draw your shoe, take the dimensions of your instep, the vamp, your heel, and then they will make your custom last.

Wow. And then you can specify what you want for, uh, materials.

I just want to witness that. I've seen Vashti's amazing, like work that she's done with like shoes and leathers and handbags.

And it's definitely amazing.

And that's a lot of specialized knowledge, you know, that, you know, that you've learned, you know, in this arena, that like most people that, you know, they go to the store, they go to DSW, they throw in a pair of shoes, you know, they run around the city to learn that it's destroyed.

And, uh, you know, but like, it's cool that you have that hobby and that side business and, you know, that it's like brought you so much, like excitement and joy and interesting, like interesting, um, like an interesting set of knowledge.

You know, I think, you know, as we've moved to this very industrialized, very mass production kind of world, like the bespoke shoe, the cobbler, the shoemaker, you know what I mean?

Like these, these professions have kind of like, you know, like dwindled off. And so it's great that you have a, um, you know, like such an interesting passion inside business, you know?

Yeah. All of those things are, it's great to see that there are still like craftsmen, artisanal crafts people, men and women who are still relevant and, and, you know, what they're doing is relevant.

It's significant in 2021.

Now, um, I've been watching a couple of shows, I think, uh, Netflix one, it's called the repair shop and it, it takes place in the UK and these people bring in old, um, keepsakes or things that they've inherited, um, like old watches that have significance to the family or a music box or a clock.

And, um, there's a woman who's a master saddle maker and she is the leather person.

And she redid a Louis Vuitton trunk from, you know, 1910 and restored that.

And then, uh, people doing ceramics and, um, uh, restoring paintings.

So there are those folks still around. Um, there's there, there are folks in the U S um, all over the world doing these things.

So for them to have that kind of show, it's wonderful.

There's another show on too that I watch called the great pottery throw down.

And I think that's really fun because you know, you throw pots, right?

So they have these challenges and they call them a throw down in that gray.

And, um, and so I watched that and yeah, but, um, and then there's one more called the, uh, something like the grape, I don't know, something like for glass blowers, it's called the blow up and they do challenges where they blowing glass.

And so maybe they'll have something like, you know, the great shine off or something where a whole bunch of shoe shiners get together.

They do have, um, shoe shining, you know, people are like, I'll just grab something from Walgreens or get the guy, you know, on the street paying $5 to do shoes or something like that.

But it really has turned into an art form. And, um, uh, I worked with a woman named, uh, Stacy Tannenbaum.

If you're able to see a show it's called, uh, shine the, uh, the it's something, uh, uh, it's called shine the, uh, the art of, of the shoe shine.

It's a documentary. It was on PBS and, um, she was in San Francisco and she's out of Montreal and she's a documentary maker.

I worked with her on that.

And I had a group of folks and, um, one of her, uh, um, assistant producers came down and actually spoke to the group before we screened the movie.

So that was quite exciting too. We should have had you when we had our talent week, we should have, but you know, we, we should have done a little segment where we bust out Vashti's, uh, Vashti's talents on the, uh, Amy, you're a jewelry designer.

Did, did you feature, do anything with the jewelry?

Um, I did, uh, um, I did a segment, my, my pre, my last, um, time on Cloudflare TV was my segment that I did on flower arranging.

Oh, the flower arrangement. That's a little more dynamic for the, um, you know, for the visual to do.

I looked at it later and I realized I didn't really set my shot up the way that I wanted it to be.

There's a lot of me turning back, but you know, I'm still kind of new to TV.

So, um, that was my first time trying to do like, uh, you know, just me and like an activity.

So that was an interesting, um, and then I was having a lot of Internet problems.

So I'm not sure how well that segment went down, but, um, this has been such a fun project.

You know, I know for me, I would have to list doing Cloudflare TV as one of the new things I started doing, you know, in 2020 or doing during the pandemic.

Cause it was like, well, you know, we just kept getting those emails that were like, Hey, we have a, we have a new platform and Hey, like we want people to participate in this.

And I got this little voice in my head that was like, Hey Amy, what, what if you did like a little segment on how people are doing working from home?

And I was like, well, sure.

Why not? I'll, I'll fight, you know, cause I had the, I had the voice in my head telling me that for a while before I finally like got yet another email from JGC being like, Hey folks, like let's, let's get some participation, you know, go on this Cloudflare TV.

And so I, um, I just was like, you know what? Like sometimes I have that little intuition and I don't listen to it where I'm like, eh, I don't feel like taking the extra step or pushing myself, especially I I've noticed in myself since the, um, quarantine, a lack of, uh, like a lack of motivation.

Like I haven't been especially passionate or especially, um, like pushing myself or striving.

These are not words I would have applied to myself in 2020. Um, but you know, just, you know, stepping into this project has been a really fun way to, you know, talk to again, like we're missing that collaboration.

We're missing the organic conversations.

We're missing that spontaneity and that connection. I know I am as an extrovert.

So, um, yeah, my, my new hobby from last year was doing this, uh, doing this segment.

And every week I say this where it's like, Oh, I feel like I'm with a friend, you know, during the show.

And then there's a little bit of a letdown, you know, when it's over.

Cause I'm like, Oh, my friend is gone now, even though I know we're, you know, we're still connected.

Some of the people that I interviewed for this are people that, you know, they don't have a lot of time on their calendar to, uh, you know, to have a casual chat.

So I always appreciate people's time, you know, to come in and talk about how, you know, cause like, how are any of us, especially those of us who live alone or are we going through an uncertain time?

Right. But you know, I, I want to speak to that. Um, um, uh, about living alone and, you know, kind of, I really been adhering to the shelter in place and not really venturing out and that I won't, I, I'm not going to go overboard on that, but, um, I just wanted to say, thank you for your show, because, you know, when your show is on, I have it in the background and I'll be doing something and it's just hearing your voice, having conversations with people.

It's like, you know, just having coffee with someone and then kind of just like listening to friends talking and then you're like, Oh yeah, it's nice to hear that.

And then, you know, you had some, you've had some really incredible guests, um, like, um, uh, our policy, uh, director, Alyssa Starzak, our head of public policy, she was my guest.

Yeah. So yeah, those were great conversations. It's been a really big blessing.

I love that Cloudflare decided to get creative, you know, with, with having and creating a new platform for how to engage people, you know, especially like the, you know, the birthday week, and so many different like industry leaders and interesting conversations.

And, um, I know like so many times during my, um, my 2020, I was just like, wow, like I might be like not feeling that motivated or this or that, but like, I've always just been so grateful.

Like I really love having my job at Cloudflare. It's provided for me, like such a, such a like base of grounding.

And it's like, well, at least, you know, cause I have friends that are, you know, in the hospitality industry who've gone into shelter in place and like, they don't have, you know, that I have colleagues, I can reach out to people.

It's like, yeah, I have my family that kind of annoy me. God bless them.

Um, just getting aunties, um, you know, like, so, but it's like, oh, I can just ping somebody.

Like if I'm feeling like, oh, disconnected, it's like there, I could go down my chat list.

Like, well, who, who haven't I like said hi lately, but you know, if you work in, um, in other industries and you're just shut down, like you might not have that dynamic of like, where it's like, at least we have such a great team, you know, in all the different areas at Cloudflare.

I think that's been another bonus for me for the quarantine is just kind of learning, you know, that, that we have all these great resources that have, you know, from, you know, the place that we do our work, you know, and that we can avail ourselves, um, with it.

And I think Michelle's segment, you know, yes, we can, where she's interviewing all these great leaders.

Like those are wonderful. I know. It's like, how great is it that, and congrats just a shout out to Michelle for becoming the president, you know, getting that promotion to be, you know, the, the CEO and the president of Cloudflare.

So congratulations, Michelle Zatlin, like, like being that visible, like, you know, female leader in tech.

Um, I think that's really potent and inspirational for like a generation and, and, you know, our current generation of people, but, you know, as like girls and women are, you know, getting into their industries and like feeling like what direction they want to go for their career.

I, I just, I'm, I'm really proud of Michelle. So I, I'm, I don't know that she watches my show, but I'm definitely giving her a shout out to congratulations to become the, uh, the president of Cloudflare.

Yay. Um, is there anything that you're optimistic about as you look into 2021 specifically, Vasti?

Well, um, as we, as it relates to, uh, Cloudflare, you know, our continued success and, and, you know, um, trailblazing and leading in what we do, um, and regarding our team, um, with our Caroline Quick, um, and everybody say hello to Caroline, our new director of real estate and workplaces, um, uh, her vision for the workplace of the, of the future.

And, and she's given us little hints and clues until, you know, we get the, the grand reveal on our team that's rolled out, uh, you know, throughout the company.

I'm really excited for, you know, her, her bringing her insights and, um, expertise to, um, the workplace of the future and, and marrying, you know, um, you know, technology and space and experience and, and creating something new and wonderful.

So I'm very excited for that in 2021.

Yeah. I hope that, that all of those things, uh, can be unveiled and, you know, manifested into reality.

Um, that would be, that would be the big word manifesting in 20, 21 manifesting.

I'd like to say we'll manifest, you know what I mean?

We're manifesting or like, you know, um, shout out to my manager, Nicole Ellis, you know, um, I don't know.

I just like to throw that in front of it. We'll manifest.

So, and you're always in history, but her story, her story, we'll manager.

Um, I'm all about creating like, you know, an alternative language or words, you know, I, I'm a big fan of making my own acronyms and, um, I've been getting out, um, into nature.

So that was my, um, excitement over the holidays since I was, you know, kind of by myself, I spent some time doing some hikes and hanging out.

Are you getting some movement in your, in your day to day? Yes. Uh, you know, I'm, um, in a location now that I can take hikes.

And so, and my friend has a furry friend, so I get to take the dog for hikes.

And I think maybe in 2021, my own personal little furry friend, um, uh, and, and, and not a rabbit or a Guinea pig, but some, some little furry friend I can take on walks, you know, when I was at the store and I saw a woman with a cat in a, on a halter and walking the cat down the aisle on a halter.

And the cat was actually acting like a dog keeping up and like looking.

And I was like, you have got to be kidding. I thought it was a hot mess, but it was, it worked, but you know, getting a little pooch and, you know, taking hikes.

I see that in my future. If I manifest. I can see you were manifesting, uh, a little dog friends for this year.

I, I, um, maybe you can help me with some names.

Oh yeah. I'm happy. I helped name one of my friends' dogs. We, we call him, she's like, I want to name him something like, you know, like Pedro, like San Pedro.

So we came up with that San Pedro peyote Ringo Domingo, because he's a chihuahua.

It's like a double last name. We call him Pedro, you know, but yeah, his full name is San Pedro peyote Ringo Domingo.

Um, which, you know, I think it's a great dog name.

So I'm super on board with like helping with any kind of like dog.

I always want a pet, but as a, um, as a renter, yeah. Um, I haven't felt comfortable yet to, you know, to know that I'm going to, I just, so many people looking for like housing, they're like, Ooh, can I move in with my, you know, two pit bulls or, you know, or like, you know, I have a rescue dog or this and it's like so much restriction.

So I'm hoping someday, um, you know, when I have some like piece of hippie land, you know, that I'm permaculture thing on, you know, I'll have some dogs and cats or goats or what I was.

Yeah. Well, animal friends, animal friends.

Yeah. Um, okay. So you're getting some movement in and you're, you're seeing what, so right now you're visiting and you're saying, um, yeah, my wait, my friend, we created a, uh, our own little pod.

And you know, adhere to everything and, um, get tested regularly, keep in touch.

And, um, there's a new thing that I put on my phone and I saw it on the news this morning in California.

It's called, Oh, it's, uh, I can't remember.

It's an app. Let me see. It's a hold on people. Uh, it's called everybody.

Hold on. And what it does is, um, it works through your Bluetooth.

Um, let's see, it's called, let me really do it very quickly. Uh, I can't remember.

It's, it's California. Uh, I think it's called CA notify and I, and it's a month old and downloaded it.

And, uh, it, it's, um, it kind of, it's a track, it's it, it's data and, um, analytics and it works through wifi and it works, not wifi Bluetooth.

And it, it reports, I looked at it like three times a day and like three, maybe four, five times, like three in the morning, seven in the morning.

But basically it works with other phones and it will, uh, track if you're within six feet of other people and it can track, you know, if that person has a nose and the exposure, it tracks everything.

And it reports this to this big server, I think.

And then they go from there and it helps with contact tracing and helps with all that.

And they also send you alerts, uh, specific to your GPS. Like this is what's happening in this area.

It's very, um, so it has that geo tracker component and, um, it really has helped me, uh, steer clear of situations.

I would potentially go into the shop, like, you know, I'm not going to Safeway then, you know, I'll go at this time.

Um, yeah. So it's helped me. Well, that's awesome.

Well, we have about a minute left. Um, is there anything else that you want to share just like off the top of your head?

Or, I mean, is there anything like particularly that you miss the most about being in the office?

Or I guess one question, what are you eating for snacks?

Now that we're talking about snacks, uh, try to eat fruit, but you know, I've been eating gummy bears, um, thanks for the gummy bears, Corey and Caroline.

Thank you everybody for the goodie bag, the giddy bag.

It was giddy. Giddy bags were good. Um, yeah. So that's that. And, um, finding new music on Spotify music.

Yeah. Let's uh, make sure we listen to music, everybody.

We got about 15 seconds left, so I'm going to wrap it up, but say happy new year.

Happy 2021. Thank you, Vashti. I will see you again in our next meeting and otherwise everybody have a great day and we will see you next week.

Thank you.