#WeAreArity Wednesday: Patti Rodgers

Meet Patti Rodgers from our Data Science team.

What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?

It was an induction range. I’ve always cooked on gas. I’ve been adamant about cooking on gas. To make a long story short, we had a contractor really mess up our house, and we had no choice but to convert to electric.

So, we went all the way up to induction. Instead of having the little coil, it has an electromagnetic thing underneath where you put the pan – and it’s amazing. It’s really, really great to cook on. I love it. I thought I was going to hate it, and I absolutely love it.

What is the first thing you cooked on it?

The first thing was actually boiling water because it boils water ridiculously fast. And whenever anybody comes over to visit, I’m like, “Look how fast my stove boils water!” It’s amazing. I don’t think I have a favorite thing yet. It’s only been a few months, but I have a lot of things that I like. It’s really, really good for cooking eggs.

I like it so much more than I ever thought I was going to!

What is your favorite part of working from home?

Not having to commute. Because it just sucks so much time and so much energy and nobody gets any benefit from it.

Where are you located?

I’m in D.C., and this is my fourth or fifth work-from-home job. I won’t ever go back to a regular office – ever.

And before work-from-home became more common, everybody thought all I did was sit around all day and they could ask me for a ride to the airport anytime, and I was like, “No, I actually work.” But yeah, not having to pay for parking, not having to sit in traffic, not having to take the bus…

I’ve done all forms of commuting too. I’ve done public transportation. And at one point, I was commuting on a bicycle or a motorcycle. Home is the best.

What do you get to do in the time that you would spend commuting?

Sleep. So, I’m less stressed. Also, the dog gets a much longer walk in the morning.

Do you know how to speak more than one language?

I speak enough Spanish that I can converse. My grammar is atrocious, but I can get by. I can communicate in Spain, so that’s enough for me. And I’m learning American Sign Language, little by little.

How are you learning American Sign Language?

A library. We are so lucky to have an amazing library system here in D.C. and there’s so much that you can do there.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a talk by a photographer that was followed by a live band performance.

What was your first job?

I was a Subway “sandwich artist” for my first job. It was my first time having my own money, so it was awesome. My mom couldn’t tell me what to do or not do with my money.

When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?

When I’m alone in the car, the volume is usually fairly low. On a scale of one to 10, it’s probably around a three, but there are certain songs that it gets really loud for.

What music do you turn up the volume for?

I turn up reggaeton a lot, and there are certain old New Wave songs that I turn up really loud.

What is a good way to give back to the community?

Find something that you’re skilled at and find someone who needs that skill. It’s really expensive for small organizations to get database administrators, or marketing, or web design – anything like that.

Something that you could do in a few hours of work would cost them hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. We all have skills that would be valuable to organizations. And there’s always things like working in a soup kitchen, working in a food bank, or delivering meals to elderly folks.

But it’s important to recognize that your professional skills are really valuable. Any money that you can save these organizations from spending, they can spend on their actual mission. So, if you’re an accountant, see if there’s an organization that needs someone to do their books – for example.

You helped plan our latest Arity Charity. How did you get involved with Goods for Good?

They do birthday celebrations for little kids who are having birthdays in shelters or whose families are in transitional housing and money is really tight. And so, I started out baking the birthday cakes and putting together these birthday kits.

But they sent a newsletter saying, “We need someone to modernize our volunteer records. We have everything in Excel spreadsheets, and we want an actual database.” And I was like, “Well, yeah, I can do that.” So, I’ve been looking after their database stuff ever since, and I help them use their data in better ways.

For instance, a couple weeks ago, the director asked me if I could go through the volunteer list and show her everybody who signed up with a work email address, which is relatively easy to do once you have everything in one place. So, this way she can do a targeted campaign to get people to get matching donations and stuff.

What is your favorite way to practice self-care?

My favorite way to practice self-care is we have a really nice bathroom with a really nice bathtub. We put a TV in there, and I’ll sit in the bathtub for hours. I’ll make a bubble bath. It has a heated jet, so I can turn the water on when it gets cool and let it go through the jets a few times and it warms back up, so I’m not always putting more water in it.

We did a big renovation up here a few years ago, and that was one of the things I wanted – a really nice bathroom that can be my hide hole. So, I go in there and hide every now and then and just soak and just sit. I’ve watched four episodes of The Sopranos in a row.

It’s a really nice luxury. But it’s also great because you’re not spending $300 on a spa day.

Do you have pets?

I have a dog named Lucy, and she is a Great Pyrenees. She’s bossy and obnoxious, and she gets white fur all over everything. She loves belly rubs. She is a complicated dog. She has a bit of an attitude.

When we adopted her, she had a problem with her hind legs where her knees would dislocate. They were pretty much dislocated all the time, so we had to go through three surgeries with her on her legs. And so, I’m really paranoid when she runs around and stuff. I’m like, “Don’t fall down. Don’t break your leg!”

But she is a good girl. She’s very sweet.

Pyrenees are a difficult breed. They’re born to be really independent, and roam on the side of the mountain all day long to look out for wolves. The independence is not good if you want them to listen to you.

We also have an orange tabby cat, named Rosie, who is the sweetest, little lap cat. She just always wants to be on my lap. So, in the evening, I’ll curl up on the couch and watch a little bit of TV, and she’ll come running and take a nap on me. She’s my little buddy.

And they don’t like each other! The dog is very interested in the cat. The cat is very much not interested in the dog. And so, every now and then, there’s a little bit of clawing and a little bit of hissing.

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Arity is a mobility data and analytics company. We provide data-driven solutions to companies invested in transportation, enabling them to deliver mobility services that are smarter, safer, and more economical.