WeAreArity Wednesday: Brian Embry
If you could try any food, what would it be?
Shrimp because I’m allergic and live on the Gulf Coast.
Have you always been allergic to shrimp?
I never really ate shrimp or any shellfish until I got to college. I was a resident advisor and there was an end of the year get-together. I think I overdosed on fried coconut shrimp.
It was so delicious, and I was so happy that this whole new world opened up to me – and then, a few hours later it wasn’t so nice and wonderful. I was completely in hives, red in the face, and swollen. I should have gone to the ER, I’m sure. But I didn’t. I didn’t know what was going on.
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
I’m more productive in the morning. I have the green-blue personality, and I really need some time to think overnight. I usually schedule meetings for the morning versus the afternoon. I start working at 7 a.m. Central Time, and I really enjoy that hour before people start Teams-ing me questions.
What is your #1 recommendation of something to do in the city you live in?
Gulf Shores, Alabama is where I live, and the motto is “small town, big beach.” So, if you come here, you have to spend some time on the beach.
Do you have a favorite beach activity?
Just walking and people-watching. It’s relaxing!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received at work?
This has always stuck with me ever since I heard it: “A manager never has the luxury of having a bad day.”
The advice came from a manager when I worked at Progressive Insurance. It wasn’t because I was having a bad day, it was a training session for new managers. Thank goodness it wasn’t because I blew up at an employee, and I had to get that advice after the fact! It was proactive.
What do you do with the extra time working from home (WFH) that you wouldn’t get to do working in person?
I enjoy throwing the ball to my corgis and spending time in the pool before it gets dark, especially in the wintertime.
Tell us about your corgis!
The oldest is Bronwyn, and she is 12. She’s named after a character from “How Green Was my Valley.” She doesn’t like other dogs at all, so we took a big leap a year ago on Christmas Day and brought home two brothers. They are Errol and Gruffith (AKA Gruffy).
Bronwyn is like the evil stepmother they never wanted, but she tolerates them and keeps them in line. Luckily, there has not been any bloodshed.
What piece of advice would you share with your younger self?
Stop fretting about my hair! It was very fine, so I spent most of my childhood with a bowl haircut because I couldn’t do anything with it.
Also, being too skinny. I graduated high school at 110 pounds, and I was so thin. I was like, “I want to gain weight!” And now it’s like, “Oh man, if I had only known.”
Would your younger self accept that advice?
No because my parents told me to stop eating peanut butter and stop worrying about my hair. And I didn’t listen.
What’s an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Just give a smile. I really try to do that as much as I can – even to random people. I live in a tourist town, so I want people to enjoy visiting. Even in the grocery store, I’ll just smile at people.
What do you do in your free time?
Pickleball! I picked it up in August after a good friend of ours said we need to start playing. Now, I’m going to be in my first tournament February 14th and 15th.
Pickleball’s amazing, and it has really changed my life. If you had asked me a year ago if I’d be playing on Friday nights from 6 – 9 p.m., I would be like, “you’re crazy.” But I’m going to play pickleball at least three days a week.