Sarah introduces her husband, Eric, about whom she often receives questions.
Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. Today is a very special and exciting episode because I am introducing you all to Mr. Future of Field Service. In other words, my husband, Eric. Hello Mr. Future of Field Service. Welcome to the podcast.
Eric Nicastro: Thank you for having me. This is new for us. I like it.
Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, it's interesting because we're actually across the hall from one another, but we don't have the proper equipment to record side-by-side. So we're doing it through Zoom, like the rest of them. So let's be transparent and say that the idea for this came early this morning when I woke up to an email of a guest that had to cancel last minute, and I thought, I don't have a good backup. Who could I have on? I thought, what about Eric? That would be great. And in retrospect, I feel like we should have done this a long time ago because I get so many questions about you when I travel and talk to different people. So I'm excited to let everyone get to know you a bit.
Eric Nicastro: I'm excited to be here.
Sarah Nicastro: Tell everybody a bit about yourself.
Eric Nicastro: So, we've been married for almost 10 years now. Been together for I think, 12, something like, yeah. Yeah, 12. I am an IT analyst with Erie Insurance, which is an insurance agency here, based here in Erie, Pennsylvania. But I believe we're in 13 different states in the US. But my job as an IT analyst is to write business requirements for the digital experience team for different products that we build and different services that we build. So I do have some experience in the tech space. I spent 10.5 years in marketing and communications before being an IT analyst. I felt it was time for a change, coming to the end of that, and this was something that kind of fell into my life. I've always done work with websites and digital analytics and digital marketing. So the IT analyst role with this company really kind of aligned very, very well. And I've enjoyed it. I've been there since June of 2022 and it's been a fun process.
Sarah Nicastro: You wanted to let your inner nerd out a little bit more?
Eric Nicastro: Oh yeah. Trust me, I get to geek out over a lot of technical stuff and it's a lot of fun because I'm starting to learn a little bit more about the data analyst space and data science. So this is kind of like, I'm like, okay, I like this stuff. I like to use Excel unlike some people.
Sarah Nicastro: We're not talking about that on this podcast. Okay. So tell everyone about your t-shirt. It's another love of yours.
Eric Nicastro: So, this says the Civic Arena. This was the previous home of the Pittsburgh Penguins down in Pittsburgh, PA. And I grew up a big diehard Penguins fan and diehard Steelers fan. And so Pacific Arena is long gone now, but it always holds a special place because I watched so many games there growing up as a little kid and into my teens. And when they built a new arena across the street, they had to tear the old one down. So this is a t-shirt that I wear in remembrance of that building because it was a special place.
Sarah Nicastro: Yes. He loves hockey.
Eric Nicastro: Love hockey.
Sarah Nicastro: Loves tech things, and also is a photographer and videographer, and has actually shot some photos and videos that a lot of you have probably seen on Future of Field Service.
Eric Nicastro: Yes, I have.
Sarah Nicastro: So, as you mentioned, this year will be 10 years that we've been married and a whole lot has changed in the last decade.
Eric Nicastro: Oh yeah.
Sarah Nicastro: For those of you that don't know, Eric and I have two sons, Evan, who's seven, and Ellis who's six. They're 16 months apart. When they were born and very young, I was in my former role with Field Technologies. Eric was in his former role and both of those employers were far less flexible than the ones we have now, which was super challenging. But we've always found a way to make it work.
Eric Nicastro: We've always made it work.
Sarah Nicastro: It's teamwork.
Eric Nicastro: Yeah. That's the way we work, we just work together on it. I mean, yeah, there were some moments that were stressful. I mean, you can't look over that. It's going to happen with any time when you have a spouse traveling and there's two kids, especially when they're really little. Now that they're a little older, I don't want to say they're self-sufficient but they can do a lot more stuff on their own now and they're a little easier to manage. It still can be tough at times, but yeah, back then, yeah, I mean, I'll be honest. Yeah, it was tough. But we worked as a team and we made sure going into it to when either ... Because I used to travel for my old job and now I don't travel anymore. My job is a home office position and I have no need to go to any of our branches because I work in IT. I don't work in the insurance sales part of it.
So I used to travel and you used to travel. I used to travel a lot, but even back then when we were traveling, we just made sure that we communicated with each other what was going on, what was happening. And FaceTime is a wonderful tool now that we have our ability to stay in touch and still be able to communicate, not just over a phone or a text, but actually see each other. And that was a big thing. And it helped the kids out a lot too, because they got to see mom and dad while we were traveling, and they always liked to see a tour of the hotel room, and the view outside the window, even if it looked into a parking lot most of the time. But it did help a lot. And just communication and planning well ahead is something that I think really helped us out.
Sarah Nicastro: When I was in Paris for the live tour last year, I had the opportunity because of the time difference. It was evening there, the boys were just getting out of school and I had the opportunity to FaceTime them from the Eiffel Tower, which was really cool for them to see that and have that experience remotely. I remember, thinking about teamwork, I remember when we were expecting Evan and we were at a gathering at your parents' house, and Eric's aunt said, "Well, so you're quitting your job" to me. And I said, "No."
"Well, you're not going to travel anymore are you?" And I said, "Well, yeah, eventually." And she said, "Well, what are you going to do with the baby?" And Eric said, "Hello."
Eric Nicastro: I'm here.
Sarah Nicastro: I'm going to take care of it. Yeah, and I mean, funny enough, it's years and years later, but I still get a lot of similar questions. So one thing people ask me a lot is, how does your husband feel about you traveling so much? So tell them.
Eric Nicastro: Honestly, I mean, I'm proud of you for what you've done and for what you're doing. I mean, this is a tough role to be able to balance being a mother and a wife and having a position at a company like this. And it's very tough to balance and I'm very proud of you for how you're doing it and you love what you do and it shows through all your work and everything, the way you talk to people. You truly love what you do and I want you to keep doing that. There's no reason to stop doing that. There's two of us. We'll make it work. I mean, we always do, and that's the most important part is you make it work and I'm happy to support you. And so you rise up the ranks and go across stages with 1,000 people in the audience.
I mean, it makes me feel like ... I like to brag about it a lot because everybody at my office, when I'm in the office, they're always asking, "What's your wife doing now? Where is she this time? Where is she this time?" And I get to say all these great locations. Yeah, I mean, I'll be honest, I'm a little jealous because I'd like to go to some of these European spots too, but I'm very proud of what you've done and what you've built because a lot of this is at your hands, the work that you put into it and the results, they speak for themselves. So I'm proud of you, babe.
Sarah Nicastro: Thank you. He knows I don't take compliments well, but I appreciate it. And he is not just saying this because he is on the podcast. When I was in London last year for the live tour, I had asked him to print some note cards for me and he snuck one in with a note that said, "I'm really proud of you." And he does little things like that all the time to support me in addition to the major things that you do to support me as well. Which leads me into another question that people often ask, which is, who's taking care of your kids?
Eric Nicastro: They're on their own now.
Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Now I will say again, for those of you that haven't heard this story before, our seven-year-old son has type one diabetes. He was diagnosed when he was three, which obviously adds a significant layer of complexity, but he also has had a private duty nurse with him since three months after he was diagnosed, who has become like a part of our family. So she is around and she does help significantly, and she is a big reason that I feel comfortable traveling the way I do because he has someone with him at school all of the time when Eric is not personally with him, making sure that he's safe. So that's huge for me in being able to do what I do when I'm away and Eric is working. And your parents come up every so often, but not that frequently. So it is almost entirely you. So how do you do it?
Eric Nicastro: I mean, Sandy, she's been a huge help. She's allowed you to keep traveling the way you do. And honestly, for both of us to have a career because if it weren't for her, I'm sure one of us would have to stay home or we'd have to find a way to make it work. And the stress of trying to do that I think would be incredibly great. And Sandy has really just been that, she's kind of been that angel, that saving grace that's been there with us for so long. She's not just Evan's nurse, she's a member of our family. I mean, she'll come to the house a little early in the morning to help get the boys ready when it's just me, or she'll stay a little bit later when I have to work a little bit later. I have an appointment late in the day that I can't get home right at five o'clock, she's here with them.
And she's somebody that has been with us through so much in the past few years that it's weird to imagine what life would be like without her because she's been more than just a nurse and a caregiver. She's been a part of this family and we love her for it, and we're eternally grateful, trust me.
Sarah Nicastro: But all of that said, I mean, she does go home in the evening.
Eric Nicastro: She does.
Sarah Nicastro: You are on your own and we don't have a live-in nanny.
Eric Nicastro: No, we don't.
Sarah Nicastro: We don't do anything like that. So it is very much Eric, dad, taking care of the kids when I'm away.
Eric Nicastro: I mean, it's fun. We have a good time. We play.
Sarah Nicastro: Mostly.
Eric Nicastro: Mostly. Yeah. I mean, there are some moments where trying to get two boys to get their baths and get ready for bed can be rather challenging most of the time. But I mean, we do it and we have a good time. I mean there are times where we get to just sit there and play Legos for 20 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour after dinner, before baths. And that is a very special time for me. I mean, that's fun for me to do that with them. And yes, we do eat out maybe a little more than we should, but it's special time that I look at, like okay, this is a special moment, so we'll get a pizza or something like that and have that for dinner instead of trying to make something here just because I know these boys, they love their pizza just like me.
Sarah Nicastro: All three. Yep. Yeah. And we do FaceTime. We try to FaceTime every day when one of us is away and I'm very hands-on when I'm home. I also was sharing recently with someone in 2022 because I did travel a lot, I also tried to take a good amount of time off. So luckily, like I said, having flexibility, we're able to make sure that I'm not thus far. I mean, knock on wood, we've been able to make sure that I'm not missing anything super significant like birthdays or kindergarten graduation. And I've tried as much as I can to be home when the boys are on break from school so that I can take a little extra time off to really spend dedicated to them. So I think we have struck a good balance. It isn't always seamless, so I don't want people to hear this and think it's perfect or effortless.
I think it takes a whole lot of work and you deserve a lot of credit. I always struggle when I'm traveling and someone says, "How does your husband feel about this? Or how does he do it?" Because women are asked that question and men are not. I don't hear anyone go up to a man at a conference and say, "How are you away from your kids so much? Or how does your wife handle it? How does she feel about you being gone?" You don't hear that. And so on one hand, when you think about equality in the workplace and getting rid of some of those biases, I don't want those questions to continue to be the norm. But at the same time, the only way we change stereotypes is by living that change. And I think in a lot of ways, that's what we are doing. And it is largely because you have the view you do about what marriage looks like, what a partnership looks like, what fatherhood looks like, and you do deserve credit for that.
Because until those stereotypes aren't stereotypes anymore, then we need to point out the work that goes into changing them. So that being said, we had a situation this weekend that made me reflect and think, boy, maybe we're going too far in the other direction. I was painting a banner for a celebration we're having this weekend, and the boys were both sitting at the table painting with me. And our youngest son said, "Wow, mommy, I just feel so bad for daddy." And I said, "Why?"
"He just does everything." And I said, "He does?"
And I'm like, "Well, what do you think mommy does?"
"Well, I mean, you cuddle us, but he makes you coffee every morning" Which you do. And I am glad that he recognizes how much you are contributing. At the same time, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes.
Eric Nicastro: You do lot more than you get credit for. You really do.
Sarah Nicastro: It's good to know that they are acknowledging the effort you put in and they appreciate you and I certainly appreciate you as well.
Eric Nicastro: Well, thank you, babe.
Sarah Nicastro: Thank you for all your support. And without you, I would not be able to serve the Future of Field Service community in the way that I have. So this is sort of the man behind the scenes that keeps everything going so…
Eric Nicastro: I mean, I'm happy to support you.
Sarah Nicastro: And you've all had the chance to meet him.
Eric Nicastro: Yeah, I'm happy to be here and support you and like I said, a lot of times I'm proud of you, what you do and for what you've built.
Sarah Nicastro: I appreciate it. And we're trying really hard to get Eric on a trip this year. So stay tuned. Hopefully you'll all see some selfies of us somewhere really fun and we'll make it happen. But I hope you all have enjoyed getting to meet Eric. He means a lot to all of us, so we wanted to share a little bit of him with you. So thank you, babe, for coming on and meeting everyone.
Eric Nicastro: Thank you for having me. I love you.
Sarah Nicastro: I love you too. All right, you can all find more by visiting us at futureoffieldservice.com. I want to make sure you know that we recently launched the Future of Field Service INSIDER, which is a great way for you to not only stay up to date on the latest content that we are publishing, but also receive exclusive content that you won't find anywhere else and exclusive invitations to community events. We have also recently announced the 2023 Live Tour schedule. The first event is in Sydney, Australia, March 9th. So you can find all of the information to subscribe to the Insider or to join us on the live tour by visiting us at futureoffieldservice.com. As always, The Future of Field Service Podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at ifs.com. Thanks for listening.