Egos have a hard shell, and it takes a lot to crack them. We don't like to acknowledge just how much we depend on that "lowly" stuff. But the truth has come out: if it weren't for these people, we wouldn't be working from home. We'd still have to get out there on a day to day basis, throw the dice, and pray we don't catch COVID-19 because quarantine wouldn't be possible without them. The "small people" who really keep the wheels turning are shining now, and this has already raised some questions on what's really necessary to keep things at optimal functioning. Make no mistake: we aren't going back to "the way it was" without having to acknowledge some hard questions that might not be favorable to some. Whether these questions are address or squashed will say a lot about how we as a society are willing to evolve. Don't make the aliens lock their doors when they fly by, folks. Be brave. Be bold, Address it.
I've already heard some of this personally. This is my first full week working from home, and we've already discovered better ways to do things (and yes, questioned 'why were we doing it this way'). I know there will be changes when I get back to the office. And I will be getting back to the office, because I also see that working from home isn't practical from a permanent standpoint. Day to day functions are running well, but eventually we'll need to get back to meetings, and exams, and hard copy mailouts (perhaps drastically reduced, if this tree-hugger is lucky), and internal systems, and other things that can't be done from home. We know that. But what about other places where, as my Dad put it, leaders may be asking "why are we employing 50 people when 25 are keep us running without disruption? or ":why are we traveling and having these meetings when emails and online webinars achieve just as much at a fraction of the costs? I experienced things cut to the bone when the economy tanked in 2008, and anticipate it might happen again on the other side of COVID-19. Unemployment is already rising fast. Will all of the people in affected industries get their jobs back, or find other jobs when this over? And what about the non-essential employees that we find out are really not essential when it's discovered that others can cover for them just fine? Are their jobs stable? Will stepping up now be enough to keep us secure in the future?
Another question is whether we'll finally swallow our pride, and properly appreciate and thank the ones who are still out there keeping the world turning. Will job descriptions be rewritten? Will duties be permanently redistributed?Will systems be upgraded? Will salaries be adjusted? Will they be compensated for their extra efforts? Will we listen to what they say about what they learn in this crisis (or stubbornly cling to the ideas from higher up being better)? I think we need to do better than the typical slap on the back and "attaboy" this time. They're still standing while the Pestilence horseman is riding the Earth, and they aren't so lowly anymore. We'll see if that's acknowledged. Whether or not is is will speak volumes to their motivation to step up in the future. And who knows what the future will bring? None of us ever thought we'd see a public health crisis like this.
Which brings me to my last point. I know there's a lot of anxiety and fear out there. There's also a lot of frustration and anger over things that are lost. All of our lives have been affected and displaced. If life hasn't kicked you around enough now to accept that you don't control everything and circumstances can't be manipulated, well, here's your sign. I think coronavirus has kicked all of our egos in the butt. Maybe we'll finally learn something from this. Like adaptation. Like acceptance. Like people and relationships being the most important thing: more important than titles and power and positions. Like what's really necessary to survive. And more importantly, like gratitude - both for what you've had, and for rising to the ability to get beyond this and find a better life moving forward.
That's all today. Stay safe, and take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.