Working… so fortunate in my work life, such an odd time in the world right now.
I work in a Credit Union, so we are considered an essential service of course, we need to be there for our people. And I love being the point of contact, especially in this time when just being there is a form of comfort. I get it, just knowing something is still ‘normal’ is a big deal.
Week 1: it was determined who in our branch was considered ‘high risk’ meaning, they can’t get sick, or they live with someone – spouse or child, that can’t get sick. They can’t be exposed. Tuesday afternoon, those people were told they could no longer come into the branch, they had to work from home. This left a very small group of us, and one teller, out of 5, we normally have 3 tellers every day. Wednesday, I went to work prepared to be a teller, we can’t operate with one, and it isn’t fair to the one left. So I prepared to work in that role again indefinitely. My work, emails or calls, I would have to do in between, and advise people we can’t do in person meetings anymore.
By Friday morning, we had news our branch would close, as would a couple of the others in the more rural areas on Vancouver Island. We just didn’t have enough to keep operating, especially if anyone became sick. We would pool our staff resources and take rotating shifts in a neighbouring community. It was first talked about one week one, one week off, in two teams, then it was changed to two days on, two days off. I would work in my position, not as a teller, but we would all support each other as teams and operate as a fully staffed branch. We would be open somewhat shorter hours of 10-4.
My hands, by the way, from working as a teller for 3 days and being super conscious of how clean our surroundings were, not sharing pens with our Credit Union members, and washing my hands almost between every transaction, were so cut and sore! Sanitizer was not my friend.
Week 2: As the remaining branch is open Tuesday to Saturday, my ‘team’ and I were on the Thursday/ Friday shift, so had From Friday of the week before until Wednesday off! They did this to ensure we, on the front line, wouldn’t burn out and ensure our mental health. They are paying everyone normal pay as well, like I said, I am so fortunate!
Week 3: this week, I work Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. One day down. I like being able to call my regulars, and reassure them I am still here. I do go to my local branch, although closed, to check my voicemail messages and emails on the off days, even for half an hour to make sure anything urgent doesn’t get missed. I just make sure people are aware of ways they can still do what they need to do, and get the support they need, during these challenging times.
So, in the midst of this, I started a Plein Air painting ‘challenge’ if you want to call it that, or a ‘call to action’. See my Instagram post, or #Covid19PleinAir .
Plein Air is painting outside, so I wanted to start this to encourage, not only creating, but getting outside, going to your outside space to create. Painting helps my sanity and mental health, and with the need to stay home now, I like the idea of people coming together for a common goal or interest. It helps us not feel as isolated, would you agree?
Encouraging the positive is so important right now! I also started following a Facebook page called ‘Hearts in the Window.’ It was started by people on Vancouver Island, just north of me, and now has over 138k people participating from all over the World. It is wonderful seeing all the love and encouragement out there!
What does your work look like, and how are you keeping positive?
Xo, thanks for reading and sending Love,