I had to go out last Friday.
Regular readers of this blog will suspect that I am pretty good at staying home and I like to think that I am. However, a couple of things needed addressing. I had saved them all up to make one trip. I truly appreciated that these essential services were open and I noted just how they were able to be open and safe.
- I had to go to the lab to get some blood taken. Normally, I would go into the office, grab a number, and then sit in the waiting room to be called. Not so, these days. There was a little table outside the locked door with a clipboard where you sign your name, phone number, and car description. I brought my own pen so I pumped some sanitizer after filling in my details and went back to the car. I also noted how many people were ahead of me so that I could keep count. After the five ahead, I was waved up to wait for a second. My temperature was taken, she returned inside to disinfect the chair and then waved me in. The door locked behind me. There was very little talk and it was over in a matter of 30 seconds.
- I had to pick up some groceries. There was a guard (not very threatening) but was checking for masks and numbers to the Sobeys. Between times, the person was wiping down grocery carts. Another table, another hand sanitizer and I was ready to go. Instead of my usual wander through the store, there were footprints on the floor to guide me up and down the aisles. I didn’t have the urge to do my bit of impulse buying. It was a matter of getting in, finding my stuff, and checking out. Checkout was a little different; they no longer pack your bags as they’re behind plexiglass. So, I packed my own, noting that this was indeed a skill I had not acquired.
- Wouldn’t you know it? I should have been done at that point but wasn’t. I needed gas. One final stop was the Circle K/Shell and, unfortunately, pay at the pump was down. So, I pumped my gas, sanitized my hands and then went into the store to pay. Business there seemed to be pretty normal but the clerk was behind plexiglass. Up I went and went to pay; the guy behind the counter reminded me that the lottery pot was pretty high and would I like a ticket. I’m not a big lottery person but I thought that with all the stay at home stuff, maybe sales were down and odds would be up. Equally as quickly, I remembered that payouts aren’t dependent on the number of tickets bought so passed. When i got back to the car, I sanitized my hands with the pump that sits in my drink slot.
Things definitely have changed. These three places have indeed pivoted to their new reality and I’m so thankful and appreciative that these places and workers were doing their part in making life go on for me and I told those than I ran into exactly that.
I paused at the word “pivot”. I was thinking of a blog post from Peter Cameron a while back where he angrily noted
Please stop using “pivot”.
We did not pivot (implies a simple, natural step).
We took a giant leap into the unknown.
I’m incredibly proud of all educators in #Onted and around🌎for leaping w both feet, supporting one another and trying so hard to make this work. https://t.co/vU43DfwxeU
— Peter Cameron (@cherandpete) April 18, 2020
The entire blog post can be read here.
All people who are still entitled to work have had their conditions and work environment changed. I zeroed in on education workers.
They’ve had a year of
- promises of forced professional learning opportunities to teach online yet nobody seems to remember it
- evaluation of their value
- a return to work with changes
- some face to face
- some partially at a distance
- some completely at a distance
- a promise of person to person time even when at a distance
- parents “in the room” while teaching/learning happens online
- curriculum content modified to meet the new environment
- classroom management reaching new challenges
- another shutdown of school buildings
- add your own to the list
It hasn’t been easy for anybody. Pivot takes on new meaning depending upon your job and working conditions.
The call to action in all this?
I think that we all need to appreciate the new working conditions for everyone who is able to continue to work. I think we need to thank them at every opportunity.