Staying positive and being compassionate during this strange and difficult time
As I sit here in my home with Woodford, and I mean my dog and not the bourbon, I am reminded of how fortunate I am. Although I couldn’t spend the holiday with my family, I am able to communicate with them regularly. I can also stay in touch with my friends by phone, email and texts. And, if I wanted to see them, I could face time or zoom with them. I think it is important for us to stay in touch in this time of social distancing. I’ve attended several webinars, and watched many tv shows that have encouraged people to communicate with one another even if we can’t be together.
Keeping a positive attitude is not always easy. If you have met me, you know that I like to laugh and have fun even when discussing what can be serious issues. I feel that the humor helps people and keeps them interested, even when discussing compliance issues. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m always happy, because I have had a couple of cries since the pandemic has started but then I recover and return to my regular demeanor. I realize that I am not dealing with many of the issues that you all are facing since I’m retired and self-employed. You have difficult jobs even when things are “normal.”
I know that many of you are working from home. I understand that that is an adjustment. When I retired, it took me a bit of time to adjust to being at home and working here all the time. I found that having a routine helped me. I still got up and got ready as if I was going to work, but my new attire was “jeans at home.” I still made myself sit down and work on projects I needed to complete. I can only imagine if I had others at home too, especially children. Do what you can, and know that you are doing your best.
In recent weeks, there have been several new laws enacted. I have never seen Federal government agencies respond as quickly as they have in posting information and regulations as they have with the new statutes. They seem to be very proactive in positing guidance about frequently asked questions. I encourage you to regularly check the website for the Department of Labor, since most of the new laws fall under their jurisdiction. The more information you have about these statutes, the better decisions you can make about a variety of issues.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently posted some updated guidance about the coronavirus, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA). EEOC solicited questions from the public, and then selected questions to be answered by three of their senior legal staff. They recorded a webinar that is available for public viewing on their website addressing the questions raised.
I encourage you to take advantage of all of the help the government is providing. Knowledge is power and, when we have knowledge, we feel better. Perhaps being better informed will help with a more positive attitude. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take things one step at a time. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a problem or issue and jump to step four without completing steps one through three. Take a breath, and stay strong!
During a webinar I attended on resilience, one of the presenters said her children had given her a plaque with the following:
Start where you are
Use what you have
Do what you can
It will be enough.
I liked the quote and thought I’d pass it on.
I titled this article in green because Louisville’s mayor has asked us to show our compassion during these unprecedented times and green Is the color of compassion. Let’s all do what we can and know that it will be enough. And, let’s be compassionate and think of others.
If you have questions about EEOC-related issues, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 553-7648. In the meantime, take care of yourselves, and know that the work you do is important and appreciated!