This post is about anxiety over COVID. If that is a trigger for you these days, please do not continue reading. Instead watch Emily Blunt be amazed by a kid magician. My heartfelt wishes for your continued health.
My job right now involves monitoring COVID-19 all day every day. I follow the news, watch press conferences and provide information to senior leadership. I suggest cost-cutting ideas for both immediate spending reductions and long-term.
I discover things relating to business continuity where I can help to streamline things. I gather information all day. I talk to people outside the company about their plans and how it will affect our company.
All of this occurs at my work because we are not telecommuting at this time. The CEO isn’t a fan of it. He hasn’t seen the need yet, so we continue to show up. At least anyone who sits where he passes by. It is very stressful.
Some days are good and some days aren’t. Yesterday, St. Paddy’s, was a good day. I put on an elegant green dress and heels from my former professional days to sashay around a business casual environment. I was one of the few wearing green. Today I teared up when I was minutes away from the office. It’s from stress and fear. I calmed myself down, reminded myself to be strong, dried my tears and marched into the half deserted office. My young millennial colleague who lives in my apartment building is already working from home. The CEO never sees his division.
After work, I went for my training run along a beautiful area beside the water. The breeze was lovely, the view stunning and it lifted my spirits. I had been thinking about blowing off my exercise, however, I reminded myself that it is critical for my health (physical and mental). I am so thankful I did it.
Senior leadership doesn’t have a clear path to navigate through this crisis. It is tough. Even though the company is on sound financial footing, there is only so long any company can survive if income is not generated. Senior leadership is fracturing over differing opinions on the company’s course. Lists of who will be laid off are quietly being made “just in case.”
I am 100% overhead which could easily make me expendable. I am working hard to be a resource, but that will only last so long. I can survive if they reduce my hours and salary, but not forever. I calculate I could do half salary for just over a year if absolutely necessary. I have run the numbers for a barebones budget, calculated my savings and have a plan for hunkering down.
COVID-19 is not an overnight problem. We are facing months of chaos and hardship. Folks in South Florida tend to panic. Thank goodness I am out of Miami — I can’t even imagine the panic down there.
I don’t see a bright future right now and I am the poster child of optimism. Every day I dread heading to the office, but I realize that it is one more day of full pay. One more day of not using my PTO. One more day to interact with my colleagues who remain. One more day to try to make a difference. One more day immersed in the COVID drama.
When I come home, I am exhausted and seeking pure escapism. I have no concentration to read, so I try to find light, heartwarming movies. Instant Family with Mark Wahlberg was awesome. Sometimes I am exhausted and just head straight to bed after dinner.
I am very fortunate. I have a job. I work for and with good, kind people. I am not on the front lines of a hospital. My stress is nothing compared to theirs. My daughter is right in NYC. She is a surgeon. She knows she will be getting COVID-19 at some point and she will give it to her husband. She has suggested that he leave the city, but he won’t leave her. He’s scared. She’s fatalistic. I’m scared too because there is no escape. We are on the rollercoaster and there is no way to get off. I fucking hate roller coasters.