My LinkedIn post was viewed by over 58K people, Liked by ~650, commented on by 60+ people and shared by a small group of people as well.
Those of you who know me personally know that I rarely take myself seriously. I enjoy making people laugh and never miss an opportunity to poke fun at myself or my situation(s). Thursday of last week was no exception!
I woke up in the morning, got through my “new normal” routine of getting the kids ready for school, dragging them back into their classrooms (a.k.a. Bedrooms) and parking them in front of their now “remote” teachers. After my tech support duties were complete and all of the children were successfully visible & muted, I went to my own computer to work.
But first, of course, as my favorite children’s author A.A. Milne once wrote in a poem… “now how to amuse them today!” I went to my company’s Slack #random Channel and made a joke about how I’d payback my kids for the last 4 weeks of their behavior while I was on calls (since we were in the first group in NY to have school cancelled). I decided to post it on LinkedIn to my couple thousand connections (all very close friends naturally). Maybe a few of my peers/connections might get a kick out of my post and comment back what they’d been experiencing themselves. Basically… The One Thread To Vent Them All!!
Never in my mind would this post (which frankly I don’t believe to be my funniest, but hey, I’m obviously my own biggest fan…) have reached to the core of so many people and voiced their own similar frustrations. On top of this, to make them comment/repost/like with such enthusiasm!
Next, the most amazing thing happened. As I was contemplating the responses, I began to understand some things about how people respond in times of crisis. For the most part, we really ARE all in this together. And I was inspired!!
- Work Location Means NOTHING: I’ve spent the last 8-10 years of my career either working full-time from home or with the ability to work from home multiple times a week. I’m fully stocked with dual monitors, standing desk, Zoom, Pandora/Spotify and a pantry full of coffee & snacks. I’ve been navigating my meeting times (and where to hide outside of my home office) around my kids school schedule for YEARS. All of my experience managing my schedule meant nothing… NOTHING. CAN. PREPARE. YOU. FOR. THIS!!!
- Global Location Means NOTHING: If the responses that I got on my post have told me anything, it’s that you can live almost anywhere in the world and the second your finger hits the Unmute button, it’s like a “Target Acquired” signal flare for your child to find you! And like John Wick, they will accomplish what they set out to do [to your call… I’m not suggesting your children are assassins]!
- We need to KNOW that we’re not alone: You certainly don’t wish your pain on others, but there’s a sense of relief knowing that most everyone else is going through the exact same thing. Your spouse may be your support system and maybe you’re theirs. But when it’s your kids that you’re experiencing frustration with, there’s a symbiotic anxiety that neither of you can relieve for the other. When a total stranger voices your exact sentiments, some of that weight gets lifted instantly.
- Humor will save us all: Most of you don’t know me, and many of you will never see or hear my name again… But for 20-30 seconds I made you smile (or possible chuckle or even laugh out loud). You weren’t thinking about the news, about what equipment is being sent where, about who or what is making masks, about statistics on a screen. You weren’t offended by my politics, and nobody yelled at me for posting this in the wrong “forum”. Because even when things seem at their ABSOLUTE WORST… You can turn on Netflix and put on any of a number of Stand Up Specials and you WILL laugh… things WILL feel better, even for just a few moments. But we all need that to get through these next few weeks/months. If we lose our sense of humor… I daren’t think of what we look like on the other side of this pandemic!
- And on that note… a BONUS FINDING – “Bring Your Child To Work” is forever CANCELLED: Period! Because, why now?