27 September 2023

Scanned and deliver: How forgotten workers are the new heroes

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Brigette Hyacinth* considers how the pandemic crisis has made heroes out of previously ‘forgotten’ workers.

I was speaking to a friend and she told me something that I’ll never forget.

“For the first time, I feel important doing my job.”

She’s a delivery driver and said she always felt like a nobody since many people never acknowledged her and treated her quite poorly.

Now with COVID-19, people treat her quite differently — with respect and appreciation.

This is what she’s always wanted.

Many even thank her for her service which hardly ever happened. Now she feels like ‘Somebody’.

I hope COVID-19 will teach us to stop judging people based on their job titles or earnings.

Grocery store workers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, fast food workers, garbage collectors, sanitation workers, etc. they are the ones taking us through this crisis.

They are making sure we have the essentials to survive on, and are even risking their health.

I understand what living below the poverty line is like, and I know that a minimum wage job is not indicative of a person’s intelligence, work ethic, or character.

Honest work is honest work. Never look down on anyone for the job they have.

This superiority complex, especially where some people think that “I’m more valuable than you” because they make more money needs to end.

Everybody is important and their contribution matters.

Leaders who make people feel good about themselves and the work they do have loyal employees.

In life we should always make everyone who comes into our presence feel like they matter.

You can do this by smiling at everyone you meet; by thanking people for their service even if they are being paid for it, and by being respectful in your tone of voice and body language.

Let people know how awesome they are; give them your full attention when speaking to them and focus on their positive qualities.

Don’t tear them down, build them up; treat everyone the same from the Chief Executive to the janitor and above all, be kind. Always.

It costs nothing but it can mean everything to someone else.

Regardless of your status or position in life, be nice to people around you. Kindness and humility are a beautiful combination.

You have two options when you meet someone — you can make them feel better or worse off.

I prefer to make everyone I come in contact with feel better off. Life is too short for anything else.

As you are reading this, I would like to tell you: “You are awesome, amazing and thank you for all you do.”

*Brigette Hyacinth is the founder of the MBA Caribbean Organisation which conducts seminars and workshops in leadership, management and education as well as providing motivational speeches. She can be contacted at brigettehyacinth.com.

This article first appeared on Brigette’s blogsite.

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