A giant, once in a lifetime Super-Storm is approaching the East Coast attacking multiple states with a vengeance. At work, I am responsible for all of our offices in the East. I was sitting safe and sound in my South Carolina home last night while this Frankenstorm was headed straight for 9 of my offices in Maryland . . . and my employees who live there.
I’d checked in on everyone all day to make sure they were prepared, personally and professionally, and that my subordinates had contacted all of their subordinates and that everyone knew exactly what to do. I’d spoken with our Call Center to advise them that our offices were closed and that we would keep them updated as we learned more. So once I’d prepared all I could and made sure everyone else was prepared, what did I do? Wait? No! I kept sending emails and texts saying, “Do you still have power?” “How’s the weather?” “What’s happening now?”
Seriously I thought that texting, “How’s the weather” to someone in a hurricane would be helpful? Why did I need to know if they had lost power yet? Because we knew it was going to go out, it was just a matter of when. Was I going to send them some of my electricity when theirs went out? No. Asking these questions doesn’t make any sense and they aren’t helpful to the people I’m texting OR to me. Because even if I do know the details of their situation, there’s not a damn thing I can do from way down here in South Carolina! But when things happen around us over which we have no control, we need to do things that give us the illusion of control. So on that same thread, here are my suggestions for ways to help in other crises situations:
If someone is terminally ill, or heaven forbid they die, take food. Fried chicken and macaroni and cheese is the favorite here in the South. I’m not sure why fried chicken helps sick or dead people, but I know it works because churches have been doing it for years, especially Baptist churches, and churches wouldn’t continue to do something useless that makes no sense.
If you need to explain something to a deaf person, but you don’t know sign language and they don’t read lips, here’s what helps, talk really, really loud. Even though they are deaf, yelling at them will help the situation. Must be the shock waves or something. Don’t bother getting a pen and paper to communicate. That’s just crazy talk!
If someone gets hurt doing something you ever told them not to do, that is the exact time to remind them. My mother was an expert at this. Once I fell down the wooden, iced over steps outside our back door. As I lay there on my head trying to figure out if I could still feel my arms and legs, my Mom was at the top of the steps screaming, “I’ve told you a million times to be careful going down these steps! I knew one day you’d fall and break your neck out here!” I can speak from experience that my Mom yelling her version of “I told you so” right after I’d fallen down the steps helped a lot. It helped so much, that now I repeat this same process with my daughter. I can tell she appreciates it every bit as much as I did when I was her age. Ah, family traditions . . .
If you are faced with an emotional crisis to which there is no immediate relief, then a good solution is french fries . . . or cheesecake . . . but not both of them together because that’s just fattening. This is also an acceptable solution to stress. For instance, during the two week period when I needed to review 32 budgets? My solution to the overwhelming stress, 13 hour days and 7 day work weeks? French Fries! A bonus is that after a couple of weeks of this plan you can also get a new wardrobe to accent your new physique!
Well, there you go! That’s the Angry Middle Age Woman’s Guide to Survival during a crisis! No need to thank me, the least I could do was share my words of wisdom with you while I await the results of this storm. Really, it was the very least I could do.