There is no doubt that these are trying times for everyone. Due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus, the lives of every American have changed significantly over the past few weeks. Many people have been able to start working from home, but some staff who have been considered essential have still been going to work full time. One medical call center in Tampa is rewarding its employees for their bravery and dedication in an unexpected way.
The University of South Florida patient access center is a busy place. Many appointments have been canceled and agents have been inundated with calls for rescheduling.
It was announced on Monday of this week that employees will be allowed to wear jeans all week long as a reward for their bravery and dedication.
I sat down with Chief Access Officer Miles Thompson, to get all details on this decision. Mr. Thompson is wearing what looks like a space suit as he sits in an inflated plastic bubble. “That’s quite the set up you have there.” I commented. “Well, we can’t take any risks.” Mr. Thompson said very seriously. I asked , “So, how did you arrive at the decision that Jeans Day all week was an appropriate reward?” and he replied, “Well we thought about throwing a pizza party but gathering in large groups has been discouraged and we don’t have that kind of f money anyway.”
I then asked, “Do you think that your employees will be happy?” and he answered, “I hope so, none of their contaminated asses are allowed in my office, but I’ve heard good things… From a distance.”
“Wow” I said and immediately coughed in his general direction.
I was then escorted out of Mr. Thompson’s office and taken to the break area where I could interview some of the agents.
“How are you guys feeling about Jeans all week?” I asked excitedly. “I mean a bonus would have been nice but I guess not having to wear dress pants is good too.” Said Maria Espinoza, a lead for the psych schedulers.
“I take the bus to get here so I’ve been really worried about exposure to the virus but at least I’ll die comfortably in my relaxed fit Levi’s,” said Jerome Atkins, a level 1 scheduling agent.
“I don’t even like to wear jeans but I’m wearing some today; I don’t want to feel ungrateful.” Said referral specialist Sandra Hudgens.
The overall mood was not impressed. I left there feeling a little sad for the employees. Then I walked back inside because I remember I work there too. And I’m pretty sure we’re all getting the goddamn Corona.