Working through a Pandemic

I work at PNC Bank as a Branch Banker Associate in Indianapolis, Indiana (I am not writing this as an employee. I am writing this as myself. I do not represent PNC as a whole). What that means is that I work on both the banker and the teller sides of the branch. I am mostly a teller simply because that side usually needs more help.

In March, like almost everyone else, we found out about the Coronavirus. Within a week or two there was a plan in place. We would split up into two teams (there were seven of us total) and half would be off for two weeks while the other team worked. The team that worked first was my branch manager, the other switcher, and me. Those two weeks were exhausting. Drive-thru was consistently backed up, people complained, the phone rang off the hook, and people pulled on the door ignoring the posted signs. The two weeks that we were off, I just rested and slept the entire time. It didn't feel like a vacation. I still had to get my training modules done and I was just completely out of it. This went on from about mid March to early July. This period we call cohorts. I do not miss it.

When we got back all together, work became a lot easier, but we did not open the branch doors until October.

The issues we have right now are people walking in with no mask on or pulling their mask down to speak. These people are not the young. They're usually up there in their years about the age of my parents and grandparents. They are the vulnerable people. We have to tell them to put a mask on or cover their nose. I am the one that you should be protecting yourselves from. Wear a mask please for your own protection.

As I am writing this, I currently wear two masks. I've been wearing two masks since about August as I am in the lobby quite often and I have to direct people to wear a mask and keep themselves socially distant. I use hand sanitizer after each customer diligently. I also have had about 5 covid tests as I have allergies and I can't tell if my symptoms are allergy related or not. It's quite a conundrum at times.

In January 2020, before all of this happened, my sister came to Indiana after a visit from South Korea. She came to visit from San Diego, California and I let her use my car. In the subsequent weeks, I was chronically sick with a fever, cold chills, hot sweats, and lots of coughing. I didn't know anything about Covid then, but I knew I was sick. I used almost all of my sick days in January 2020 to the point my boss was about to write me up. The next month, my boss was also very sick. When March came, we were all like "Oh!"

Working through the pandemic has been challenging. This is no "new normal". This is a moment in our history where we need to be responsible as individuals to get through this as part of the human race. At some point in the near future, it will be behind us, but we will be judged by future generations by what we do right now. Stay safe and keep moving forward!

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