Ann Marie Ruby

ESSENTIAL FRONTLINE EMPLOYEES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

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Essential workers or frontline employees all need protection to save themselves so they can save you too.

Today, as I write this blog, I begin with the cover picture from a year ago. You can carefully see the Macy’s store. Everyone was free from fear, rejoicing their day out. Yet, ten days ago, an employee at this same Macy’s store (Tacoma Mall, Tacoma, Washington State), has tested positive for coronavirus. In a year, life has changed. So for all the frontline employees, I write this blog post.

Health care workers strive to save lives as they work nonstop. Law enforcement employees also stand on the frontline to save one and all lives they can. We the people of this world need to be there for them as they strive to be there for us.

Today, however, I want to bring another workforce in front of you. These workers are also on the frontline. Never noticed it nor paid heed to them, yet these essential staff have a fundamental role in our society. These employees become the intermediary between we the people and our investment advice. They play a huge role as this essential group becomes the intermediary between our success and keeping the society going.

You and I know them as the bank branch employees.

From the teller, the banker, the financial adviser through the bank managers, all work in a group for we the society.

The banks play fundamental roles within our lives. The primary functions of a bank keep our society moving forward. We must however remember it is not the bank or the society but the essential bank branch employees with their services provided for we the people that keep this society moving forward.

According to dictionary.com, a bank is “an institution for receiving, lending, exchanging, and safeguarding money and, in some cases, issuing notes and transacting other financial business.” A bank helps you securely store money, move money around, and borrow money.

Today, I want you the member of this society to think about these employees. As you all are asked to stay in lockdown within your homes, these employees are serving you from the frontline.

I watched an angry customer screaming at a teller as she said the teller was too slow for her.

She screamed at the teller asking why the teller was risking the customer’s life as she does not have a mask or gloves on. She shouted out loud as all the other cars waiting in the drive through lane could overhear her. The teller had tears in her eyes as all could see her who had passed her thereafter.

I also watched how a customer coughing continuously had insisted to sit one-on-one with a banker. Now the CDC has said that this catastrophic virus is airborne and can stay in the air for three hours. I could not watch these unfair treatments of employees by we the people. So, I had left. I opened my computer and found out how unfair we the people had become to these frontline employees.

I ask you, are they not humans who are risking their lives so our society does not have a huge financial crisis?

Why are you so scared for your own life yet you the citizen consider these lives disposable?

Our society must awaken with humanity. The healthcare providers working nonstop will be tired and we need to provide for them with whatever we can. Our law enforcement officers will be overburdened with a huge amount of work. We need to do our part as citizens.

Grocery store employees will be scared to provide for you and hear your complaints on top of everything. Give them space and stay six feet away from them. Give them distance and spiritual blessings.

Now back to the bank branch employees and their frontline approach to one-on-one customer service which risks their lives. No matter how you put this in words, I personally feel there is no way you can give a six feet distance between a bank employee and a customer. According to the CDC guidelines, they fall in the one-on-one exposure and are at 100% risk ratio.

The bank branch employees do not have any sort of personal protection as they do not have any masks or gloves to protect themselves.

I understand the doctors are saying to keep the masks and gloves for them as they are on the frontline exposed to the sick. I also understand these bank employees facing an unknown sick person who does not even know he or she is sick with COVID-19 can spread the virus. The medical research shows 80% or 4 in 5 people have spread the virus without knowing they have it.

So to my plain eyes, it is clear customers could infect the bank employees very quickly. Coughing on top of them or sneezing as you sit next to them, you could spread this deadly infection to them. No one is trying to protect them with any sort of masks or safety gears.

The industry that is fundamental for our society’s growth must take care of themselves when no one else is. This society has become self first. The bank employees must be protected now.

I ask all the banks throughout this nation to go on a lockdown for two weeks to let this virus slow down. We can all go to ATMs, and use online banking for two weeks. We need to save our resources for the health care providers and the law enforcement agencies.

Let all the bank branch employees work from home and let the ATM and online banking work for two weeks.

Doing so, we could save the lives of the bank employees and customers.

Disposable they are to you, but to their parents, children, wives, and husbands, they are their eternal life. A person is disposable to you, but not to their family members.

I ask the rich and wealthy with powerful voices to speak up for them. Be their voices as their voices are lost within the powerful voices of the wealthy.

Speak up for the branch employees. We can all sacrifice and use the ATMs and online banking. As we get rid of our common enemy “COVID-19,” we can all clap and welcome back our neighborhood bank branch employees.

The grocery store employees also need our voices to help them.

Maybe have a neighborhood grocery pick up service. We can also do a delivery or pick up at the store services like other countries have started where you give your list and they bring your groceries in a cart for you. Limit what you really need and do not hoard up but share with your neighbors.

As you sit and spend the time at home with your family trying to think how to spend these days inside, do think of these people who are not able to protect themselves in places that are under lockdown. They cannot even try to save themselves.

They are completely exposed to the one-on-one virus they stand in front of every day. Anxiety, fear, and stress grip them as they think about their innocent family members who too shall be exposed to this deadly virus because of their jobs.

I have heard some people say, “find another job.” I ask you where have you left your inner moral values? How could you even utter those words? Does your voice not even shake when you utter such mean words?

For your information I had asked some of these questions to various frontline employees who had said,

“But I love my work.“
“Even with a Masters and qualification for great jobs, I have come here to be with the people.”
“I love meeting the neighborhood.”

Yes these are people who love their jobs. Let us socially distance from each other only to save one another. Let us give our bank branch employees a break so they too can survive the World War III we face in union against COVID-19.

How could the United States allow its citizens to be exposed to a catastrophic virus, knowing these people have absolutely no protection given to them whatsoever?

Unlike doctors who are suffering due to shortages in protection gears, the bank employees have no shortages but they have no protection to begin with. I ask all of you, would you the mother and father allow your children to be exposed to this virus like this? Then, how are you the father, the mother, the brother, and sister, or the child, quiet? Close your eyes and see not the faces of the stranger in the bank branches, but do see your own child. Now answer me. Why does it take you so long to respond to a pandemic only when your own is affected?

Today, as you the citizen try to find out how you can spend the days in lockdown, please speak up for others so they too can survive this war and save their family and friends. Be the voice and in union let us save lives. Let us not worry about asking people to distance themselves if they won’t even when they can. As we watch people crowd the beaches because they have time off and are asked to lock up in their homes, let us worry about those who want to stay indoor with their family and friends as they are scared and stressed.

For all of you, I do not work for a bank as I am blessed I work from home.

But I will speak up for you at all times. My voice might not be loud but it shall always carry my love for you.

All the CEOs of the banks around us, please take action and take care of your frontline employees. They might not be big and their voices might not be loud, but they are the force of your bread and butter. They are your family and they love you as a family member. You don’t know them or see them but they love you and are there for you each and everyday. From dawn to dusk, they work with integrity, honor, and dignity. Please let them live with dignity and be there for them. We the American families will survive this catastrophic destruction laid upon us and shall help all nations across this globe as we are all humans with humanity.

On March 25, 2020, Dick Kovacevich (former CEO of Wells Fargo & Company) said he wants to bring the workers back into work. He continues saying, some of them will get sick and some may even die.

As a friend of many Wells Fargo employees, I really find these words hard to digest.

We wish words of encouragement and words filled with blessings and caution to all on our path, not morbid scary and discouraging words where employees are frightened for their lives. Please say a prayer and encourage all humans along the way. Let the doctors and healers do their jobs as we heed to their advice and socially distance ourselves to save one another. At all times, our prayers and positive vibes shall be with all without any distances. Distance is by space only, not through prayers or positive vibes.

“Where there is no hope there is one.”

Today unite in spirit and pray for one and all through this blessed prayer I had written for all of you.

With love, respect, and my blessings for all the banks across our nation, USA,

Ann Marie Ruby

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