I finally feel like more than just a number at work and have also found a digital vault that provided me much needed peace-of-mind
The pandemic that we all have been working to first survive through and then find a way to personally thrive in has looked different and felt different to everyone. Each person that you talk to can share reflections of the past 11 months that will sound different than the next person. The pandemic has required that a part of us activate from the inside in order to respond to what was happening around us on the outside.
I work for Merck http://Merck.com, a global pharmaceutical company that has made me feel valued, appreciated, and more than just a number for the moment. First, I am a mother to two elementary-aged children and had a deep need to find an extra set of hands to assist me while trying to balance conference calls and my new role as an assistant to a second grade son and kindergarten-aged daughter. It was simply impossible to do either without assistance. Merck provided every employee that is either taking care of children or elderly parents reimbursement for those services. The company has always offered the benefit for 10 days per year, per dependent but this was expanded to 30 days per employee. Lifecare https://www.lifecare.com/ the administrator of this benefit, coordinates the care for you and their customer service team listens to your exact need to help find you the perfect match for your needs. To me that was HUGE. It was not just the company saying that they understood the competing priorities or work and caretaking, but put their money where their mouth was and financially supported me with the additional expense. I am beyond grateful and to hear they extended this benefit into 2021 which shows me that they continue to care.
The company also extended a new benefit to employees called Wellthy https://wellthy.com is a service to provide personalized support to help someone tackle the logistical and administrative tasks of caring for the ones you love. I personally did not have a need for this as I am not caring for an elderly parent, however many of my colleagues did and shared their experiences. Their experiences were all full of stories that ended in my colleagues feeling like they were given a “breath of fresh air” or weight had been lifted off of their shoulders. There has never been a more important time for something like this. Even though this benefit was not one that I was able to use personally, it did spark my curiosity to see if there was any type of support service that I could find available to experience the same feeling of a weight being lifted off of my shoulders.
I was successful in finding one and am thrilled! I found an online service called My Macro Memoir http://Mymacromemoir.com that allows me to organize anything and everything that is important to me now that I will want to ensure is shared with my husband when the time is right. I feel like as a mom I am always filling out paperwork whether it is for school, camp, or some other activity. Every time I do it, it is the same time-consuming task. I finally put all of the source documents that I need to fill this stuff out into my memoir on My Macro Memoir and the days of looking here and there are OVER! The process to do this although a time commitment, was palatable and completed in several sittings. It is still a work in progress and always will be as I have access to it to update any additions, deletions, or changes that are natural with life. And let’s face it, there will be a time that I will not be here any longer and the ones I love will need the information that I am the keeper of. I now have peace-of-mind knowing that if something happened to me tomorrow, they would all be okay and have the direction needed that I provide them in My Macro Memoir.
As I reflect on the support that I received from my employer, I realize that they have been very good to me and I am even more motivated to make my relationship reciprocal. I also am grateful that I was inspired to slow down and fill a void in my life that was always hanging over my head as a busy, working mom and got digitally organized. I can only hope that the support and the olive branches extended during this pandemic will be a permanent change from employers to employees. We all want to feel like more than a number and want to be humanized. I can guarantee pandemic or not, that desire by an employee will never go away as it shouldn’t.
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