For most of our lives, we give our attention to those who grab it; Athletes who defy normal physical capabilities to capture the “win” of a game.  Actors who use their craft to tell us a story; teach us a lesson, or simply entertain us.  Business leaders who along with their other responsibilities control the hiring and firing of employees in their enterprise.  These are the people in the spotlight.

Then there are those who seem to exist behind the scenes, do their jobs and for most of their careers go unnoticed, not only by coworkers but by the public at large.  They clean the offices we inhabit after we have gone home for the day; they take our ticket at the movie theater; they get up at 4 in the morning to bake bread fresh so that when the store opens at 7 they are ready to serve customers.  They pick up our garbage. These and others like them do their jobs and get absolutely no recognition from the public.  They are the invisible workers.  They are the mice who run on the wheel and power everything we do. We take for granted the work they perform as “magic” that occurs in the night as if being performed by the tooth fairy. They, up until now, have been wallpaper; part of our society that has been overlooked and, in many respects, treated as if they were not there.

The term is shout out – but in this case, it should be ROAR.  During the very stressful build-up to the haphazard response to an unknown enemy, several members of our society who ordinarily go “unnoticed and appreciated” have risen to the occasion, and thus the forefront.  Those previously invisible members of our workforce society are now labeled “essential.” For those who have so valiantly stepped up their games and bridged the chasm between survival and chaos, I say – give a ROAR!

  • To the doctors and nurses who have to go to work and stay at work using the same PPE all day long (which is not only not the norm – but not the protocol) treating patients that if not careful (and lucky) they could become in a matter of days.
  • To the stock clerks, counter clerks and cashiers in Publix, Walmart, Kroger, and all those other grocery stores who work tirelessly to replenish what we the people have pillaged in a panic over a quarantine that they themselves are not privy to hiding behind.
  • To the bank tellers, loan officers and managers who despite having to alter their procedures have remained available to all of us to ensure our financial needs can be met.
  • To the service technicians, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, etc. that continue to come to our homes and repair what is broken putting their own concerns aside.
  • To the transportation drivers and clerks who keep the transit systems running
  • To the city employees who continue on with their daily responsibilities; particularly those picking up our trash – keeping our cities clean and free from a build-up of debris
  • To the Utility workers who keep us with power, air conditioning or heat.  We may be quarantined but we are comfortable.
  • To the police who are now responding to more than ever domestic calls and incidents that endanger not only us but themselves.
  • To the clergy who continue to pray for us all despite the empty pews in the churches.
  • To the employees given the daunting task of reworking their store logistics to include markers for 6 feet of separation for lines; installing Plexiglas for cashiers and clean up and did so in an overnight surge.

To all of you and those others I have not specifically named here – THANK YOU for maintaining what is left of life as we knew it.  Thank you for putting what has proven to be a thankless job ahead of your own feelings or time with your family to see that we can take care of ours.

To the rest of us, give a ROAR to all those warriors who have marched to the front lines to save your day and mine by keeping our society afloat.  And take the time to thank them when you are around them.  Tell them you appreciate the job they are doing.  Look them in the eyes and tell them you get it; you get that they are tired, overworked, underpaid and concerned for their own well-being.  You can do it from 6 feet back – they will still hear you.  But let them hear you say it.  No amount of gratitude will fall on deaf ears.  They are the ones that are listening to us.  They are the ones that are meeting our needs.  They are our heroes!


Posted in