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How's it going?

A simple question, right?  I was fortunate to have some tough Literature & English teachers growing up, and they introduced me to the different levels of the meaning of the written word.  To this day, I will never understand all the levels of a Shakespearan play, but to answer honestly to the "how's it going?" question brings so many levels of meaning.  How is your health?  Are you sleeping well?  Is your family well and healthy?  Is your job secure?  How scared are you to go do your job everyday on-site?  Do you have enough toilet paper?  Do you have a loved one in a facility where they only can see you through a window or on a tablet screen?  Do you have the outlets for your well-being to get away from the everyday craziness that can stress you out?  Are you mourning loved ones?  Do you have a school age kid that missed all their spring events and still mad about it?  Did you have to delay a wedding?  All these can be part of that one simple question.

How do I answer it?  Depends on the day and time, but mostly the response is "we are getting through it."  Simple, without needing to go through the details of all the above, since the considerate acquaintances that ask, don't need to hear all the angst that you deal with every day.  The more empathy we can provide to others now has never been more important.   You just don't know what the other person is struggling with and when you can't give a hug, then how about some empathy and compassion?

That is what I love about what I do and the facilities world.  We get to help people on a daily basis.  Sometimes to answer a question, take care maintenance issues or design & construct space for the "new normal" for an organization.  We are here to help and support.  We are a family, and hope to see your smiling face at our events, even if it’s on the computer screen.  Join us.  Crack a joke.  Enjoy the comradery of your fellow facilities professionals.  You are not alone in your bubble.  We are here with you, to get through this together.

Vicky Barrer, Chapter President, Southeastern Chapter of IFMA