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O/T: HEALTH COVID-19 Templates to Deal with Arising Social Issues

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Lex DeVille

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Yesterday my wife decided to self-quarantine. She works as a cost accountant for a large food manufacturer with high social expectations. Social pressure is an ongoing issue and people are afraid to speak out for fear of job loss. Unfortunately, the company has taken no action regarding the pandemic despite one employee reporting contact with one of the currently known cases of COVID19 in our state. So my wife will take action and face the social pressure head on and I thought it might be helpful to discuss strategies and templates to deal with this and other pandemic issues (such as developing local community support networks).


EMPLOYER NOTIFICATION STRATEGIES FOR SELF-QUARANTINE

The Direct Approach
Some of you are headstrong enough to go this route. Go straight to your employer and inform them of your decision.


Hi John, can we talk for a moment? Hey John, I just wanted to let you know I've decided to self-quarantine starting today and I was wondering how to handle this? (or "I was wondering what is the procedure for this?" or "I was wondering how do we go forward with this?" or "I was wondering how I can work from home?")

Key points:
  • Start with your decision to make it clear your mind is made up (you take control and there's nothing to challenge you on)
  • Ask a question at the end so your boss feels like he's involved in the decision (false sense of control)
  • Be ready to support your decision if your boss asks questions (an easy way to do this is to share this article that Vigilante shared in the other thread.)
Alternatively, you could go to HR first instead of to your boss.

Hi Jim (HR Manager), I've decided to self-quarantine because of Coronavirus. What steps should I take for a smooth transition? (or "What steps should I take to start working remotely?" or "How can I work remotely?")

HR should have an answer for this. If they don't, then this forces them to come up with one, not just for you but for everyone. Also, your question presupposes HR has plans for remote work (so they don't assume you're quitting). Once you get info from HR, then follow up with your boss with the full support of HR.


The Indirect Approach
This is for people like my wife who tend to buckle under social pressure. Instead of going face to face with your boss you will use email from home. If possible, CC Human Resources.

Subject:
Decision to Self-Quarantine (or "Procedures for Self-Quarantine?" or "I have decided to self-quarantine")

Hi John,

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I've decided to self-quarantine. I am not sick but I am very worried about the growing likelihood of infection. To protect myself, my family and my co-workers, I've decided to stay home until the risk to myself and others has substantially decreased.

I would like to continue working for XYZ Company, and I hope that this will not affect my employment. I understand the burden this places upon yourself and the greater workforce. The decision was not easy. Please let me know how we can continue to work together remotely and I will make arrangements. Thank you for understanding.

Sincerely,

Saul Goodman

Key Points
  • Use the subject line to set the context for your decision (so it is already made)
  • Start by presenting the problem (Coronavirus pandemic) and use it to justify your decision "because X I have decided Y"
  • Let the employer know you are not sick but you are worried (they can empathize with this)
  • Remind them the risk is increasing (this might help them decide to take similar actions and could save their life)
  • Reinforce your decision and support it with humanitarian reasoning (it's not just to protect you, but your family and co-workers)
  • Let your employer know you aren't quitting!
  • Show empathy for their situation (I understand the burden)
  • Don't ask if you can work remotely. Make it a statement so you are in control
  • CC HR or a second supervisor to apply social pressure on the email's target

Please note: none of these approaches are tested nor guaranteed. Be prepared to get fired. I don't think that will happen because of the potential shit storm it would reign down on your employer if you went to the media. In any case, it is probably better to get fired than to get infected and risk infecting others, but only you can make that decision.
 

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Lex DeVille

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Invitation to Develop a Neighborhood Support Network

This template was shared by Nell Watson in her talk on COVID19 preparations yesterday. You can use it to get your local community involved in supporting one another (which might help against the need to take up arms if situations continue to deteriorate).

See the Google Doc below:


A Neighborly Invitation Regarding Coronavirus

Adapted from a communication in London


Dear [NAME],

Hello, from [NAME] at [ADDRESS]. We have lived here since [YEAR] but we don’t know all of you. Given these uncertain times, we thought this would be a good time to change that!

None of us know what the impact of Coronavirus will be on our neighborhood. But we’d like to start thinking about how to adapt should the virus become widespread, should schools and workplaces close, and should neighborhoods or houses become quarantined.

Many of us have our own support systems, families, friends and communities, who we will help and be helped by in challenging times. However, while some of us have support networks in this neighborhood, others do not. In the event of a large-scale shutdown across [CITY/STATE], local support networks will become particularly important.

We would like to facilitate building a ‘hyper-local’ support network right here in our neighborhood.

We envision a network that could help with the following things:
  • Sharing supplies if there are shortages (i.e., Tylenol, Ibuprofen, cleaning products)
  • Bringing pre-cooked meals for families in which everyone or the main caregivers are sick.
  • Checking in (possibly remotely) on elderly residents or those who are in high-risk groups and do not live with a caregiver.
  • Assisting with minor DIY tasks if it becomes impossible to get help.
  • Assisting with teaching young people should schools be closed.
In order to gauge interest in this idea and help build this network, we would be grateful if you could email [NAME] at [EMAIL ADDRESS] the following information:

1. What is your address?
2. What is your name and who else lives in your house? If you don’t want to supply names, ages are fine.
3. Are you interested in joining this network?
4. If you are interested, what is your contact number?
5. Do you use WhatsApp and would a WhatsApp group be a good way to build this network?
6. If not WhatsApp, which means of communication would you prefer?
7. Do you have any particular needs or Coronavirus risk factors that the network could help address?
8. Do you have any skills or anything else you could bring to the network?

Many thanks for your help. We look forward to your responses.

Sincerely,
[NAME]
 

Andy Black

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These are great Lex.

Agreed. Tell them you’ve made the decision and then ask them how they advise it should be done.

Personally, I’d say as little as possible so there’s less for them to come back on.
 

Timmy C

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Invitation to Develop a Neighborhood Support Network

This template was shared by Nell Watson in her talk on COVID19 preparations yesterday. You can use it to get your local community involved in supporting one another (which might help against the need to take up arms if situations continue to deteriorate).

See the Google Doc below:

Told my.boss I won't be in for a week at least and that was only so I make sure he pays me this Wednesday.

After that I'll do this and make it clear I'm not back.

I'd much rather lose everything I have and keep people alive.
 

Lex DeVille

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These are great Lex.

Agreed. Tell them you’ve made the decision and then ask them how they advise it should be done.

Personally, I’d say as little as possible so there’s less for them to come back on.

We used a slight variation of the email template above this morning. Altered because my wife grabbed her computer and phone from work (so she already has the equipment to go remote). Hopefully we'll get results back on that in an hour or two so we can determine if the message was effective or not.
 

Ludachris

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I was a little less direct about it and asked what our company's approach was going to be for this just yesterday, letting the owners know that I can easily do all of my work from home (I already work from home 3 days a week). I figured maybe volunteering to work from home would be good form. Unfortunately, their response was that they wanted me to continue to come into the office on my normal days. I'm one of the few people in the company who can truly work remotely, and I'm guessing they were afraid of what the rest of the employees would say.

Strangely, a few hours later they sent out a company wide email talking about the northern CA Bay Area's "shelter in place" (which is where our headquarters is) and how they think our company would be considered one of the "essential businesses", so they expect people to come in to work, but that there would be no consequences if they chose not to, while also saying that those who decide to stay home should expect to take that time unpaid.

Companies are obviously being put in difficult positions with this - on one hand, many want to keep their employees safe and do what's right for society. On the other hand, they don't want their company to go out of business. For many, it's a rock and a hard place. Hopefully the companies that have the means to do right by their employees do so. Landlords and banks aren't going to suspend lease and mortgage payments, that's for sure.
 

sonny_1080

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I work at a men’s clothing store in the mall in Southern California. Yesterday they decided that instead of closing the mall, they are going to shorten business hours from 10-8 to 11-7. My company has decided to stay open and only close if the malls close. They also decided to cut everybody’s hours so they don’t have to pay us as much. When I left yesterday I saw a few different companies that shut down for the safety of their employees.

My boss is over 65 and isn’t coming in. I’m gonna text her and say I’m not going in today either.

Then I thought of my boss, who is 70 years old and works as a general manager for a men’s clothing store in the mall... f*cking slow lane man. Then I thought about her retirement portfolio... she probably lost half of her life savings that she was relying on to retire.

So now I’m at my house, trolling the forum and craigslist wanted ads trying to figure out what fastlane skill I should learn and what wanted ad I could sell something to lol.

Hmmm... to learn to code? Or Lex’s copywriting? Or online marketing from the side hustle category?
 

Lex DeVille

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I work at a men’s clothing store in the mall in Southern California. Yesterday they decided that instead of closing the mall, they are going to shorten business hours from 10-8 to 11-7. My company has decided to stay open and only close if the malls close. They also decided to cut everybody’s hours so they don’t have to pay us as much. When I left yesterday I saw a few different companies that shut down for the safety of their employees.

My boss is over 65 and isn’t coming in. I’m gonna text her and say I’m not going in today either.

Then I thought of my boss, who is 70 years old and works as a general manager for a men’s clothing store in the mall... F*cking slow lane man. Then I thought about her retirement portfolio... she probably lost half of her life savings that she was relying on to retire.

So now I’m at my house, trolling the forum and craigslist wanted ads trying to figure out what fastlane skill I should learn and what wanted ad I could sell something to lol.

Hmmm... to learn to code? Or Lex’s copywriting? Or online marketing from the side hustle category?

I pitched a prospect copy client $5k/mo a few minutes ago. Waiting on reply.

That's not meant to sway your decision by the way. It's just to let you know there are still clients in the copy arena that aren't bottom dwellers looking for bottom dollar rates.
 

sonny_1080

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I pitched a prospect copy client $5k/mo a few minutes ago. Waiting on reply.

That's not meant to sway your decision by the way. It's just to let you know there are still clients in the copy arena that aren't bottom dwellers looking for bottom dollar rates.
I don’t know if you look at your conversations because I’m sure people blow your shit up... but i just sent you one saying that I was just reading your make money in 15 days copywriting thread.

Thank you.
 

Lex DeVille

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Follow up on this...

It took several hours for the company to reply. Their solution was to ask my wife to come in and talk with them about the possibility of remote work since she hadn't been pre-approved. They also said she had the option to take vacation days.

That was her FTE.

She quit and went all-in with her business. She's on track to close her first $1,000 in her first month in her first business ever. Not bad. That company can take their $60k and shove it up their a$$.
 

biggeemac

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Fortunately, my day job gave me no trouble when I told them that my daughter and wife were quite sick. I'm the IT guy, so working remote was a no brainer, plus there were no hardware breakdowns, and I will go in if its absolutely necessary.
 

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Bekit

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Here's a template for landlords and property managers who want to proactively start the conversation with tenants about whether they've suffered a job loss or won't be able to pay rent.

Context for this: I'm in a slack group where one of my friends posted this:
"My complex is wrangling up people who might be struggling to pay rent. I'm going to guess the positive side of things! Rick has been an amazing supervisor."

This is what Rick sent:
31326

This is a copy problem. It's going to send people into hiding. No one is going to raise their hand and volunteer to answer this.

If you're Rick and you don't want people to see this as "wrangling up the people you're going to evict," (and if you're actually trying to work together proactively with residents for positive solutions), here's a suggested alternative wording.

Option 1:
"Hey residents, I just wanted to reach out. I hope you are all staying safe during this time. There may be people in the building with a lot of fear and anxiety about your housing. Nationwide, many people have suffered job losses and reduced income. What I'd like to do is collaborate and work together *before* you're in the predicament where you can't make your rent payment. If you think you might struggle to keep up with rent, let's work something out. We're committed to XYZ. If we can talk proactively ahead of time, we can offer you a better deal than if we just see nonpayments start to happen. Please text me back with "Yes, let's talk" if you're in a situation with potential lost income or job loss."

Option 2:
"Hey residents, I just wanted to reach out. I hope you are all staying safe during this time. There may be people in the building with a lot of fear and anxiety about your housing. Nationwide, many people have suffered job losses and reduced income. I'll be hosting a live zoom call on [DAY] at [TIME] where we'll be discussing what our policies are during this time for people who can't make their rent. We want to communicate proactively about this so that you know what to expect and can plan accordingly. We will be answering any questions that you have, such as "What happens if I lose my job?" We care about our residents and are proud of the positive community of residents who are here. We're committed to XYZ for people who struggle to make their rent. Please join us at the scheduled time by clicking here [LINK]. Hope to see you there!"

And then in the meeting, talk about your policies and invite anyone who has suffered job loss to meet with you privately and confidentially.
 

MHP368

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I'm a nurse so, not so easy. No PPE, no tests available, not enough ventilators and staff for expected victims. We're going to war with no body armor or ammunition.
 

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Follow up on this...

It took several hours for the company to reply. Their solution was to ask my wife to come in and talk with them about the possibility of remote work since she hadn't been pre-approved. They also said she had the option to take vacation days.

That was her FTE.

She quit and went all-in with her business. She's on track to close her first $1,000 in her first month in her first business ever. Not bad. That company can take their $60k and shove it up their a$$.
Good to know that now your family is all on-board!

Well done! And good to know that you're still on the freelance copywriting track.

As long as we can keep business up, the better we'd all be able to recover from this.
 

Timmy C

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sent the email.

My boss hasn't called me all week and i him.

So he probably doesn't want to talk anyway.
 

Ludachris

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Follow up on this...

It took several hours for the company to reply. Their solution was to ask my wife to come in and talk with them about the possibility of remote work since she hadn't been pre-approved. They also said she had the option to take vacation days.

That was her FTE.

She quit and went all-in with her business. She's on track to close her first $1,000 in her first month in her first business ever. Not bad. That company can take their $60k and shove it up their a$$.
This situation is going to force a lot of companies to finally learn how to manage telecommute employees. It's crazy how many companies aren't comfortable with their people working remotely.
I was a little less direct about it and asked what our company's approach was going to be for this just yesterday, letting the owners know that I can easily do all of my work from home (I already work from home 3 days a week). I figured maybe volunteering to work from home would be good form. Unfortunately, their response was that they wanted me to continue to come into the office on my normal days. I'm one of the few people in the company who can truly work remotely, and I'm guessing they were afraid of what the rest of the employees would say.

Strangely, a few hours later they sent out a company wide email talking about the northern CA Bay Area's "shelter in place" (which is where our headquarters is) and how they think our company would be considered one of the "essential businesses", so they expect people to come in to work, but that there would be no consequences if they chose not to, while also saying that those who decide to stay home should expect to take that time unpaid.

Companies are obviously being put in difficult positions with this - on one hand, many want to keep their employees safe and do what's right for society. On the other hand, they don't want their company to go out of business. For many, it's a rock and a hard place. Hopefully the companies that have the means to do right by their employees do so. Landlords and banks aren't going to suspend lease and mortgage payments, that's for sure.
I finally got my company to approve me to work from home completely for the next two weeks - after multiple emails asking why I wasn't being ordered to do so, given the fact that I could easily do all my work from home. I even offered to use sick time and still work if it was a perception thing. It was like pulling teeth. Ironically, I was tasked with an email blast telling the customers what actions the company is taking - one of them was scaling back on in-office employees to keep people safe. LOL! Right...

Pay attention to the way companies handle this situation. You're going to learn a lot about their values.
 

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