Back to the watercooler
Of the things we have lost that were a part of the lives we used to live—those things that when we think about them and wonder, “Why don’t/can’t I do that anymore?”—of all those things, some might never return.
The ubiquitous firm business handshake, the buffet salad bar, using a drinking fountain and other human experiences now considered a potential spreader of the omnipresent virus will be hard pressed to return with ease, but other simple experiences will only need a nudge. One simple push, and the natural response will be like riding a bike. Once our overprotective federal, state and county governments relax their iron grip on our lives, it will be up to us to decide when and how we will take back normalcy.
Little by little, as we open back our freedoms, I plan on finding the simple joy of re-experiencing each act of normal, given a little push.
If you work in my office, you will get the invite in your calendar, an in-person meeting scheduled each Monday from 10:07am for 13 minutes. Prior to the appointed time, the computer will ping and remind you that the meeting is approaching. The whole team will be there, as they were pre-Covid, so you do not want to be late.
This is no Zoom meeting, as the invite says to go to the water cooler, fill your cup and wait. You get up from your desk and walk to the watercooler, reach for, and fill a glass, and watch as the rest of the team stands in line and prepares their drink. You see the bubbles rise in the water tank and hear the familiar sound of the tank gurgling as each of your colleagues takes their measure.
Quietly, everyone will be sipping from their cups and wondering why I called them all to this spot at this time. “Welcome back to normal, team! I asked you all here so that we can waste 13 minutes of company time by having a Watercooler Moment. I want you to reconnect with each other, talk about your weekend, or the big game, whatever is on your mind. We haven’t been able to gather like this in over a year, and I really want to enjoy it with you!”
One by one, our pre-Covid freedoms will return. I look forward to each common experience as if it were the first time, like the time we all stood by the watercooler and talked about what we did last weekend…
David Gerard will be missed
I was saddened about the news that David Gerard had died. David was our facilitator for the Leadership Class of 2013. (The best class ever).
He was very knowledgeable and kind. While David and I did not agree about many issues after we graduated, I still have respect and admiration for him.