Monday Morning Musings – S04E10 – Racism and COVID-19

Monday Morning Musings – S04E10 – Racism and COVID-19


Hey folks! It me, Michael Bach, your Diversity Dude, and this is Monday Morning Musings. (upbeat music) So, happy pandemic! I hope that you are watching this safe at home, isolated from the world, that you have lots of supplies but that you have not been hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer because that’s just weird, gross behaviour, because these are pretty wild times. And I’ve been talking a lot about the impacts on mental health and self-isolation, and I want to talk about something different today. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to people who are flagrantly ignoring the direction to self-isolate and how they’re just sort of like just not paying any attention. Like those kids who were down in Florida for Spring Break and they weren’t going to let that pandemic get in the way of their partying, because that seems logical. Let’s hope they don’t procreate. But something came to me, someone approached me online and had a really interesting story to share. So I thought I’d do something different for today’s Monday Morning Musing and I’m going to do an interview. Just like a hard-hitting, Barbara Walters, I don’t know, whatever… This person that I’m going to talk to, we talked on the phone, they work in a call centre and the call centre is still operational, it’s a closed environment, and how it seems to be inadvertently affecting people of colour and specifically newcomers. So just so you’re aware, I have altered this person’s voice for their protection, but it’s such an interesting story, I really wanted to share it with you. So here’s my conversation with that person. (phone ringing) Michael: So tell me about your current work situation. So what do you do and who do you work with? Michael: Got it, okay. So outbound call centre. And can you just describe the physical environment. What is it? What does it look like? Is it a big room? A small room? Michael: Okay, so that’s a couple hundred people. Who do you work with? Frankly, is it a lot of people of colour? That’s the question I’m trying to get to. Michael: Okay, so you’ve got a lot of people from different ethno-cultural groups. Michael: What has been, and the call centre is still open, is it? Michael: Right, so what’s been communicated to you and your colleagues around COVID-19? Michael: And how far apart would you be from a coworker, like, desk-to-desk? Are you six feet apart or is it less than that? Michael: Right. So they’re not the, they’re not socially isolating and social distancing. It’s, you know, they’re giving you hand wipes, but that’s pretty much it. Michael: And how is that affecting your ability to do your job? Michael: What do you think might be different if the call centre was predominantly staffed by white people versus people of colour? Michael: So this is a survival job for you and you don’t really have a choice, do you? Michael: They’re specifically recruiting newcomers? Michael: So what would you like to see happen now? Michael: Well, I really appreciate you telling me and sharing your story, and I really hope you stay safe and healthy and do everything you can to not get sick. Michael: So, there you have it. Now I want to be very clear: I’m not an investigative journalist. I had one conversation with one person working for one employer. I’m not saying that there’s some grand conspiracy going on here. This is more food for thought than anything. There is so much to unpack in that conversation, but the video’s long enough so I’m just going to leave it for you to consider, and I certainly would welcome your comments down below. I just think that there shouldn’t be exceptions in situations like this. There are so many things in this pandemic that I hadn’t considered, things I’m going to talk about in coming weeks as we continue to be isolated. But to think that there’s people living in the margins, being taken advantage of potentially because they don’t have options, they don’t have anywhere to turn to, and this employer may know that, so they’re not prioritizing their health over
their business. I hope their employer is watching. I hope that they immediately prioritize work from home. My whole team is working from home, has been for a couple weeks. It can be done. It’s pretty simple. We’re still functioning fully. It’s not that big a challenge, but just remember: There’s only one race, it’s the human race, and we need to treat each other with respect, particularly at a time like this. Thanks so much for watching. I really appreciate it. Please remember to subscribe and like the video, as well as leave comments down below. Remember to connect with me on social media, I am @diversitydudemb, and connect with CCDI, they are @CCDISocial. Also, don’t miss out on the latest episode of Talking to Canadians, available now wherever you get your podcasts, as well as at TalkingToCanadians.ca. I sit down with Pamela… not Pamela. (laughs) Senator Simons. Senator Simons. She’s a senator from Alberta, recently appointed, fascinating conversation about Canada’s senate, so check it out. You’ve got some time on your hands, why not listen to a podcast? That’s it. I hope you are all warm and safe and isolated as much as you can… *physically* isolated, not mentally. Stay safe, and I’ll see you next week for another episode of Monday Morning Musings. Bye. (upbeat music)

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