Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thank you, 11 Capital Finance

    When I awoke yesterday morning, my thoughts were consumed with the list of TASKS that awaited me in the CRM.  I made my way to the coffee pot that was already set to go from the night before. I pressed the “On” button and walked to my office, sat down and turned on my computer once again. As I listened to the gurgle sound from the coffee maker I could smell the aroma of fresh coffee in the air. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes while thinking that it was going to be another long day filled with lots of emails, meetings, applications, and more emails. Our team had been working tirelessly day and night for over a week to pull together a streamlined process that can deploy SBA Relief Funds to thousands of business owners affected by the Corona Virus Pandemic.

     I could hear the news broadcast on the television from the living room reporting the latest unemployment figures. I had nothing to complain about, I felt thankful that I was able to work from home. Minutes later with my cup of fresh coffee sitting next to me on my desk, I started to make my first phone calls of the day. It was beginning to feel like such a chore as I left voice messages one after the other for applicants that had submitted requests for the SBA Relief Funds.

     I reached across my desk for what felt like the hundredth time, picked up the phone receiver and dialed the phone number that was typed on the Intake Form. “Doesn’t anyone answer their phone anymore”, I thought. I preparing to leave another voice message in someone’s voicemail when I heard a live voice on the other end. This time it wasn’t a recorded message, it was a woman with a pleasant voice. I could barely get the words out to tell her why I was calling. She had seen my name come up on her caller ID. She must have recognized it from the previous email I’d sent the day before.
Excitedly, she thanked me for letting her know that I had received her application. Then she started to tell me her story. She and her husband had been in a business of over twenty years, everything they had was tied up in their catering business. Now, with all the restrictions on group gatherings and social distancing, her family business could no longer operate. She broke out in tears as she told me that she had no idea what their future looked like. “How long will this last?”, she said. “How will we survive?”, she added. “I have two young children. This is all very frightening”

     Her next deep breath was followed by what felt like a sigh of relief, “Thank you!, Thank you so much for all the work you are doing to help us get the money we need to try to keep our family business!” She went on, “You are helping so many people! I can’t thank you enough! You are doing such a good thing!”

     With that, I began to well up with tears as I realized how truly, grateful she truly was.

     After the phone call, I sat back in my chair, took a deep breath and I couldn’t stop myself from sobbing as I reflected on her words. It was at that moment I no longer had a job. I now have a mission!  

     My mission is to help as many people as possible get the money and resources they need to survive and thrive. That typed -up list of unfamiliar names and random phone numbers I’d been staring at for days on my computer screen suddenly came to life.

     With a new-found enthusiasm, I continued to make more phone calls and I spoke with others who had the same type of reaction as Julie. 

     I also spoke with Brian who said that he’s been laid off for several weeks and had no idea if he’d ever be able to return to his old job. Yesterday, when he woke up early his wife asked why. He told her that he’s going to work at his new job as a Relief Fund Agent. He said he has lots of calls to make to people who need help!
I heard more thanks and sensed much gratitude!

     Honestly, the truth is that I am just as thankful for them.This morning when I woke up, I had a whole new outlook. I didn’t think about all the TASKS in my CRM, I thought about the people who are waiting for me to call. People who need hope that help is on the way! I even bypassed the coffeepot. I didn’t need the caffeine.  

Evie H.

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