Like everyone I was surprised at the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The day after Mayor London Breed announced the shelter-in-place, we were notified not to come in for work but to proceed by telecommuting. That lasted 3 weeks until my division began rotating schedules. The first week back in the office, I was told that I had been deployed as a Disaster Service Worker and that my assignment would be at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFGH). Wasn’t the hospital the last place to go in a pandemic?
I accepted my deployment to the Material Management division of ZSFGH. I was reminded that there was something magical about being called to service. The first day was all about setting up my server account, which was extremely uneventful. The second day, work picked up but not a great deal. The same with the third day. By the end of the first week, I felt useless. However, this was the exact time that my new colleagues expressed their gratitude for the little work I was doing. Being a DSW isn’t about being hugely effective, it is about helping out in any way possible.
The Material Management division is responsible for the procurement of medical supplies for General Hospital as well as the clinics spread out through the city. The workload for the office has not been replaced, it has been compounded by the necessity to provide supplies specifically for our COVID-19 response. In my assignment, I assist my supervisors with completing the POs (purchasing orders) and making sure that each order has been accounted for in F$P. It sounds basic enough, but I’ve been granted a glimpse of the quantity of items required for the undertaking, items, ultimately, that are essential to our essential workers' ability to do their job, which is, take care of us.
One of SFO’s Core Values is Teamwork. I feel that in my role as a DSW I have been able to embody that value, as well as Care, Excellence, and Safety and Security. There has never been a crisis of this magnitude and I hope that there never will be again. But with all things as they are, there is an immense amount of pride in coming together to help the person next to you. I’m proud to be an employee of the City and County of SF.