A Father’s Perspective with Barry
A new instalment in The Accessible Normal: a summer series on the impact of lockdowns on the neuro-diverse community.
Find new articles through Good Foot every Thursday, all summer long.
A few weeks ago, I was able to speak with one of our Couriers, Alan, about all the things he cooked to get through lockdowns and the virtual events at Good Foot that kept him connected to his friends and colleagues. This week, I was able to get another perspective on Alan’s lockdown experience by talking to his Dad, Barry.
Barry was such a compassionate and eloquent speaker that I felt I couldn’t break up his words with my own usual commentary. Instead, I’ll let you read our conversation, and see what an impact Good Foot has had on Alan and his entire family.
Erica: How has working at Good Foot affected Alan?
Barry: Working at Good Foot gives Alan a sense of purpose. He goes to work every day brimming with excitement and he takes pride in his accomplishments. This is a job in which he can shine and achieve a success that is easily measurable. Alan’s job at Good Foot doesn’t focus on his weaknesses; it builds on his strengths, like his excellent navigational skills, his inclination for marketing, and attention to detail. He has an outgoing and friendly nature that allows him to build rapport with regular clients. Working at Good Foot really brings out his best.
E: Why are businesses like Good Foot so important? How do they deliver change?
B: Organizations like Good Foot enable individuals in the neuro-diverse community to live meaningful, fulfilling, and productive lives. Having a job gives people like Alan a sense of dignity, self-worth and accomplishment. By visibly showcasing their abilities, rather than focusing on disabilities, other businesses can see the contributions that this community is capable of making. In times like this, where there’s so much emphasis on equity in the workplace, we can’t forget that neuro-diverse employees should also benefit equally.
E: I imagine that as a parent it must have been difficult to watch your child navigate something like COVID, with health fears, isolation, and change to work and support. How did Good Foot help Alan during this time?
B: The work that Good Foot Management has done to promote the well-being of the Couriers during the pandemic has been immeasurable. From a parent’s perspective, it was extraordinarily appreciated. Whether it was the frequent daily one on one chats, or the many engaging zoom activities like Fun Fridays, there was something every day. The sense of community and caring was maintained, and they helped Alan retain his equilibrium through a long period of physical isolation.
E: What did it mean to you that an organization like Good Foot was present during this difficult part of Alan’s life?
B: Alan had many calls with his health care workers throughout the first six months of the pandemic, and they were all surprised. Unlike almost everyone with whom they spoke, Alan was cheerful and seemed to be thriving during the pandemic. They just couldn’t believe how well he was managing, especially for someone as sociable as Alan. He was constantly engaged and much of the credit for his ability to cope throughout COVID goes to amazing, never-ending efforts of the Good Foot staff. The generous wage replacement program was important, but it was the sense of community that was most valuable. You could really sense his appreciation for their efforts. I could overhear him on the phone with Good Foot employees saying “thank you for calling, you’re so nice!”
For Alan and the other Couriers, Good Foot is more than just a job. It’s a whole community that is incredibly nurturing and caring. This is where Good Foot really shines, and its impact on Alan has been extraordinarily positive.
Working at Good Foot gives Alan a sense of purpose. He goes to work every day brimming with excitement and he takes pride in his accomplishments. This is a job in which he can shine.Barry
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