Mid-Pandemic Job Transitions with Said
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.
I’ve been excited to accompany some of the Couriers on their deliveries, and I was grateful to Said for letting me tag along on the start of his shift. We started at the Good Foot office on a brutally hot mid-July day, and Said was laden down with everything he might need for any weather. I was pretty jealous of the umbrella he carried for rain or shine, but then again, he is the navigational expert and I am the fool who forgot to bring one to block out the blistering sun.
I learned that Said was hired with Good Foot at the start of 2020, but because of the pandemic, he wasn’t able to fully start until October. He said that it was a little tough to start work in the middle of the pandemic, but that Good Foot really made the transition easier. Although he had only just started, he felt fully supported by Good Foot as he took his time to consider when he should start work, especially when new rounds of lockdown kept being imposed. He knew he would have to be especially careful to avoid getting sick because he lived with his Dad, and he was grateful that Good Foot let him take every precaution to be extra safe.
When we first went into lockdown, Said had an optimistic “wait and see” mindset, not wanting to needlessly worry if things weren’t going to be too bad. When it became apparent how long lockdowns would last, that’s when he knew he would have to take things really seriously. Like me, he spent a lot of time talking to friends online, including a friend that he met on Minecraft. Before the pandemic, he was able to travel to Vancouver to meet his new friend in person, and is excited to go back for another visit. He told me that when I finally get a chance to visit Vancouver, I should go to Ross Square, where he learned how to ice skate for the first time.
In the end, he decided to come back to work in October because he was eager to get started just in time to help deliver holiday packages. He likes being able to explore new places in the city through his deliveries, and sometimes wishes that he could be sent out even further to discover new things. In fact, one of his favourite things about working with Good Foot is their commitment to using transit, which he finds easy to use. The only places in Toronto that he finds himself hesitant to visit are always those with an unreliable system, and of course he has his favourite stations.
Said really appreciates that the Good Foot business model is based on hiring from the neurodiverse community. While his previous companies have been positive and understanding of his needs, he feels that Good Foot really goes out of its way to care for the needs of each staff member. He’s excited to go to the Good Foot picnic this weekend and continue to make friends in-person with everyone he met online throughout the pandemic. Even though it was tough to connect with people online, he stills feels like he’s made some good friends already.
As we chatted, he suddenly got a notification on his phone through Good Foot’s Delivery Management website, and immediately put on his game face. I knew it would be my time to head back to the office and let him speed off – a package needed delivering, and he was on a mission.
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