Five Minute Friday: SEARCH
One of the my first tasks when I began freelancing at SmartBrief involved searching for stories for various topics. Some subjects required more creativity than others to find things that other people would be likely to want to read.
My responsibilities now are different from what they were then, and searching for stories to share isn’t the main thing I do, but …
… it is easier to help other people learn how to search, having done it myself.
This principle, of course, applies to many things we have to teach others to do in life. To take a small aside, I worked for Healthy Kids for a very long time. At first, the program was only in one county in Florida (Volusia), and our call center was in a different county. Over time, the program became a model for the federally funded State Child Health Insurance Program, and was available to families statewide.
***end of five minutes ***
For a few years, our contact center was in Illinois. Eventually, the contract was changed to stipulate that the contact center had to be in Florida.
Why does that matter to this story?
It matters because I was sitting there in the Florida contact center one day, observing a representative. She was talking to a family and demonstrating exceptional empathy. When she hung up, she said, “my kids were on this program, so I understand exactly what types of questions the callers have.”
I realize that’s a little bit of a leap from “it’s easier to teach someone to look for stories about crop insurance because I did it too” to “it’s better for someone at a contact center to have personal experience with the many challenges underinsured parents in Florida have en route to getting their child affordable health care.”
It is, though, a bit similar. If you’ve been there yourself, the search to have it all make sense is a bit less daunting.
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Healthy Kids is a great program. I know just a little about it.
Paula Kiger says
It really is … it has evolved so much over the years and done so much good for so many children. Even though I’m not in that world (much) anymore, I still feel that the things I did there helped me in ways that still affect my approach to an entirely different industry.
Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden) says
This is so true. I’ve become an unofficial resource for some issues affecting senior citizens, just having gone through it for my mother in law. Nothing beats having done something on the personal level.
Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) says
Oh no kidding. We probably have much in common there. I thought about trying to be an “elder care sherpa” after my FIL passed. The whole thing (caregiving, dealing with an elderly/ill loved one) is so confusing and frustrating.
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says
What a valuable programme!
I guess, in my own way, I’m helping people in their search. Trying to, anyway.
When it’s the end of life you face,
it’s hard to find a map
on which you can find the trace
of the glory road, and miss the trap
that Satan sets for everyone,
that pit of dark despair
that builds resentment for the Son,
“Oh, Christ, this isn’t FAIR!”
I hope that I can be a guide
along the road He walked,
bleeding, after He was tried,
and His every step was mocked.
The hardest thing is what we’ve lost,
but follow Him; He’ll pay ransom-cost.
Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) says
Hi Andrew. Yes, it’s a valuable program. I learned so much — I have never understood why life was kind enough to put me there when the program literally was a twinkle in a few people’s eyes and see it through until it was a national model with federal funding (with all the complications that brought). It taught me so much about scale … about detail … about customer service … and about the power of an idea when the right champions are behind it. // And yes – you are integral to our search in many ways. Thank you.