Remote work is one thing. Mailing it in is another.

I can’t be the only the only who feels far too many of the perfectly healthy are mailing it in these days.

Without question, COVID-19 was a gut punch. Its impact will linger for years, especially psychologically.

Which provides a convenient — and somewhat logical — excuse that serves as a catch-all for those who chose to use it: Blame it on COVID.

Ignore my auto insurance claim for two months — COVID

Bill me for services I never had with you — COVID

Forgot to put meat on my Italian sub — COVID

I don’t mean to pick on the restaurant industry, but I’ve had so many takeout orders butchered over the past two years, I’m ready to say: “Go ahead, throw whatever you want in there. Just keep it to 30 bucks.”

I get it — to a degree. It’s challenging. You’re stretched thin. But please understand, we’re all stretched thin.

COVID-19 wasn’t something a select group experienced while the rest of us were joyriding on SpaceX with Elon Musk. We endured COVID, too.

In fact, our signature product is named Out & About, a resource that encourages people to, yes, get out and about. For more than a year, suggesting such behavior was almost illegal. We know challenging.

And so do those who lost someone to COVID. As do long-haulers. And front-line workers. Imagine where we’d be if those on the front lines had simply gone through the motions. 

So, instead of using the pandemic as an excuse, why not view it as an opportunity? Every business you know needs help, so instead of just showing up, try showing off.

Separate yourself from the pack by displaying that your employer is lucky to have you. Rather than lobbying for a day off, figure out how to fill a void. Instead of being part of the problem, be part of the solution. 

In short, add value.

Or, use this opportunity to redefine yourself. 

I can’t think of another period in my lifetime when it seemed as if everything was on the table. 

Want to change careers? Options abound. Want to work from an RV? Just get the work done. Want to restructure your life? Join the crowd.

I realize these approaches require optimism. And our current political climate — not to mention our meteorological climate — doesn’t inspire glass-half-full thinking. But while it’s been exasperating, we’re working our way past supply-chain delays, inventory-driven high prices and eternal waits. 

Many of us in the business world are finding people who help us do more with less. Many others are reinventing themselves into something better than they were. American Can-Do, if you will.

The world is moving on. Those who help us move forward will prosper. Those mailing it in, well, you may be missing an invaluable opportunity.

  Jerry duPhily