Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Returning from the Storm

The following is a message I put out to our team on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. I am so impressed with the job the OJCC did in securing property and safeguarding for the storm. We are not fully operational, but our Districts are coming back online rapidly. We have so much for which to be thankful. I publish this as I think the advice is as applicable to my readers as it is to us. Take it for what it is worth. I hope you are well and that you recover safely from this storm event.  

Welcome back.

First, I want to congratulate everyone on getting the OJCC through Irma. We are still evaluating, but it looks like we escaped major damage. I appreciate your work in readying the offices before and communicating throughout.

Second, I want everyone to remember that people will process this experience differently. Some will need to get back to work and others will find it hard to. Some will be focused on home repairs, office damage, or issues with family, friends, or associates. It will be a very difficult time for many, and some would never let it show (you never know what others are going through).

There will be schedule issues as people try to get back on trial and mediation calendars. There will be conflicts as lawyers, witnesses, and parties take time to meet with contractors, doctors, insurance adjusters, and more. The storm is terrifying and angst-ridden, but the recovery offers its own challenges for us all.

What can we do in the weeks to come?


1. Be patient, with each other, callers, visitors, family, neighbors, etc. People may not exhibit their personal situations, but many will be suffering. 

2. Be forgiving. We are all going to make mistakes and missteps. That is human nature. But, following an event like this we may be more prone than ever to errors. When you find one, fix it. Fault can wait ‘til later, if it needs to be an issue at all. 

3. Be flexible. We need to offer alternatives for resets when possible. I know calendars are congested. There will be much to do, and everyone is going to be busy. Telephonic appearance may be a lifesaver for someone struggling to recover and keep up. 

4. Listen. Some will want to talk about their experiences (during and after). If they are telling you about it, it is perhaps because they need to tell someone. That does not mean you have to give them your day, but a few minutes of listening may do someone a great deal of good. 

5. Communicate. If you need time to take care of issues with your home, family, etc. talk to your supervisor judge. You are part of a team, and we need you if we are to be our best. But, we know you may have some urgencies of your own to deal with. We can only help if you tell us. 

6. Take care of you. Too often people “pour it on” in response to these storms, we forget to eat well, rest, hydrate, etc. As the airlines remind us, “put your mask on before helping those around you.” That means take care of you, because if you do not you cannot help anyone.


My thanks again for all you did preparing our offices for the storm. Welcome back, we are glad you made it through safely.


I appreciate you being part of our team!


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