I’ve just spent two weeks shut in my apartment.
Not because I have coronavirus.
Not even because I’m a close contact of someone who does.
What happened to me is symptomatic of a system in chaos. A society under stress. A modern workplace, which is so concerned about not doing the wrong thing, it doesn’t do the right thing.
A student diagnosed with coronavirus had come to school.
Teaching staff were informed we’d need to stay home until close contacts of this student had been traced. It was meant to take one to two days. Three days, tops.
Each evening, around 5 o’clock, a message came from the education department, informing everyone to stay home the next day.
This message came on Tuesday. On Wednesday. On Thursday.
And then it came again on Friday. After the three days had passed.
And then the next evening. And the next. And the next.
Until the entire school staff had done a full quarantine, regardless of whether or not we were a close contact.
For some people this was probably fine. But I live on my own. In an apartment. There’s no-one to do the shopping for me. I can’t get groceries dropped at the door. And I never knew, from one day to the next, that I would be staying home, so it was hard to put a system in place to get support.
Fortunately, my daughter returned from the country, and replenished my food supplies in the nick of time. But that was just sheer, dumb luck!
What made the whole situation more distressing, was that the school leadership team never once directly addressed what was happening. Oh yes, they implied we must all be at home. But they never asked how we were going, or if we needed support in any way. Just referred us to the department messages and available hotlines.
I suspect they were afraid of saying the wrong thing. Getting in trouble. There’s so much compliance pressure in schools these days, no one wants to do anything but what they’re told to do.
We’re so focussed on not doing the wrong thing, we don’t do the right thing.
And I wondered if Tarot had anything to say about this.
I think the lesson comes in this card…
Temperance: Finding the right balance
There has never been a system invented that takes into account every factor involved. Let alone, one that does this in the workplace. Yet we’re expected to be compliant to the letter, without taking into account other possible issues. There’s so much focus on ticking boxes in schools these days, there’s no opportunity to step back and ask:
What else should we be doing?
What are we missing?
Temperance is a card found in the Major Arcana. Or, as I like to call it: Life Lessons Tarot. Finding the right balance is an important lesson to learn. As the card points out, in its association with health, this is what maintains well-being.
Right now, it feels like work environments are this…
Justice Reversed: When the scales are out of whack
Don’t get me wrong! We need compliance in systems. As this card reminds us…
The Emperor: Boundaries
But we definitely place too much emphasis on it…
Eight of Pentacles + The Emperor: Intense focus on following the rules
Does it feel like this in your work place?