How New York City hired 3000+ healthcare workers to fight COVID-19

By: Danielle Farage

Nov 16, 2020

As the US battles COVID, we thought it timely to share the story of our modern day heroes. Not only are we referring to healthcare workers and those on the frontlines, but the team of recruiters that hire them.

In March, New York City was the first in the nation to face the largest COVID wave, and the city was on the brink of a healthcare worker shortage. Jamie Grecco, HR Director of Realignment and Redeployment at NYC Health & Hospitals, answered the call from the Mayor’s office, and suddenly his team was tasked with finding and hiring 3000 healthcare workers to be deployed in NYC immediately.

He shares the story on this week’s Recruitment Automation Podcast (RAP), Hosted by Max Notis. The RAP is a weekly podcast presented by Wade & Wendy, that uncovers the innovative strategies Jamie and his team used to get the job done. It also dives deeper into the lasting impact that organizations can make by thinking deeply about employee development in TA, and it can be used to change old evaluation habits to open up the pool of available talent and break down biases baked into the hiring process.

To listen to this episode of RAP, click here!

undraw interview rmcf 1

Max 0:07
Welcome to a very special episode of the Recruitment Automation Podcast, brought to you by Wade & Wendy. I’m your host, Max Notis.

Back in March of 2020, Jamie Grecco’s office got a call from the New York City Mayor’s office. The city needed 3,000 healthcare workers to start immediately. As COVID-19 was hitting New York City, Jamie’s department worked tirelessly to onboard and train this previously inexperienced staff to lead the frontline charge in New York City’s fight against COVID-19. As a result of this unexpected opportunity and gained experience, these workers have been enabled to continue full careers in the healthcare space, and to uplift their communities for years to come.

So Jamie, thank you so much again for stopping by, and for the incredible work that you and your team have been doing for all of us. The recruitment automation podcast is a weekly podcast – brought to you by Wade & Wendy, your on demand AI recruitment platform – focused on the world’s most innovative, efficient and forward thinking recruiting processes. My guest this week is Jamie Grecco, who is the HR director of New York City Health and Hospitals. So Jamie, it is great to have you here. Can you start off by telling us a little bit about your role at NYC H&H and how you got there?

Jamie 1:43
Max, thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here. I started in 2008. I was fresh out of law school. And I said, Well, you know, they had an opening. And it was just prior to the economy collapsing. I don’t know if you remember that. 2008 was a very bad, bad year. So I was lucky to get work. And I was one of the few that did. And then I said, Oh yeah, it’s for the city, I don’t want to stay here a long time. 12 years later, I’m still here and loving it. And then I started in labor relations.

I worked with over 70 unions doing discipline doing some basic trainings. And then I worked my way up the HR ladder as an assistant director. And then I ran the HR department for the North Bronx healthcare network, which was two hospitals, a couple of clinics. And from there, I went to post acute care for the central office team, which is five hospitals. And now I’m working centrally and I handle redeployment and realignment primarily and employee relations as an HR director. So it’s just it’s been a nice kind of full circuit of HR processes for me learning about them, and getting to command, and a little bit of everything.

Max 3:06
Awesome. Well, Jamie, you’re in the middle of a fascinating, inspiring and certainly topical story. So you got a call from Mayor Bill de Blasio ‘s office asking for 3000 healthcare workers to start ASAP to support New York City’s fight against covid 19. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Jamie 3:28
Yes. Well, he called the president of our our hospital system, and they wanted 3000 employees and they wanted them yesterday. This was an immediate need, because of the covid crisis. And I’ve been in city service for 12 years. I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve been through Sandy, enormous healthcare changes where we restructured the entire hospital system to be an outpatient system, as opposed to an inpatient system. And this was something new to us, the city does not generally does not move quickly. In terms of they’re not agile, city organizations. And we needed to be and it had to be fast, it had to be good. And it had to be effective.

So we all pitched in, our recruiters were in the office, almost 24/7 for about a month. I mean, they really were there all night all day, bringing candidates in. We were slow to onboard prior to this. And you talk about recruitment automation and we we’ve discussed it a little bit we are in desperate need. And this was unlike anything we’ve ever seen, because now I have we were partnering with Department of Health, we would depart partnering with a private group optim and HHC and we had a piece of this puzzle In terms of who we were going to hire, and how we were going to hire, so we were only onboarding them.

So DOH qualified them, the Department of Health qualified them as candidates, and optim did some vetting, and then we finished background checks, working with the recruiters making sure that everyone was safe to work with, and then getting them out on the street. And equipped them with a ton of equipment, which also requires some training, and some getting used to, and get them out there. And there was not, you know, not a feeling that we could delay this, there was not a feeling that we could do this in any way other than, you know, perfect execution carefully, but quicker than we’ve ever done anything in the city. So we really got, we partnered with some of the groups that do background checks for us. And I have to say, it was a pleasure, it was uplifting to see all these groups kick in who normally they’re just business partners, they don’t have any obligation to move quicker because it’s COVID. In fact, they were low on office staff at these other background vendors and some of the people who are helping us get good licensing, and everyone pitched in and got it done. And within a month, we had nearly 1500 employees, new employees, on the payroll working with COVID.

Max 6:39
It’s unbelievable, it’s, I think of how quickly companies reacted to just say, Alright, I don’t work at the office anymore, there’s probably about a month where that decision was being made, your department had to flip and hire 3000 people to fight this, incredibly world changing disease in New York City, which is really the epicenter of all of this. And I love hearing how, all these other kind of departments and organizations came together. It sounds like so intrinsically New York, everyone kind of dropped what they’re doing, focus, and get health care workers working for the city now, because we need it, like you said yesterday.

Jamie 7:23
Right? Right, it had that, you know, it had that post 911 feel, where everyone kind of just got together to do something, because it was what they could do. So these groups, you have that they are frontline staff, a lot of them had clinical backgrounds. And they knew the importance of this so that they have clinical backgrounds in the past, and now they’re working with us to do background work, or find candidates that are qualified. So they understand the urgency, and I think everyone was just happy to help. So it was it was one of those things that that keeps you going. I mean, if you’re working 60 hours a week, and you see that other people are really, really excited about just just pitching in, in any way that they can, you know, that drives you a little bit more that you’re gonna get five hours out of that alone

Max 8:16
it’s so powerful. I want to bring something another thing into the equation that you mentioned to me before. So as a part of this mandate, not only does your office get a phone call saying we need 3000 workers, the mayor’s office asked that you specifically recruit people from economically challenged neighborhoods, in an effort to employment support them. So you got to find people who have no background in this and get them into working healthcare, trained up and running. So what were some of the challenges that you face in bringing people with no professional experience into the healthcare system.

Jamie 8:52
So this was a matter of throwing away some old conventions in terms of how you’re going to handle, from an HR perspective, and me from a labor perspective. And I never felt by the way, I never felt that labor relations, or employee relations should be approached from a strictly disciplined perspective. And that that has always been my last step. But that’s not always been the attitude of the entire corporation or even branches of it. So in this instance, now you have kind of a multifaceted group of problems.

So you have people who are coming from these communities, which is a plus because they know the communities, they know their peers, and they can get around there. Wow. And they understand the cultures, which is great because we did this city wide, so it’s Staten Island, Bronx, you know, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, everyone’s involved. So we have now local talent but a lot of a lot of these individuals are new to a the workforce entirely. Be they’re not used to this work structure, the way we’re working, nothing is working the way it was working prior to COVID. So now they’re out there, you know, remote. And their only connection really, with with the supervisors with the facility is an electronic one. And it’s not always, you know, a face to face video, they don’t always have, we didn’t always have the technology to do this with all of that staff.

We faced a lot of challenges in terms of onboarding them, getting them used to working it, with others in this field, and add the added challenge of having institutional knowledge among them, because they were 90% new staff. So, together, they didn’t have a lot of resources to draw from in terms of history of HHC, in New York City Health & Hospitals, how we do these things. So they had a lot of challenges coming in, and we decided to take a very paternal approach to how we deal with this staff. And it didn’t take us long to arrive at that, but it was a big shift in the way we do things. with, you know, this is a very busy time, we have, we don’t have a lot of staff in the office. Now, we have an additional I mean, it’s tough to deal with your regular employee line, just the roster that you have normally now you have 1500 to 2000-3000 more people, how do you deal with that. And it’s hard to begin to become a mentor to that group, as opposed to just say, well, it’s easier to say, I did not do the job, let’s find somebody else that that can. And I think, we had many meetings about this, the team was very, very good and analyzing what we had to do.

And again, early on, we realized, this is one of those times where we have a future workforce in our hands, we never had the ability to take 3000 people, you know, from our we haven’t had as an agency 3000 people, a lot of them are new to the workforce, a lot of them are from areas that don’t often get recruited from that we try. Because of requirements of jobs, or the types of jobs that are open for them. This fit, they were able to test and qualify for the position. So we said, “oh, we’re gonna have these four, hopefully, we’ll have these folks for at least a few years.” I think the mayor’s office stated the 24 months was more likely the tenure, but then you begin to hire from this pool of becomes like a triple A team, right?

So he said, let’s just work with them as if they are mentees, and they need to be brought in and train. And I said, you know, to one of my younger employees, she says only been there a couple of years, I said, “Listen, in 10 years, you watch these people will be running this, this corporation, if you treat them, right, if we’re calling to them now, they’ll be that leader then.” We had an opportunity to have with others didn’t have with the people who were leading now. And we could all be a resource, and they need it, because they don’t know how we operate, I always say, you could hire an employee, and in a city system is with red tape. And as dense as ours is, you know, I can hire a physician, and that’s great. It makes it you know, it took them a long time to learn to be a physician, it’s going to take a little longer to learn how to work for the city well.

And that’s something you have to be patient with. But if you know, we decided to make an investment in this group, and we really want to see them succeed. So we’ve done various things to make sure that they do that.

Max 14:11
It’s incredible. You’re bringing in people who’ve never been in the workforce, and you bring them not only to work for the city now, but to work in healthcare, which are two of the most like regimented, you know industries and just kind of general entities out there. So I can only imagine the training from we got you to fill this out. That was borderline a miracle. Now we’re going to make you the next Florence Nightingale we’re going to make her an actual contributor to the city like that training has to be really good. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Jamie 14:45
Yes, absolutely. And this was this is part of the overall plan is is to bring them in, we started initially, with of course, the job training, there’s the function, right? And that has to be that has to be first the function itself. So, it’s not easy to walk around and on and off PPE, protective equipment in a correct way. So we do a lot of testing on on that, to make sure that our staff is safe that that the patient is safe.

But then we do the job training, which is an ongoing process. I mean, we group them in peers, they have managers, there’s many different groups, some go out into the community, some may calls, some coordinate care and isolation, the hotels that we’ve set up for some of the patients who can’t isolate at home, because they don’t have a large enough home to isolate. And it’s very difficult circumstances some of these patients deal with, and their priority of the patient is to keep their family safe. So they’re willing to go to a hotel for two weeks, three months quarantine. Yeah, and be away from their families, because they can’t do it in a small apartment. So it’s kind of a different take than, than you see, obviously celebrities going through with COVID, and how difficult it is to isolate by the pool, six kids and a one bedroom apartment that you can’t isolate. That’s, that’s where it gets difficult, right? This team is a team that has grown up around this, like me, I know, in apartment buildings, and they understand the needs of this community. The training then goes to, you know, an advanced level of dealing with patients.

So we take the staff that show a little bit more promise, bring them to the next level, and start working with all the staff that wasn’t as promising to get them to the point where they’re ready to take the next step. And it’s just a cyclical thing, what we’ve added as we’ve gone now,it’s been months now, it seems, I mean, it’s, it’s funny, because it just seems like it feels like yesterday, that this is one long day, one long, rough day, is gonna feel tough. But we’ve added enhancements, because we’re looking at these folks as long term investments, not just an operation, but in the city. And I think the more you go through this, the more you realize that’s what’s really about. With everything going on out there people are unhappy for various things about various things. Let’s take a group and just do nothing but good. And that’s a great opportunity to have when you think about so we’ve added PowerPoint trainings, basic skill, training that make them more viable, not just for us, but more viable tomorrow, and the next day, if this job goes away, or if they choose to leave this job to go on into bigger and better things, and that’s what this has become. And that feels good. That’s that’s the one thing that feels good.

Max 17:00
It’s incredible. I mean, it sounds like you’re going about your day, you get a cold drop what you’re doing, you need to build this and bring these people in these people like I probably got laid off or I haven’t had working while I’m getting a call to work in a hospital during COVID I guess it pays while I’m alright, well let’s let’s give it a shot. And then as a result of what like this boom goes the dynamite kind of asked like from the office turns into your uplifting communities, you’re enabling people you’re providing them an opportunity not just for a job because the city needs you now but here’s a career that you can now have and give back to the city in your community for as long as you choose to. I think that’s incredible. Like what an outcome of this!

Yes, it really feels to me like my job is redeployment and realignment so people don’t often get good phone calls from me. I’m the guy you don’t want to call. I did employee engagement before this, so I’ve been on both sides of this this coin but this is probably the most uplifting thing that I’ve ever worked for in terms of my job with agency. There’s not been anything more rewarding than this. I literally have employees call us every week.

Jamie 19:26
One gentleman called me last week we he had problems onboarding and I helped him out a little bit, just human stuff, right? I mean, stuff you would or should do. And you don’t hear from a lot of employees. Last week he called me back and he’s been with us a couple of months and he said, “Hey, Jamie, I just wanted to thank you because you know, this has been a great job. I’ve seen a lot of things I’ve learned a lot of things but I want to thank you because a lot of my friends are struggling but my kids are doing okay and and eating well and You know, you’re partially responsible for that.” And at that point, that’s it that makes everything you’ve done worth doing. Because that’s not something you get every day. You know, we’re not clinicians, we’re HR folks. Right? Yeah. So when you get thanks, it’s, it’s kinda over.

I would say it’s rare, but when it when it’s seen, when that level, you know, you really feel like, okay, you know, I’m kind of, I have the ability to affect people’s lives in a very meaningful way. And we need to do this, as a group, in a kind, compassionate way. And let’s bring all these people up. And let’s give them opportunities that they would not have had, and it’s a great way to take something horrible, take something good from this horrible event that’s happened. And there’s a silver lining, if you can find what I mean, you have to dig it out. Right? in all this, you have to find, and there it is.

Max 21:00
It’s incredible. Like, you know, I talked to people on this show all the time about, okay, now you’re bringing people in, how do you mentor them? How do you manage certain handoffs between management and enablement, or recruiting and it’s, it becomes so complicated of who’s just going to help this person out, it becomes this like, over aggressive structure with no soul, where’s when you’re looking at something like this, you got to hire someone, if they don’t make it COVID is going to eat our city. So who’s going to help them? I don’t know, I’m here, I guess I can help. And by doing that, you’re giving back to these people you’re giving back to the city, you’re providing, like I’m thinking here in this little month stan, you’ve created this hiring, this training, upskilling and rescaling for more people that it takes other organizations years to do. And I feel like a big part of that is because there was a very sincere and human need for this, not only for the employees who needed to work, but the city that needed help, you know, so I think that by doing this to, to fix your city that you live in, that you love that you breathe, not to fill a role for a company is such more of like a holistic and human process seems to have emerged, and it seems much more rewarding for everybody.

Jamie 22:18
It really is. And these teams have been working so hard. The onboarding team, the training team, the recruiting team ever data, everyone pitches in on something like this, it’s one of those things, and they’re exhausted, that they’re in the office at 10 o’clock every night, and there early, 7 or 8am every day, and I think you’re running on fumes. And when you get calls like that you’re good for another couple of months to do it. And and they are they’re exhausted, but they feel like they’re doing some good, and they really aren’t watching it. It’s humbling.

It’s very humbling, when I see staff going out of their way to help people that they don’t know, these are folks that they don’t have the general work experience that you would expect. So your normal new recruitment activities are kind of out the window, they’re out the window because of COVID. And they’re out the window, because we have a different set of individuals looking at the workforce, the email etiquette isn’t there yet. It’s the stuff that you learn this that I guess this they’re hard-soft skills that you learn as you go, and the politics that they’re not used to, and all it changed come in, that becomes a secondary thing to the human effort, which is nice as it because too many people focus on those things that the the way you write an email, but the tone, you take in an email, it, it’s nice to feel that that’s not as important as people thought it was because I really never did think it was that important. Now it’s the human element. And and people realize that so there’s a little bit more leeway in a time like this. And so it’s a good time to try to do some good at it.

Max 24:13
That’s also i’m going to like I keep bringing us back to recruiting but like, intrinsically, that makes sense as a process. Like I’m thinking of the soul versus the structure. You know, if I go in and I’m like, Hey, welcome to Welcome to your new position. Here’s how you’re gonna write emails, here’s how you’re gonna do. What am I here for? I’m learning kind of what seems arbitrary tasks that I’m going to learn with time. Every email response is going to be slightly different. It’s like, teaching me a few phrases in Spanish if I don’t speak and then Okay, say that. They don’t mean anything to me, right? But if this is what we’re here, for, we all understand the real goal, the real importance of the work we’re doing here. It’s almost like I’m going to sit, you can do that great. Like if you understand that you’re going to be fine. And you’re going to be here for let’s say, eight months, 24 months over that time you’re going to learn office culture, it’s inevitable. It’s like living in Spain and then learning Spanish, as opposed to being told words to say exactly,

Jamie 25:07
exactly that they’ll live in the job that they have to learn, they live in the culture that they have to live in.

Max 25:13
And then as an employee, like, again, 24 months passed, you can keep doing this, you have this on your resume, you care, you understand the importance of it, it’s not just, oh, I can write an email gratulations, that doesn’t mean anything anymore.

Jamie 25:27
It’s a great thing, we’re getting to know them, which is, which is really nice. So they’re going to have references, when this all comes to an end. It’s there’s some great folks out there that are all dedicated, they’re all working hard. And, the idea, I think, was to just impart the soul of the corporation, as you say, is the whole mentality we’re going to have going forward as healthcare providers, but as peer supporters, and people that you can come to rely.

The culture of the company is always so important. And it’s hard to change culture. I mean, they say, it takes five years to change culture, I think you could do it quicker. This was kind of like an infusion of folks who don’t know what to expect. So you get to shape it. So okay, it’s like a B 12 shot, I think, you get these folks all excited about what they don’t keep them happy, coach them, train them, and now they’re, they’re in the veins of the system. And that that kind of, you know, to see their excitement picks up everybody else, because they’re not jaded, they’re not upset, they’re happy, they’re going through a different experience coming through the doors than anyone else did. Being able to give them a great experience in terms of patience. And we do actually have started to help them, to set them up with individual mentors, and the cooperations have been there. We’re learning as we go to in terms of this is a great thing for everybody. A lot of these supervisors need some mentors, who have been with the city for a while, who don’t the unions and union staff, and we’re setting them up with individuals who have done this for a long time, and they’re sharing and learning and you were watching them grow weekly. It’s amazing. It really is. And that’s nothing that we’re doing. It’s that’s their effort.

Max 27:35
And you know, what else I’m even piggybacking along that is like, when you pick up somebody on a traditional, like, Hey, we need somebody with no experience, no work history to do a function. They’re doing the farthest function, like from what the actual goal of this company is, they’re doing the most high value, low volume type tasks, when I’m employing you and saying, Hi, we need to employ you quickly, you’re going to be working on solving the covid crisis, you’re going to be working with patients, you know, helping to understand the root of this issue in this city. There’s nobody who’s more hands on the issue than that. So if you don’t care about that, then you don’t care about anything. Exactly. And even your team, like I’m thinking of recruiting teams that get tasked with, hey, we need to bring on 40 more sales people, they go, Okay, we’ll reach out, we’ll call them, we’ll get them in the door, you know, like, there’s not that sincere, there’s not that heart to it. So we’re calling this worker I’m calling with a different tone with a different care, when they come to work. They don’t know how to write an email, that’s less of a daunting thing I imagine because what we’re actually doing is so important. And its so right here.

Jamie 28:48
Exactly. And I think it’s maybe it’s what we needed in terms of a little bit of a wake up call, about what is important in an employee. And I don’t think it’s important anymore to write a good email, as soon as you start. I think that’s something we can get to, if you have the heart, if you have the will. And if you have this attitude that you want to change things and people that to to help you when you’re failing, as opposed to give you a slap on the wrist, or just direct you in the right way and say, what’s wrong? Oh, well, this is what you did wrong. Okay, so we know how to correct that for you. And we’re going to help you with this training. And we’re going to help you with somebody who’s a subject matter expert in this area that you can call when you have questions about this. And that’s what’s important, because then then the emails come, the way the writing email will come. You can teach anyone. That’s the easy stuff. You’re not going to get someone whose heart is in it, and who has had some grace given to them and what likely do unto others that way. So that’s really the key here is to pay it forward and create a system that cares.

Max 30:09
Let’s say you bring in 3000 workers tomorrow, but then they all burn out because you didn’t care, you didn’t train them, you didn’t pay attention. Like, I’m not working on the front lines of COVID, spending two weeks in a hotel away from my family, for a frontlines job for something that they don’t care about me. Like, it doesn’t matter. So when you’re doubling down on the training, it’s, it’s felt all over the place, it matches the emotion of the actual of the reason that you’re all here.

Jamie 30:38
Oh, absolutely. The time you put into it is just worth every minute. And the payback that you’re getting in the human capital area in terms of happiness? You have to, of course, always figure the ability. So the way you do the job, the proficiency improves. And there is always that and that’s the kind of easier way to do it. We have standard methodology when it comes to engaging in these tasks. But it’s some of the other skills that they need help with. And it’s just the valuable thing to put this time and energy into a group of people who are going to be sharing a city with you. They share a city with you, they’re your neighbors, right. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if everybody had this level of empathy, or they were trained in emotional awareness? 3000 more people who are now more emotionally intelligent than they were when they started. And they’re out on the street.

Max 31:57
I’m thinking also, like, think of like the breakdowns of different neighborhoods. And you kind of alluded to this before, like, you need liaisons in different parts of the city, I think it was, it was it might have been a cop, who was the mayor who said, like New York is just a big collection of villages. Like, that’s it, it’s just one big collection of little villages. Yeah, look at them and built like these villages. And you look at certain areas, you know, these economically challenged areas, and you look at what’s the unemployment rate, those who are employed, what are they doing? Can you imagine looking three years from now is that neighborhood and saying, well, 15% of them are employed in health care, like, Wow, that’s a big prestigious thing to like, you know, to have in your background, having a community.

Jamie 32:38
Absolutely, and it’s a perfect ladder to start, it all comes from somewhere. You go back along your family tree, a lot of people, especially immigrants, and you’re not going to see a lot of college grads, even in the 50s. Having someone kind of embrace this opportunity that’s now presented to them, and then begin a career in healthcare. And share that knowledge or that value of knowledge with their kids, who will be the next generation to say, “Well, okay, that’s great. dad did this, but I’m going to be a nurse, I’m going to be a doctor, I’m going to be the next president of this corporation.” And you know, that’s how that goes. We’re in it for the long haul.

Max 33:30
let’s make a good habit. I mean, you’re impacting generations, like, think about this, if I’m a child, and I’m growing up, and I’m doing, you know, e learning through COVID, both of my parents are home and not working, they’re probably angry. Think of my existence, think of the lessons that I’m learning. Whereas my my mother, father, you know, what, whoever is, whoever is helping to raise me, during this pandemic, became educated and worked in healthcare, to fight COVID. And now as a health care professional, it’s changing my child, you’re changing my trajectory there. From a phone call that rocked your world, to changing the lives of people of New York City in the world. I can’t even believe like, what a unbelievable movie this would make, quite honestly.

Jamie 34:21
There’s a lot of great stories in here. You know, and you’re after you’re 100% right. This is modeling. This is exactly what you want the young, the younger groups to see, your parents are able to work, they have a job, they’re able to work and they found an employer that wants to train them, that wants them to do better. I can’t think of any better scenario to take out of this COVID crisis, and some of the division that’s out there right now with everything. This is it. This is we care about each other.

Max 34:58
Not only that, it’s even what It was the city that employed, you know, this person was like, respect for the city. Think about how that could backfire. If it’s not handled well!

Jamie 35:11
You could have a disaster on your hands. I mean, this could have turned into something very, very horrible, of course. The approach was right, and they decided to do this and in the proper way, and help people along, extend the hand and lift them up and not, throw away what, get get roll up your sleeves, and let’s all just do this together. And you sometimes you need something, something is devastating, to really set set accomplish in the right direction. I mean, you get caught up in the nonsense, especially when you’re busy, how kids are always busy, and we’re always understaffed, and they’re gonna tell you that forever. And they’re not lying. This is one of those times, even though everything’s going on, you’re gonna you put in for the extra effort. And your fellow New Yorkers appreciate it.

Max 36:15
Everyone in New York City in probably the world has an opinion about how New York City is handling this crisis. This does sound like it is one of the very, very bright themes that’s coming from all this. So let me ask you, have you heard anything from the mayor’s office? Have they responded to the work that you’ve been doing?

Jamie 36:35
They’re very supportive of what we’re doing. And they’re very grateful to all the Department of Health and Health and Hospitals. For all that we’re doing. And we haven’t hit at all, any kind of celebrate story mode, we’re not patting backs. Because we’re a little nervous about what can come tomorrow, with school starting, the kids back in school, we’ve seen some spikes in COVID numbers. So I think we’re all kind of holding our breaths right now. Because it’s going to be very difficult to go through this again, with staff that’s now done this once, because they’re a little bit burnt out.

The reward, as we talked about, it helps drive you. And I’ve been telling them, now you need to pace yourselves, because we don’t know what’s coming. Yeah. And we may have to do this again, and we may need to bring on another thousand people. So no one’s quite said, “Ah, great job, everyone.” We’re not ready to do that, with we’re a little bit concerned about what tomorrow’s gonna bring. We’re ready for it, though. And, I said, Well, look, it’s going to be we’ll do more the same is another group that we can start to train and be great employees for someone if not us. Yeah, that’s all we could do. And just you just pray that everything is going to go okay. And it’s a scary time.

Max 38:04
I mean, like, it’s a similar mood across the city. Like, we got outdoor dining back. But no celebration. No, like, you can have a little fun. But he’s, and I want to keep in touch with you. Because once you say, yeah, we’re starting to celebrate a little bit than I really

Jamie 38:21
It’s like, I watch the stewardesses on the plane when I when I get nervous, and it gets I watched the people who who’ve done this a lot. If they’re not nervous, then that’s what they have big game faces. I’ll take that too. Yeah.

Max 38:37
Been safe to visit this whole time, you are probably going to tell me something else. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna call the witness right here.

Jamie 38:46
Yes, I’m a disappointment to anyone who asks me if they could do to get out of that house. My friends and there are safe ways to get about, that’s for sure. And you have to use precaution. But if you’re at risk, it’s not worth it. Order groceries for another couple of months? It’s okay. And then let’s see what happens after the flu season. And after all this, I mean, because that’s another concern. And look, they’re closing schools as we speak. So hopefully, that’ll dial back a little bit, but New Yorkers have been phenomenal in dealing with this Just top notch.

Max 39:35
It’s a resilient city. It really is that but, I mean, also, we’re hearing these these quicker tests are these are promising. You know, we’re working, you know, I think everybody is,

Jamie 39:46
This has become a worldwide effort. But I think, think Europe is the one place that’s done this, right. And there are people who break the rules. Yes, there are people who were, but they’re the minority out there. That’s not most folks, most folks are being very careful and considerate. In a city this large with needs this diverse. That’s a pretty impressive thing because you know that they’re not just doing it for themselves. So I think that’s one of those takeaways where you say, “Wow, when the chips are down, we do it, we get the job done.”

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