Emergency Contact

Who is your Emergency Contact person? This is important! Who is that person you want someone to call in the event that you have an emergency?

If you’ve ever watched the show, The Big Bang Theory, you know that the relationship between Sheldon and Amy took years to develop. He is fiercely independently dependent upon his best friend Leonard, so committing to Amy as a relationship partner was difficult.

Setting the scene: It’s Valentine’s Day. Sheldon despises all affectionate gestures, and because she loves him, Amy releases Sheldon from all Valentine’s obligations…

Amy: I’m your girlfriend. That’s my job. And I know gift-giving puts a lot of pressure on you, so whatever you got me, you can return.

Sheldon: No. No, after everything you didn’t do for me tonight, I want you to have it.

Amy: What’s this?

Sheldon: Read it.

Amy: Sheldon Cooper, Caltech University employee information?

Sheldon: At the bottom.

Amy: In case of emergency, please contact… Amy Farrah Fowler. And there’s my phone number. This is the most beautiful gift you could’ve ever given me.

Sheldon: Well, I thought, if I have a stroke or a kidney stone, who would I want to share that with?

Amy: And you picked me.

Sheldon: It’s like you said, you’re my girlfriend.

Amy: Oh, Sheldon.

Sheldon: Yeah. Okay. Stop ruining Valentine’s Day and order my pizza.

Throughout life, your emergency contact person will change. As a child and a young adult, my emergency contact was my mother…definitely not my dad. Oh, my dad was great, but if I had an emergency, I would want my mom, and she was always available to pick me up from school when needed.

I remember completing that first employee emergency contact form after I was married. My first emergency contact was my husband… then my mom. Once my kids became adults they became the second emergency contact for me, now that was weird. I have no doubt that some day my granddaughter Emma will become my emergency contact person…for my nursing home registration form!

The emergency contact person is the one person who knows what to do and who to contact if you are incapacitated at work, but what if you are hurt at home?

I was in a rather serious car accident several years ago (see Jesus, Take the Wheel for the story), and my husband knew who to contact at the school where I taught. He knew my co-workers, and they knew him. If my husband Tom was ever ill, I knew his coworkers as well. I could give them a call inform them that he would not be at work that day. Even today I know where Tom works. I could call or walk in to let them know that he has had an emergency, and they should not expect him.

The increase of remote work and remote employees has changed many things. One of those is the emergency contact form. It dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that if I were to die suddenly, no one in my house would have any idea who to call to alert my employers that I would not be able to continue to do my job. They would need to wait until my students or coworkers at Savannah Tech or Georgia Southern tried to contact me to let them know of my demise.

It’s time for me to choose my significant coworkers who would know what to do in the case of my absence for my new Emergency Contact form for my family. I should probably alert these special humans to their inclusion on this list.

I just don’t think I’ll present that information to them as Valentine’s Day gifts.