Kelly Willenberg & Associates

Saving a Seat

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I have always been someone that could remember names of people I meet. The fact that I could do that intrigued my colleagues. I was the one who could remember a name of that person’s child or the college they attended. One trusted colleague always told me that I should consider that a gift and that was made my business sense strong. Today as we sit in our homes in the middle of a pandemic, I remember colleagues across the country that I would have seen in the past couple of months if not for COVID-19. I miss the networking with these people. I recall attending a Healthcare Compliance Association Compliance Institute where someone sat down beside me at a table unexpectedly. I turned to her and told her that I had saved that seat just for her. Being new to HCCA, she smiled at me as said, “I truly appreciate that as I don’t know anyone here and I have nobody to hang with.” I squeezed her hand and whispered to her, “There will always be a chair saved for you next to me.” That person has sat next to me many times at the Compliance Institute. I miss her when she cannot attend.

We have to connect with others in our profession. I have had the pleasure of meeting some truly amazing people in research compliance. Do not forget that there is always a new person who may not have anyone to “hang” with. Sometimes people are intimidated. We all have to take care of each other and there is nothing better than the human factor when you are new to compliance. During the pandemic, I have called people to check on them, and some have called upon me, for which I have been grateful. One, in particular, called me just to see how I was doing. Pat Marion and I have worked together for years but have not seen each other face to face in quite a while. His reaching out prompted me to think of people who might enjoy having a call to check on them too. No one understands better what we are going through than our colleagues in research compliance. Let’s take care of each other by sharing a call, a text and keeping that chair “saved” for the next time we are able to network in person!