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Chatting with Sarah Barnaby

Recently our AMAZING Social Media Marketing Expert, Hayley Finch got the chance to chat with the AMAZING Sarah Barnaby about her "Noticed" experience, and how Noticing can make a difference in the world, especially during these uncertain times.

Hayley: You’re working these really long days, and then something came in the mail, right?

Sarah: Yes. So all this is going on, and then I got a Noticed Keychain in the mail. It also came with a handwritten message Amy wrote, at just the right moment. I remember I hadn’t gotten to the mail in a little bit, because there were several days of no sleeping. I was talking to people who are also in quarantine about their businesses, many had tears and are wondering if they will survive. And then, that’s when I got the note. I full on ugly cried, just broke down at my desk in my room. It was 9 o’clock at night, and my husband walked in as I was holding it and hugging it to my chest.

It was just this kind gesture out of nowhere. It helps me think about what kind of impact this can have for other people who are quarantined.

Hayley: What has it been like at home? Who have you had around you during this time?

Sarah: I’m with my family right now, we’re a family of 7. I have my husband, my two boys, and then my folks live with us as well. And so we have a lot going on. I am in my bedroom working on my laptop, my mom is quarantined in her bedroom on her laptop, doing her job - and then my boys are floating around doing their homeschool programs.

I laughed at the beginning of all this, because I remember a couple days into it I started to send an email with - “well, when I get to work…” And then I realized, you literally have 3 feet to walk to work.

Hayley: Work is right here, it is all right here these days!

Sarah: Exactly. I was like, wait, that doesn’t quite ring the way it did before? Definitely don’t need to include it.

Hayley: It’s the long commute, right?

Sarah: Exactly.

Hayley: So, there is something we wanted to get your take on. When you think about who could benefit from tDuring this time, are you quarantined at home? Or are you considered an essential worker? What has your schedule been looking like?

Sarah: So I am at home, I am considered an essential worker and have the paperwork if I do need to go in. But, I am able to do my work from home. I work at the Country Club Bank.

Hayley: Is that busy right now? With the CARES act and everything, I bet that’s pretty busy right now.

Sarah: Oh my goodness yes! In fact, I’m in the SDA department (special deposit account) and so when the CARES act passed I was doing 16 hour days. Getting up, working until 1 or 2 in the morning, and then getting up and doing it all again. Just working with all the applications for the small businesses.

Which was amazing, and also stressful, but you know what - it’s been a tremendous honor. Because I’ve been able to process 235 applications to date. Which is 235 small businesses that I was able to hopefully help. And it’s not just me - I know that as a bank, we went through over 700 applicants.

Hayley: When you think of The Noticed Keychain being delivered, who do you think of? There are lots of people in our community that may be struggling and could really benefit from being Noticed. We were brainstorming all the different ways this could be used, but is there anyone who pops into your head that you think would really appreciate a delivery like this?

Sarah: You know, I think of the small business owners who may or may not make it through this. Truly. We’ve been trying to support them as much as we can, and I think everyone is, but everyone is also in the same boat of finding that new spending balance.

I’m very blessed right now because I still have a job, but maybe delivering to someone running a small business who isn’t sure about the future and how this will go for them. Because we’re all trying to find the balance of still supporting the local economy, while understanding that my budget isn’t going to look like it did.

Hayley: True.

Sarah: It’s just not going to look the same as it did three months ago. But those small business owners, they’re doing everything they can. They’re doing curbside services, why not surprise them with a gesture like this then?

And I think of all the non-profits that are still up and running. Social workers are doing truly tireless, selfless work right now. Those are the two groups that are huge for me. As a community, I’d love for us to send a message that says: We’re not only Noticing you now, we’ll do what we can to help you come out of this.

Hayley: That’s so true. Because at some point, this stay at home order is going to be lifted. But beyond that, it will take time to shift back to a new normal. We’re hoping the keychain can be used to build each other up. What are some ways we can #Noticegoodness together going forward?

Sarah: I think if anything, this quarantine has told us what to value. And what to protect. What to cherish. What to appreciate. There have been so many memes sent around that say: I’m never going to be able to lie to myself again about what I would do if I had time. And you know, it’s true. Because I have the time. It’s about knowing what I’m doing with it.

I really do miss just going into a shop and talking. I miss that. I used to go to Pleasant Hill Nutrition. Every morning, I would go in and get my breakfast shake and we’d laugh and talk, I’ve gone in every day for a year. They know when I’m having a bad day or a rushed day, or whatever, but we get to check in and chat - I miss that.

At some point we’re going to get back to craziness, and it’s easier to forget these gestures when we’re busy. So I wrote myself a promise that I’m going to look around me every day. And every day I’m going to make sure I tell a different person that I Notice them.

Hayley: That’s so good. I love that you wrote that down.

Sarah: It’s going to help me remember.

Hayley: What are you going to do with the keychain? Is there a spot you want to keep it?

Sarah: So I have a special spot for it. It’s all laid out. I have the keychain, the note she wrote, and the card with the QR code all sitting on my desk for while I work here at home.

Then when I get back to work, I’m going to use it on my work badge. We have badges that we wear everywhere, because all of our doors are coded. And I’ll be putting it on my badge so that everytime I go somewhere in the office, I’ll have it with me. I’ll always be looking at it.

Hayley: I love that. That’s such a good place to keep it as a reminder. And here’s my final question for you: there are going to be people reading this who are wondering about whether it’s a good idea to put in the effort of sending it. Since you know what it provides to the person on the other end, what would you like to say?

Sarah: I would say, do it once. Just try it once. Because my hope would be that you take time to do this. If anyone has the ability to Notice someone, just do it. You have no idea what is going on in their head, or in their home, or in their lives right now.

Even if it’s someone in the community who you may never talk to again - an essential worker, like someone working at a gas station. Let’s Notice people who don’t get Noticed as they should. There’s a chance that they could look at this keychain and think - Wow, that made my week. And isn’t that worth it?

Hayley: I love how you put that. It has the potential to make a difference, so isn’t that worth it?

Sarah: I think it has to be.


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