COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- This pandemic has been stressful for most -- people are taking care of their families and themselves, all while trying to work from home; some people can't work at all.
For those who are still working 40 hours a week from afar, things are a bit easier for people working for a boss like Carl Simpson.
"I've never had a boss like Carl," said Stacey Magnuson. "Not one day has gone by where he hasn't called or emailed. He does that with everyone," she said.
Magnuson is a media communications specialist who has worked for Simpson for the last six months at the El Paso/Teller County 911 Authority in Colorado Springs.
"Everybody answers to him and he takes charge of that but can do it and keeps everybody light, and that's not an easy job during this pandemic," she said. "He's a great leader. He keeps us inspired.
Simpson has been with the 911 Authority for the last five years and, in that time, has truly gained the respect and adoration of his employees due to his natural optimism and engaging nature.
Looking for a laugh? Possibly some gratitude? Look no further than Mr. Simpson.
"I think the leader of the team has to buy into the concept of engagement and gratitude," said Simpson, the chief executive officer of the 911 Authority.
"I definitely care about my team and I tell them all the time how much I love them."
Simpson's concerted effort in helping and encouraging his team has never been as vital as it is now, in the midst of a pandemic, while his entire team works remotely. Of course, Simpson still comes into the office.
"I think it would be kinda cheesy for me to tell Heather (the front desk receptionist and only other employee in the building) that she needs to report here to watch the front door while I'm at home."
Simpson isn't just in charge of team morale. The 911 Authority of which he helms is in charge of the entire 911 telephone systems, network, dispatching software, IT and training that operates the 911 service to 750,000 people throughout El Paso and Teller counties.
"My goal is we make it easier for the dispatch managers to run their centers and we provide people help on their worst day," said Simpson.
Magnuson says Simpson is "key" to the success of everything 911 related in our area.
"Carl knows how to, amidst all the chaos, keep calm," she said.
Rightfully so, Simpson takes his job seriously. So serious, in fact, he wears his pajamas to his Zoom meetings.
"He checks in on everyone every day," said Magnuson with a big smile.
Simpson holds Zoom meetings, not so much to talk about work, but to just see how everyone is doing.
He leaves handwritten notes on desks, showing his gratitude.
He dresses as Elvis on the King's birthday, just to spread smiles.
His PowerPoint is a newsletter - "KARL News" to be exact - full of shenanigans, dog memes, recipes, cat news and words of encouragement.
And in a time of extreme isolation and social distancing, Carl isn't lonely.
"Next week we are doing a Zoom Taco Tuesday. We're just gonna have lunch together. We had a virtual potluck last weekend. That was pretty fun," he said.
Simpson is fun, compassionate and full of gratitude, all while providing vital leadership that allows our 911 dispatchers to be as great as he is at connecting with others.
"I know this team is working hard to complete our mission and that mission is to help people on their worst day," said Simpson.
"They make a difference to hundreds of people every day and I appreciate it."