Louisiana is one such state, and it’s where Mona Keels and Gwendolyn Huges are two of the essential workers responsible for processing the massive numbers of claims that have flooded the Louisiana Workforce Commission over the past month.

“We are doing it all: answering customer phone calls, filing and processing claims and answering general questions,” Keels says. “Everything has tripled, even quadrupled. None of us could have imagined how bad it was going to be. … The phone essentially never stops ringing from the time we start working from home at 8 in the morning and end our day around 7 at night.”

Hughes notes ““People are really suffering in Louisiana. Some of [the callers] were sick; some were quarantined.”

But they’re showing up and ready to be of service, because they know how badly it’s needed: A good customer service representative, Keels says, “is patient, caring and has the ability to get the job done without offending the person calling even while they tell their stories.”

Read more about Mona and Gwendolyn and the essential work they’re doing assisting the unemployed here.