As a Management Assistant for the SFPUC, San Francisco native Yasmin Khalil keeps the Power Enterprise buzzing. She provides critical support on contract management and budgeting for the agency’s two clean power programs: Hetch Hetchy Power and CleanPowerSF. In practice, that means Khalil is often a go-to for staff questions on everything from billing codes to how to complete a purchase order request. While seemingly Byzantine to some, Khalil makes it all look easy.
At the end of March however, Khalil traded in her spreadsheets for daily briefing calls while assigned to support the Logistics Unit within the SFPUC’s Department Operations Center (DOC). A typical day was very fast-paced, beginning around 7:30 a.m. and filled with non-stop emails, Microsoft Teams chats, and phone calls.
“I knew if I walked away from my desk for a couple of minutes I would return to an inbox full of unread urgent requests,” Khalil said.
To date, she has served three separate assignments at the DOC in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While deployed, she’s helped coordinate with vendors to procure emergency supplies for SFPUC employees, managing timesheets, and completing the most important task of all—ensuring staff members are well fed.
“It’s been wonderful and inspiring [to serve in the DOC] and know the agency has some of the most charismatic and dedicated staff who generally care for the betterment and safety of their colleagues and members of the community. It allowed me to work with staff members from various departments with the collective goal to provide and protect,” said Khalil.
Protecting San Francisco is not a new concept for Khalil and her family, either. Her sister works as a medical assistant for Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco, treating patients surrounded by the coronavirus. Fortunately, the sisters share a sense of humor, “perpetually joking around” which helps both keep their sanity
Khalil, who lives in the Portola neighborhood, also keeps her sanity by sewing, reading and binging the television show Schitt’s Creek. Like many of us, she didn’t expect the shelter-in-place order to last this long. “Trying to wrap my head around it is a journey in itself,” she said.
So what does she remember to get her through the days? The idea of public service. “Working at the DOC has reminded me the purpose of being a public servant. Our duties should not rest solely on completing a task but understanding its purpose and how it will affect the greater good. That, along with the camaraderie within the DOC, has really reinvigorated my desire to continue as a City employee.”