After a disturbed sleep last night, dreaming I was made redundant by my 86 year old Dad, and thinking my earplug was a pineapple lump (I did unfortunately try to eat it), I decided possibly the whole COVID 19 issue was having more of an impact on me than I had previously realised.
There are some things I think people should not be ashamed of, or feel the need to hide: having COVID-19, being in financial trouble, not knowing what to do, being frightened of what the future holds, not knowing how you are going to tell an employee you can’t pay them or keep them employed. There are many more, these are just the ones I have listened to in the last couple of days.
The vast majority of employers are successful in business in part because of their loyalty and commitment to the people working with them. We don’t start businesses with the view we will make anyone redundant, or tell them we can’t afford to pay them anymore. Most leaders I know are acutely aware of the personal circumstances of the individuals in their team. That’s what makes them good leaders – it can also make it so much harder to make the difficult decisions.
So be kind to yourself, not just everyone else. What you are feeling is normal, and okay, and shitty. I guarantee your thoughts are the same ones thousands of business owners and leaders are having in our community, throughout New Zealand and worldwide. You are not alone in this even though it can feel very lonely. Pick up the phone, text, email, talk to someone. Chances are it will not only help you, but the other person as well.
My crystal ball is a little cloudy at the moment, however if you asked me to put money on how long the lockdown will last, I would say more than 4 weeks. Experts are starting to publicly give this opinion, and as we haven’t been widely testing for COVID-19, I don’t think we have a realistic idea of how many people have the virus. Add to the equation the people who continue to flout the lockdown restrictions, and people making decisions to continue with ‘Farmers Markets’ and the possibility of The Warehouse and the like being deemed an essential service, I believe we will be in our bubbles for some time to come.