Discussion

Reflections – May 2021

May 16, 2021

The sun is shining outside  my office window, it is May 19th 2021 and I thought I would empty my head a little and write a short blog…there is no wine in the fridge!

Really not sure what tone or message a good blog should have, presumably an uplifting message and a positive tone and a point to the blog – I’m just going to write, so let’s see what unfolds!

Well – what happened there? 2020 I mean,  and 2021 too? What a time we have all been through. There are so many different perspectives and individual journeys and no doubt stories to be exchanged for years to come. Strong determined people have emerged and so have vulnerable people who continue to struggle but with the right mind-set and support will hopefully become stronger again as time passes, life is too short to let “this” control or define us.

From my side 2020 brought the biggest business challenges I have ever faced, in my long life, along with personal challenges and sadness’s too ….but it’s over, 2020. This year has certainly brought a few too but somehow they seem more manageable – and laughter has returned. My admiration for any small business owner who has worked through the last few months is infinite, and impossible to explain to others why a business going into freefall which needed to be saved brings a lot of decisions to make, sleepless nights and long hours in the office.

At times it was a very solitary place to be.

Many didn’t manage to survive financially, emotionally or physically, which is more than tragic. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully explain to anyone the amount of seemingly insurmountable hurdles and challenges  which kept on arriving, certainly the first time I had ever heard the word furlough or recognised the importance of writing a disaster plan “just in case”  any more unexpected hurdles landed, turns out it’s a good thing for any business to have in place “just in case” so glad it wasn’t needed in the end, but it’s ready if it is needed.

To add insult to injury I fell for a business scam phone call and passed over £600 – and for some reason took that in my stride, it felt insignificant amongst all other pending costs and decisions being made, nothing I could really do about the scam, I trusted the charming person on the phone, foolishly in hindsight. Trust Piolet made interesting reading as so many other businesses had also been tricked, I didn’t comment, there wasn’t  a point, there wasn’t a benefit to taking this on.

The fact the vaccination programme, to protect us from Covid 19, is working pretty well certainly brings hope and less paranoia “out there” which is very encouraging.

It is lovely to walk down Rose Street and see the outside tables mainly full of young people (they deserve this time!)  catching up with each other and exchanging laughter too, it makes me smile every time I walk past tables of fun loving strangers.  Not sure how eye lashes have become so dam long and skin so tanned during the lock down….this will always be a mystery to me J

So what next? Although wonderful to see life as we knew it slowly return, superficially at least, I am  really looking forward to seeing offices eventually filling up again, full of buzz, productivity, laughter and chatter, decision making etc. There will of course be a predictable section of the working community who prefer to work from home and another section who prefer to work in their work office. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds in reality and how business owners large and small navigate their way around this.

It will also be interesting to see the many men who have fully embraced working in their garden sheds attempt to work in an office again…when they have just had the best year ever in their sheds, who knew!!!

Office blocks are still empty,  landlords still need paid, town offices are still empty,  landlords still need paid, some sort of a compromise would be good – but unlikely to happen, certainly hasn’t happened yet…to the best of my knowledge.

Recruitment is still unpredictable, and the market is a bit unusual at present…we are finally recruiting for  more companies than we did during the last 12 months – so that’s good, I love recruitment and meeting and talking with Candidates and Clients and trying to introduce the best match possible. I missed this in 2020. The phone constantly rang with people who we knew and who were often distressed, we couldn’t support except to listen, empathise and encourage. Every day was busy regardless of no actual recruitment taking place, but thank goodness its back to mainly Recruitment again now.

Reflecting back to 23rd March 2020 when our team departed to their homes for what we had thought would be three weeks or so, our full job board was literally wiped clean as one call after another came in cancelling all requests, it is reassuring that recruitment has started again albeit tentatively.

So, just a few thoughts in May 2021 on the year that was. I haven’t  been specific as would prefer to keep the specifics to myself for evermore but – it wasn’t that good a  year.

Good things  happened too though, from my side friendships which were always unshakeable stayed unshakeable, community’s got stronger, people smiling and helping others became commonplace, we may have become less of a selfish society and have started to recognise that life is fragile and all we can do is our best, more than our best at times, and if we can all be kind and understanding of others and their journeys then maybe just maybe the world will be able to reflect on that year, 2020.

I would love to hear your story or even a little of your story, it’s hard to know if anyone ever even reads these rare little blogs, so it would be lovely if you could make even a brief comment. If you choose not to, that’s fine too – and thank you, thank you for being interested and for reading what is a tiny tiny reflection on 2020….larger reflections will need that wine topped up in the fridge!

Edinburgh

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