One week. Seven days. One hundred sixty-eight hours. As I sit at my desk in the corner of our living room tonight, I can hardly believe how dramatically the world, as I knew it, has changed in such a short period of time.
Last Friday—one hundred and sixty-eight hours ago—Becky and I ate a late dinner while commiserating about another “crazy” week. The country was coming to understand the Coronavirus as a serious threat, Becky had been immersed in one conference call after another with her employer’s emergency response teams, and I continued preparing resources for my clients. Hearing what she was involved with at a corporate level emphasized to me that small businesses don’t have the money, internal experts, employee teams, plans, or strategies in place to quickly and effectively address emergencies like the spread of the Coronavirus. Little did we know what a difference one hundred sixty-eight hours would make.
Besides tonight, I had one other opportunity for personal introspection this week. About 9:30 Monday night, as I turned to close the door of my office, I stopped to take one more look inside. I had decided, for several reasons, that I would work from home for the foreseeable future. The magnitude of the crisis was building, and at that moment, I wondered what it would be like the next time I opened that door; would there be anything left of my business at that point. I thought of the struggles my family endured so I could build and then sell Driven HR to a local company, the battles I fought to break away when that company was sold two years later, and what it felt like to start over with HR Compliance Experts just 15 months ago. I also thought of the responsibilities I have to my two employees…and the fact that I had made a job offer to someone just a few days before. The click of that door closing still rings in my ears.
Although my family would say I hide it well, I’m a diehard optimist. I don’t give up; ever. I’m also a realist. There will be many more difficult days and weeks ahead. However, I genuinely believe the challenges are not nearly as significant as how we respond. Since Monday, I’ve been working 15 hours a day to monitor the flood of information, and then provide details and explanations of the government mandates and confusing new state and federal laws to our clients and anyone else who wanted to listen. That’s what I do best, and what I will continue to do until we’re past this crisis. And, I am positive we will get past this crisis.
I want to end by saying thank you for spending some of your valuable time reading Fridays with Frank. It means a lot to me, especially this week. I know it wasn’t the quirky and funny (you’re certainly quirky, but funny is pushing it) post you’ve come to expect. But, I thought it was important to let you know that, if you feel like your world has completely changed in the last one hundred sixty-eight hours, and the lack of control over what’s happening all around us frightens you even a little, you are not alone. But, like you, we’re too busy fighting like hell for what’s important to let it show or get in our way.
Posted by Frank Cania, president of HR Compliance Experts LLC.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute a legal opinion, and is not legal advice. The facts of each situation should be considered and analyzed individually. Therefore, you should always consult with competent employment counsel regarding any issues discussed here.
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