What A Long, Strange Year This Week Has Been
Well hello again, y’all.
Once again, we have another week where stories about business management and accounting just don’t quite seem right.
Those things are still important, don’t get me wrong.
They’re as important as ever, in fact.
But I don’t think they’re at the forefront of any of our minds.
No, I think for most of us right now, every day is a bit of an adventure as we continue to deal with changing state regulations and our nation’s attempts at working from home. At least for me, it feels like every time I get one thing figured out, another issue pops up that I’d never thought about.
But…that’s kind of life, isn’t it? I’d be lying if I said that was never how things worked pre-pandemic.
For those of us here in Jonesboro, it’s been an extra-eventful week. Just as we were all celebrating that we’d made it through another round of craziness with our jobs and sanity (mostly) intact, nature decided to make things a little more exciting in the form of a tornado blowing through town.
Not by the town. Not through some field at the edge of town. Through it.
The mall I spent many a lunch break at is gone.
The shops I passed every morning on my way to work are gone.
Our best source of overly-fattening food and $5 fruity drinks is gone.
Homes and subdivisions and people’s family mementos are gone.
Our people, however, remain.
It turns out that sometimes God really does work in mysterious ways, and never has that felt more pertinent. The tornado swept through the busiest part of town, but most of the shops and restaurants had shuttered their doors more than a week ago to help stem the spread of infection.
The parts of Jonesboro that are normally bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Saturday night were largely empty as families stayed at home, eating takeout and watching The Tiger King.
The very places that took the hardest hits were shuttered completely, and everywhere else had skeleton crews cleaning shelves and answering the phones.
Miraculously, there were no fatalities. No serious injuries. At the end of the day, every person in the city got to return to their families; the most important things still intact. And for that, we are all immensely grateful.
There’s probably a lot to be learned from that. I’m still processing quite a bit of it myself.
In many ways, it feels wrong to try to cheapen such an event with a tidy takeaway about good management or whatever. And so I won’t. I will simply say that life is precious and unpredictable.
We should always do what we can to prepare.
We should have proper insurance, and good safety policies. We should make sure that we foster good communication within our companies, and fill our ranks with smart people who know how to react as situations change. But mostly, we should make sure that our people know how much they matter; that we’re always remembering what matters most.
Because the rest is subject to change, but no matter what happens, you’ll always be glad that you told your kids you loved them. You’ll always be glad you “wasted” that ten minutes at the water cooler, joking about the weekend with your co-worker. And you’ll always be glad that you did the right thing.