This has all happened before, and it will all happen again.
-J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
I was in college in the 4 years leading up to the new millenia. As we climbed our ladder, our professors would often tell us “ you will enter the workplace during one of the most unprecedented economies in the history of the world. One where there just aren’t enough people to fill the demand of what we are setting out to accomplish.”
In the Spring of 1999, the message began to change. The energy of our Economics and Business courses were off. I could feel something wasn’t right. I came back from a Summer abroad, and their messages began to change.
“You might need to compromise.”
“You’ll need to practice resilience.”
“You may need to take jobs you never would have otherwise.”
In February 1998, it would take 1hr and 45min to drive from San Mateo, CA to San Jose, CA at 8am PT. On October 1st, 2001, that same drive would take just 48minutes.
Why do I remember that? Probably because it was my defining moment and a drive I was very familiar with.
During college I worked for a communication construction company. Often I would pick up and deliver plans. Most of our Jobs were in San Jose while some of the best General Contractors we worked with had offices on The Peninsula (Silicon Geo Slang…sorry).
One moment, my phone is blowing up because because I am stuck on a freeway full of Out-of-State plates and the General Contractor appt is about to be blown; the next, I am getting pulled over for doing 85 in a 55 and I’m shocked because I just wasn’t used to an open freeway.
Right now, at 7:55am, I can see that same strip of freeway via a webcam is just as empty. Perhaps worse in moments.
What’s it going to take to get back to ‘normal’
The last time I was in this position, I was 20 something with a college degree and a girlfriend who had relocated with me so that I can attend college without being apart. When I graduated, I was automatically furloughed because I was part time and didn’t have any children or dependents.
This time, it’s the opposite. I am married, 3 kids, and I was furloughed because I was middle management and didn’t touch any orders- thus I am a cost.
This is the Half Glass Moment
INSIGHT 1: GET OVER IT.
It’s not personal, even when it is. It happens/ed. Take a moment to grieve, and then start working the problem.
INSIGHT 2: THE NEW NORMAL IS COKE CLASSIC.
The ‘new normal’ is just a rebranded experience that helps us cope. People who succeed in this moment will be the ones who not only realize this but also empathize with people who are coping via the rebrand.
INSIGHT 1 + INSIGHT 2 = SOMEONE’S ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE.
The momentum in the current economy, as well as the micro economies, has halved. It has not stopped. Right now, s