So this is the first document I’ve actually dictated. A new skill I’ve learned since we’ve been on lockdown because frankly my fingers are tired from texting all the people I’ve been doing, staying in contact with remotely!
This home working is hard. I’m not used to being isolated, I’m not used to not being present with my team so that’s taken an enormous adjustment but quite frankly compared to the sacrifice our grandparents made in the Second World War and our great grandparents in the First World War, staying inside for a fortnight shouldn’t prove to be too problematic!
I worry about our loved ones too. I have a brand-new granddaughter that I was lucky enough to see the day after she was born but not been able to see since. And I will not see her for another couple of months. I also have two parents who have been told to self-isolate for 12 weeks and that is very tough for all of us. I am just grateful that both my kids have loving partners and safe jobs and are happy (ish) isolating albeit a long way away from me.
This is an entirely unprecedented time in terms of impact on business. I’ve had six friends who had to shut down their businesses either wholly or partly in the last week, just over two weeks since the lockdown started and I know that most businesses have no more than two or three months cash reserves. And as far as I can see in the headlines there is a considerable gap in terms of business and individuals support I think there is going to be a gap between deliverability and how long people can hold out. Most people start with a Plan A – a few headcount cuts and a few team members furloughed (I am aware that none of us knew what it meant beforehand, however ‘furloughed’ is now a word burned into our memory for ever more) but the reality is now with the lockdown extending probably to the end of June and beyond that we need to be thinking about Plan B and even C. That is keeping a lot of business people up at night.
I’d also like to congratulate the everyday heroes that are doing their jobs unrecognised and unappreciated. Our Operations Managers running Service Centres almost single handed, our Drivers still delivering, our Network delivering urgent supplies. These are the people who have been exemplary in the face of challenges. I thank them wholeheartedly. Their service will never be forgotten.
Plus the local heroes; the man that gave me paracetamol when the shelves were cleared when I was trying to find it for my daughter-in-law after my granddaughter was born, the very, very kind neighbourhoods supporting the elderly and self isolating. Real super stars.
Funnily enough I have turned into a milkman and greengrocer delivering fruit and doing the pharmacy deliveries as well as trying to run my business, and I know other directors at diamond are doing the same. Every little kind action helps, I hope.
I’ve never seen a society under such pressure but it is with pressure diamonds are made. And I see plenty of 4 carat diamonds out there. Keep Calm and Carry On. We can do this.