Broken but still standing

in OCD11 months ago

I spoke to a friend of mine today and as usual I asked the age-old question of, "how are you?" She burst into tears.


My friend owns two cafés and operates with 42 staff on the books...Operated with 42 staff I should say. That's right, she is closed for business and put off all her staff due to the government-implemented restrictions around virus control measures.

As you can imagine it was not a terribly easy thing to do and she cried all the way through each face-to-face with her staff as she let them go; Many of the staff cried too apparently. It's just a was some people deal with things I suppose.

This lady is a thirty year-old single mother of two who has clawed her way upwards from a devastating divorce and the subsequent issues around it to generating her own modest income through her cafés; It's a good story which I may open up a little more on at some future point. Right now she faces ruination due to the recent virus that spread around the world from China.

Still standing

Being the tough little unit she is [yes she's a tiny little thing] she is working on a plan to reopen and to have the chance to bring back some staff, even if only a few.

Her current menu's are angled more towards dining-in with only a small amount geared for take-away; It's that which she's working on changing currently considering it is against the law to dine-in these days.

She has been adjusting the menu, working on packaging options to send food out the door and contacting suppliers which she says has been the most challenging aspect with most of them closed down. She's also strategising around how to drive people to the cafés which is pretty-much through social media at this stage. From what she tells me it seems like a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to be honest, but she's a battler and will duke it out for a win, or at least to stay alive.

Whilst it's not a pleasant time for her and she's feeling rather fragile and exposed I suggested that she should take-heart from the fact she hasn't fallen in a heap. She laughed at that and said, you should see me at night! I get it, that's a little bit like most people these days I think...In the dark and quiet time when sleep usually happens our minds are either racing or in a state of exhaustion...It's a tough situation for all.

I'm of the belief that as humans we're all a little broken at times; We are certainly flawed and subject to negative external forces but we are also resilient and stubborn too. If we were not then we wouldn't have managed to survive a world hell-bent on eliminating us, and each other I suppose too.

My friend will work out a plan and reopen her doors soon; The new reality will be different to the past, but that's the thing with moving forward right?

Before we ended the call my friend thanked me for the chat, for calling in the first place. She told me how focused she's been and that everything else has taken a back-seat to the situation at hand...She appreciated the call, a few moments of shared-burden, and I think others would also.

I've been calling people all morning, asking after them, being an ear to listen, having a joke and laugh and just engaging with them...It's made me feel better and helped to zap them a little also I think.

We're lucky, we have the blockchain to engage and interact on but many don't so I think it's a worthwhile endeavour to make a few calls, engage person to person and simply say, "hey, what's up."

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.

Be well

Image is Glastonbury Abbey ruins, Somerset, UK - Taken by me.

 11 months ago 

Margins are usually wafer thin, too. If she can find a way to stay solvent while her competitors go under, she'll have triple that many staff when things turn around.
Hardly a silver lining, considering other need to lose their shirts; but 5 years from now, in hindsight this could well be the defining period of her professional life.

Yes, in troubled times there's always winners and losers. It pays to be a winner, but that's never assured.

So sorry for her. My mother too is a small restaurant owner and unfortunately this will do her in she has no plan in place but has adjusted the Menü as well. She is almost sixty and has her whole life/life savings into that place. She is the only restaurant in town and has received a lot of support from the community, but sadly it won’t be enough. You read about the 2 trillion dollar bail out in the US. The Kennedy center is receiving for free 25million 60% of their ANNUAL operating budget! Insanity. And these people suffer with to help in sight. This will be an economic depression for the history books. So sad. Sending good vibes to this strong lady.

Like I replied to Matt on this post, there's always winners and losers in times like this and the distribution isn't always fair. Some of the handouts being given in the US, and here, are difficult to comprehend although all we, as the little people, can do is suck on it...Wait for the crumbs and hope.

People like your mum (mom), sole business's in small towns, are the lifeblood of the community and yet often the primary victims in such times.

Yes, good on my friend for fighting, may your mum find some way to do the same.

Stay safe BB, and thanks for your comment. I've missed you bro.

That's the way mate be someone to lend an ear to hurting people I done some to over the last few days.

I think it's the least I can do and in turn it helps me to feel a little more emotionally buoyant as well.

I've been in tears all morning. Mornings the worst. And I am not going through half of what your friend is. I was pissed off my son didn't call and feeling very, very, very far from home. But I imagine things will go up and down over next few months. Can't even go home.

Yes, there's a lot of emotion flying around at the moment, many people feeling things they may not have before, not to this degree anyway.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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It's very sad to hear this, that not only is Covid-19 killing people, but it's also bringing ruination to our livelihoods. I don't suppose the Aussie government is planning to have some stimulus measures at cushioning the impact of lockdowns on people's lives, are they?

One of the things that's been keeping eateries in business, here in Malaysia (not least the government's relief package ), is through the use of food delivery services. Rather than relying on your own riders, one could employ UberEats (or its equivalent ) to keep your shops open. Huge respects to your friend, for keeping herself strong and determined in these dark days. Hope to see her cafes open again soon!

It's sad yes.

The government has released a package of $1500/ fortnight for each employee (paid to employer) to go towards wages. A massive multi-million dollar offering. It will help some. The thing is that she's not going to keep the doors open (and re-employ everyone) if the trade isn't reliably there. It will help somewhat.

What part of Malaysia are you from? My dad was born and raised there. Nice place, enjoyed the one occasion we visited and went to his home town of Malacca when his father was the Post Master for the British postal service before WW2.

Anyway, just curious.

Hope you're safe and well, and not getting too bored. 🙂

Doing well, mate 🙂. It's in these troubling times where it can make or break governments, based on how they handle things. Hope more good things will follow suit.

Wow, I didn't know that we had a mutual connection 😅. I'm from Selayang, which is a medium-ish sized township just 30 minutes north of downtown Kuala Lumpur. It's relatively green here, and I'm not entirely surrounded by a concrete jungle.

Malacca is a fantastic place, and I've been there some times for vacations. I believe it's about a 2+ hour drive from my place. A lot of history, from the Portugese to the Brits, and plenty great food, too! My family was originally from Singapore, back when it was a part of Malaya. But in the late-60s, there was a lot of racial tension, and my grandad decided that it would be (relatively ) safer to move the family here instead.

We've only been once, to KL and Malacca with a little day-touring. Really liked Malaysia although don't feel any connection to it I guess. We'll be back for sure though, maybe even next year...Hive meet-up? Just a thought.

My dad went through the Japanese occupation of Malaya during WW2; He was a kid but it stayed with him for life. You may recall a few posts I did about it I guess. He came here in 1966 and called Australia home ever since. I was born in 1970. My dad loved Australia and from the moment he came here became Australian (a citizen in 1967). We were brought up Aussie AF and now, despite being delectably mocha in colour feel as Aussie as it gets...Still, it was amazing to walk streets in Malacca that my dad would have walked, including the post office where my grandfather worked.

Looks like you're on the edge of the jungle?

Looks like you're on the edge of the jungle?

Some forest reserves, but yeah, it's quite foresty in some parts. Much greener than Kuala Lumpur, that's for sure. My grandad did serve with the local Malaysian regiments during WW2, fighting with the Brits. After that, he retired away from Peninsula Malaya, and onto Singapore, where he kicked back on the beach with the British officers :-)

Then, the racism came. There's an event that all Malaysians remember, the 13th of May incident, 1969. It was the culmination of decades of racial segregation between the largely Malay, Chinese, and Indian population of Malaya/Singapore. Protests came about, followed by chaos and death. According to my dad, it was worse in Singapore than it was here, for the Malays at least.

Then, my grandad brought the whole family here, and we've been Malaysians since. It's pretty great to hear your story, mate 😄... Though I can't recall visiting a post office during my trips to Malacca. Any hints?

I love that heading, I'm def broken but as you say im still standing. I hope we can all get back to some sort of normal pretty soon a bad her business will pick up.

I'm sure most of us will come out the other end of this journey into some form of normality although the emotional and financial effect will stay for a long time.

Yep, I was pretty chuffed with that heading. 🙂

I hope so, i do think the world has changed just hoping its changed in a more caring world :)

hoping its changed in a more caring world

Many probably feel the same...But a look back into history shows that human's seem incapable of that paradigm. Still, maybe this time...I wonder how many times those words have been thought or uttered...

I wonder. Look how long the words Bekind stuck with everyone, You hear nothing but weird bitch x

I can't do phone calls so I've just been texting (got a couple more people to check up on over the next couple of days). I guess everyone else has Facebook so they know what's going on with everyone else? The people that run gym and homeschool group had to keep texting/emailing me because I'm the freak that refuses to do Facebook like all the normal people XD

Owch pretty tough for your friend DX there's a lot of stories like that going around at the moment and it sucks >_< hope she's able to get something workable happening with the cafes.

How are you going over there?

Keeping in touch is important for them and ourselves I think. I'm not on Facebook and feel that that is not the best way to keep in touch...Too much bullshit gets around on there, people read it there and feel informed...I prefer getting my information elsewhere and engaging with people in a more personal way.

We're ok here, just trying to get by like the rest of the country. Taking this scenario seriously and doing the right thing, but have lost almost all of our income which ramps up the issues pretty quickly. All good though, still standing.

Oof x_x keep standing!