A call from the bank, but not as we know it

This week we talk about a side effect to the largest home working experiment in human history, family businesses and a new wedding anniversary gift idea for lockdown. Enjoy.

Hello everyone, I hope you and your families are safe and well.

Last week my bank manager called me. He’s rarely a bringer of good news, I normally screen his calls but this was a new number. There was something about his manner that caught me off guard. He spoke in a softer, more comforting tone, explaining to me how I could reduce my monthly fees.  Yes, reduce. And then it turned more bizarre still. Every now and again he made a gurgling sound. Followed by a little hiccup.  It dawned on me that he must have been rocking a baby on his knee. We had a chat about children and working from home, uncharted waters for a bank call. Underneath our job titles, we are not so different.  The whole experience was so disarmingly human that he could have just given me the news that they were repossessing my home and I would have thanked him for letting me know. 

This pandemic has resulted in what is effectively the largest home-working experiment ever conducted in human history. In lockdown, there’s a certain blurring of the line between personal life and work life, preventing the ‘always-on’ mentality that many have become accustomed to. In my family at least, evening hours are reverting to family time, which I’m loving. 

Our thoughts go to small family businesses

For weeks, everyone’s orbit had been tilting one way one hour, the other the next. Sorting through the conflicting chatter, trying to decide what to do is hard especially if you have a business that is not operating due to lockdown. One of the dad’s in Leo’s class runs an Argentinian restaurant. This is not the kind of restaurant that can develop an app overnight and pivot to home delivery. It’s the kind of place that people go to talk to one another, serving delicious charcoal-grilled steaks and a decent bottle of affordable Malbec to keep the conversation flowing into the early hours. These kinds of small family restaurants are part of the fabric of society and are rapidly unravelling as lockdown continues. It would be a real loss if they went belly-up due to this virus.  

Thinking is good for you. Thinking in circles isn’t. 

(I try not to think about this too many times per day or it defeats the purpose).

Are we seeing each other more than when this all started?

Over the last weeks, we’ve been using technology to spend quality time with loved ones. Family, friends both old and new. It’s ironic that before lockdown we could see them all the time but didn’t. Now that this freedom has been stripped from us we realise how important they are and we call them more often. 

Need a wedding anniversary gift idea for lockdown?

Normally it’s me who forgets our anniversary.  This year it was we. Fortunately,  I have a thoughtful (and organised) sister in law who not only remembers every family birthday but also wedding anniversaries.  Extraordinary, I know.  This year, both my wife and I forgot our anniversary until Charlotte’s card arrived as a timely reminder. Fortunately, a few months earlier, when we launched The Map of Everyone, I had given my wife a personalised map of where we tied the knot. As it’s a paper gift, it’s the perfect for a 1st anniversary.

Remember to create a free video celebration for anyone in lockdown with a birthday, wedding, anniversary or special occasion coming up.

Freedom is something we’ve all grown to appreciate a little more over the weeks. I think you’ll enjoy this Freedom! I got a bit teary, to be honest, must have got something in my eye.

Stay safe everyone.

Keep smiling (from behind that face mask).

It’s going to be alright. 

1 Comment

  1. Thank you. Your message was brilliant and just what I needed to read tonight! I am also working from home, and it’s hard work; but My family and I are safe so forever grateful that it has been an option for me! Not so sure my colleagues appreciate my 2 puppy dogs getting in on the video calls though! Keep safe, sane and well!

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