The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Worst Of Times Brings Out The Best. Sometimes …

So Corona is still going strong.

And I suspect it will be for some time to come.

As much as it has shown who are societies assholes – and, as usual, a lot are the usual suspects – it has also shown the humanity of business. Or at least some business.

Doing rather than saying.

Acting rather than claiming.

With the beautiful benefit being that these actions will speak for your organisation in ways your media budget could only dream of pulling achieving.

I’ve got to be honest, this has been a revelation to me.

Yes I know it’s exceptional times, but here we are … with company after company stepping up to the plate, doing what’s best for society while doing what’s best for their people.

Whether that’s giving health workers free food and drink and times where they get priority to shop in supermarkets through to paying the salaries of workers who have been told not to come to work until the worst is past or, as is the case with Fuller’s brewery [pic above], paying their landlords rents.

Hell, even the British government have made positive moves with protecting income for the employed/self employed as well as tenants rights.

It’s – to coin a phrase used 10 billion times already – unprecedented.

Of course that doesn’t mean companies who have not been able to do this are bad.

Some just don’t have the resources to do it.

But the key is how they handle the situation.

Companies who think “it’s just business” is a ‘get out of jail card’ to do whatever the hell they want, need to understand it’s always personal to the affected.

Everyone knows we face tough times … hard decisions will likely have to be made … so being considerate and generous to those who have to pay the price is absolute essential.

But there’s something else.

Something that became apparent as I watched Netflix’s Dirty money documentary series, Dirty Money, on loan shark Scott Tucker when he gave this remarkable answer to the question “are you moral a person”?

While we all hope CEO’s show compassion to their staff and customers, the reality is we know many don’t.

But this situation with corona has altered attitudes and states … shown the masses what companies can do and how they can do it … and so to those bad leaders who see corona as a chance to hide previous bad decisions and let go of people to ensure their bonuses remain unaffected, I say this.

You are being watched.

You will be judged.

And unlike the situations we’ve seen with the financial crisis, people won’t be so forgiving or feel they have no power to act.

The rule is painfully simple …

Respect the people and the people will respect you – even if you have to make tough decisions.

But if you treat people badly, this time you won’t be able to get away with it so easily.

The power dynamic will always be in favour of companies, but at a time where unions are slowly being pushed out – society finding its collective power to keep everyone a bit more honest … a bit more compassionate … can only be a good thing during such bad times.

22 Comments so far
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I should have known your version of optimistic post would not be that optimistic. Or more precisely, would not be purely optimistic. Feels like you wrote this post a while back. It’s still relevant but I sense the collective spirit is breaking apart. Obviously it is here in the states but I get the impression it is in the UK too.

Dirty Money is a great series and Scott Tucker has always been a jerk. But the 3 words he says in the clip will hopefully haunt him and ruin him forever.

Comment by Pete

Dirty Money is very good. I’ve not watched the Scott Tucker episode yet but that clip has inspired me to have a very late night tonight.

Comment by George

dirty money sounds like the a pornhub subscriber. dirty money bastards.

Comment by andy@cynic

Had you forgotten what Rob was like? His optimism is when someone breaks all the bones in their body rather than die.

Comment by Bazza

Yep I did. But at least corona is still happening so I can look marginally topical. For once.

Comment by Rob

If governments weren’t offering furlough, the generally positive behaviour by companies in relation to staff cuts would be very different. There would still be the few who shelter and protect their staff at all costs but there would be many more just cutting without consideration.

Comment by George

Totally agree. You can tell by the amount of rich companies/owners using furlough to push salary costs onto the governments books when they could cover it themselves.

There has been some press about this practice, but not enough which just encourages more companies to follow the same path as it is the corporate reputation protecting way to cut.

When the furlough stops, wait for all those people to then be officially let go. All that is happening is a delay to the bloodbath and companies showing their true dark colours.

I hope the companies who adopted this strategy will face higher taxes to pay it back when it’s all over but they won’t. It will be who it always is that has to pay.

Comment by Pete

Our comments are more depressing that the post. Is this a first?

Comment by George

We can try harder.

Comment by Bazza

When furlough stops, that’s when the trouble will really start. Rob is more optimistic than me that people will fight against inhumane treatment of employees. Maybe in the UK, but in the US it’s going to be 2 weeks and you’re done.

Comment by Bazza

I agree. I think society will – at least temporarily – react to any company abusing their position in terms of redundancy. My fear is that so many companies will do it at the same time that it is too much to react against. But even that will still be better than what I presume will happen in the US.

Comment by Rob

Absolutely. Bizarrely I’d not thought about it in those terms. While the government were trying to help businesses get through this situation without shedding too many staff, all they’ve probably done is delay that eventuality in a way where companies think they can get away with it without critical eyes.

I still believe there will be implications if companies move furlough to unemployment without compassion and consideration for their employees. As I said, I think everyone knows these are unbelievably challenging times and so hard decisions will have to get made, but that still doesn’t mean companies can use furlough as an abdication if being generous to staff if they have to let them go.

Naive aren’t I. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Sometimes, scarily so.

Comment by Bazza

oh for fucks sake campbell. dont be so fucking thick.

Comment by andy@cynic

All you need to know about Scott Tucker is in that clip. But there will be just as many people agreeing with his comment as ridiculing it. Especially here.

Comment by Bazza

Yep. One mans devil is another mans hero.

Hence your president.

Comment by Rob

Not my president.

Comment by Bazza

There’ll only be retribution if there’s an active reminder of the immorality. I remember somebody set up a site to act as a repository of offenders but it wasn’t very populated and I can’t find it now.

Do you really think people who previously bought cheap food and cheap clothing without thinking about its implications will do anything?

Governments could have done their job by tying state aid to good behaviours, but very few have.

I hope I’m wrong, but I rarely am.

Comment by John

Hahahahaha … your last line.

And yes, I think big businesses strategy of simply waiting for mundane, apathetic normality to return so they can carry on as before is probably what will happen.

But I also think this might be the one time governments will not let them get away with as much as before given the vast amounts of money they have invested in the attempt to mitigate damage.

Of course, that will end up still trickling down to the people who need the help the most … and so why I live in hope, I too have doubts – because while long term change create long term sustainable behaviours, it can also create apathy and that’s what I think many companies are relying on.

I hope they are proved wrong.

Comment by Rob

what the fucks havent worked out is if they fire everyone or tax the fuck out of everyone, there wont be anyone to buy their shit and make the world go round. or whatever other fucking cliche shit they spout in banking circles.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’ve just created Visa’s next campaign.

If you can’t afford it, buy it with visa.

Comment by DH

it should be
if you can’t afford it, keep paying for it with visa.
another fucking invoice is on the way.

Comment by andy@cynic

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