By Jason Touray
Originally posted on LinkedIn: share your thoughts with JT
So, here we are, living in the New Normal. I’ve been back in London for a few days now after my girlfriend and I cut short our holiday in Colombia amidst the escalating response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We had been looking forward to the trip for months and flew to Bogotá when London was functioning as normal and the only meaningful directive from the government at that time virtually amounted to “everyone wash your hands and when you’re in London Underground stations, try your best not to lick the escalator handrails”.
Then, there was unclear messaging and panic back in the UK, all of which initially passed me and my girlfriend by because we were busy playing (or in my case, winning at) Tejo with our friends in Bogotá. We soon became aware that the response to the situation was getting much more serious and flew back to London to avoid being stuck in Colombia in the event that the country completely closed its borders. The public spaces in the London we came back to were emptying, supermarket shelves were bare and more recently, the whole country has gone into official lockdown.
Using the boiling frog analogy, I was basically a frog that dipped out of the pot while the water was still tepid, then flew to Colombia for super-fun times before being unceremoniously tossed back into the pot just as it began to approach boiling point.
This has been jarring but I think it’s actually been super helpful for me. I’ve been more vigilant in adapting to this New Normal than I might have been had I remained in the proverbial pot of water throughout.
It’s been an abrupt and seismic change, comparable to a snap of the fingers from an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos. In one moment I was singing Holiday by Madonna. In the next, my trip to Colombia and the current and upcoming work projects I had been so focused on paled into insignificance (for now) and all that really mattered was us. All of us.
I won’t lie, I think this New Normal will result in a lot of suffering, that things will get worse before they get better, that our current phase will endure for a significant period of time and will have long-lasting consequences on society at large.
Having said that, we need each other now. We need to look out for ourselves and one another. As with the post-snap world portrayed in the aftermath of the movie Avengers: Infinity War, we will all also need to take stock of our New Normal, find some meaning in all of this and collectively seek to find a way to turn lemons into lemonade. Collectively, we will all need you (yes, YOU) to do this. So be well, be safe and be informed, please.
- If you’re a Founder who needs advice on People Operations / Organisational Strategy or if you need a confidant to talk through general work or Founder stresses with, I’m here to help. I’ve worked for a corporate company, been employee #2 at a bootstrapped startup, worked for WeWork, founded my own startup and I consult for some of the most interesting consumer-facing startup brands in the game. There’s not a lot I’ve not seen or experienced as a partner to Founders or as a Founder myself! And if I can’t help you with something, I will connect you with people who can.
- Are you an employee and would you like to have a confidential conversation with me about circumstances you currently face at work? Maybe your employer has introduced new policies at this time that have left you puzzled or worried and you would like some advice. Maybe you’re relatively new to your job and suspect your job security is precarious? If so, please get in touch.
- If you’re in between jobs, hit me up. Perhaps you’re self-employed and your pipeline of work that has been Thanos-snapped away for now? If so, you can reach out to me. Maybe you would like help figuring out what additional work you can do right now or maybe we can signal-boost the work you do to help you pick up some new business.
- If you’re wondering what professional development opportunities you can take advantage of at this time, I’m happy to suggest some options.
- On a foundational human level, if you just need someone to talk to, are lonely, feel low or are struggling with mental or economic health, please don’t be afraid to reach out to people. You are loved. If I am someone you feel you would like to reach out to, please do.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think you can collaborate with me or Black Unicorn to offer support to the community and you would like to, please get in touch to discuss how we can combine forces. I am very happy to be Nick Fury and assemble the real-life Avengers so we can do more together than we could alone. If you are doing things to support, please let me know if there are people of particular profiles or people who find themselves in specific circumstances you specialise in supporting who we can try to connect you with. If you are doing things to support the collective that we can signal-boost, please let me know because I’d love to do so.
“When you can do the things that I can but you don’t and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.” (Peter Parker, 2016, Captain America: Civil War)
Public Service Announcement – I will henceforth be referring to the new phase we all live in due to the COVID-19 pandemic as The Snap. If you didn’t watch the Avengers movies or generally commit to watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, that is your own personal problem. You have time now. Disney+ exists so you can go ahead and remedy your reckless ways.