Billy Joel Said it Best
In 1976, Billy Joel wrote a song called Miami 2017 (seen the lights go out on Broadway). It is essentially a science fiction song about the destruction of New York City. When he performed the song in October of 2001, following the September 11 attacks at a benefit concert for New York, upon finishing the song he said, “unlike the song we ain't going anywhere.” Last week, we published a blog called This Hurt, a Lot. In it, I talked about some of the emotions that I and others had about what was going on with the coronavirus. In keeping with my personality, it was honest, unpolished and perhaps raw. I shared that we had laid off staff.
Reaction for the most part was positive with people expressing appreciation at the honesty of the piece. It did, however, freak a few people out. Did this mean that we were closing our doors, was this the end of FUN? As Joel said to the crowd at that concert “we ain't going anywhere.” What I shared last week (and perhaps I shouldn’t have) was a snapshot of the moment. It was important to show people that it wasn’t just airlines, hotels and cruise lines that were impacted but small, local businesses as well. A week later and the landscape is no clearer. In one week, 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment. Washington state, California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, among others, have issued shelter in place orders. State Governors in many states have asked their citizens to stay home unless needed, while some states are now stopping cars at the borders with license plates from certain states. The number of confirmed cases here is now the largest in the world with little sign that it is flattening or slowing.
On Friday, the President signed into law a 2.2 trillion-dollar relief package. Now, if I could just get someone with a PhD to explain it to me, I would be all set. What it does signal is that help is on the way. Financial recovery is one thing that is needed, but also needed is a recovery of a different kind. Slowly but surely, I am seeing a recovery of people’s spirit. When the blog got released, the amount of support we received was amazing. In the form of posts, texts, emails and calls, people asked what they could do to help, along with letting us know that they believed in us and that they knew we would be just fine. With positivity like that we cannot fail.
We are not the only beneficiaries of such support. Social media is full of posts of people supporting local restaurants or other small businesses with the sole purpose being to keep them afloat. Federal monies are important but far less impactful over the long haul, than the support of neighbors, friends, customers and clients.
Much of what I have read in the past talking about blogs say they need to be honest and tell a story. Last week, I thought that was what I was doing. It was again a snapshot in time. My hope was that people would read it and feel as if I was verbalizing some of what they were feeling. To let them know that if they were feeling that way, they were not alone. It was not intended to freak people out or to scare people. The goal was not to have people rush to our aid. What the response did was strengthen our resolve to come out the other side. Your comments and well wishes made a huge difference and made us feel great about who we are and who we work with.
If the blog made people anxious or overstepped the bounds of professionalism, I truly and sincerely apologize. When this all ends, we will be here and that is as a result of an incredible network of people that we are involved with. This group includes our amazing staff, fantastic vendors and truly incredible clients. I do not say it enough, thank you and we appreciate each and every one of you. Looking forward to getting past this and having many more years of FUN.
About the author: Ken Abrahams is the VP for Client Relations for FUN Enterprises. Sometimes he writes or speaks without thinking about the consequences, intended or otherwise. Mom always said honesty is the best policy and he is too old to change now.