I am Legend, Apocalypse!

Posted: 13 March 2020
Author: Mark Hurren

Another piece of clickbait in the ever-growing hysteria that is Covid19, Do I have a white Lab coat and a degree in Virology, no. The same can be said of many of the companies sending me Covid19 related marketing spam and posting all over LinkedIn. I draw the line at receiving advice from a multi-job poster this morning advising me to eat healthily and wash my hands, no Sh*t sherlock! The core of the email is below followed by a little insight to some of the conversations taking place in so called Covid19 readiness.

“Dear Valued Client,
As the outbreak of coronavirus, also known as COVID19, continues to expand, we are taking a series of measures to help ensure the health and safety of our employees and customers. As a (name removed to protect the stupid) Client, you help play an active role in limiting the spread of this and any other virus. We are asking that client meetings are kept to a minimum over the course of the next few weeks, and that video calls be used instead.

We will continue to monitor information associated with the coronavirus and should any disruption to our business occur, we will proactively keep you informed. In the meantime, we are advising our team to follow the general public advisements and adhere to the following as part of prevention:

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay home and rest if you aren’t feeling well.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Avoid close contact with others who are ill.
Drink plenty of water and get regular exercise.
Opt for a fist bump, head nod or a wave in lieu of a handshake.
While the coronavirus is without question a significant concern, as of today, the *********** operations have not been impacted. It is important to note, however, that the situation is dynamic and we will provide updates as needed.”

GET OVER YOURSELVES!!! First, I haven’t been a client for years, update your records, have you heard of GDPR? Second, you provide a multi-job post platform, you’re not the NHS, people aren’t going to be quietly sobbing in the corner and rocking gently if they can’t post a job advert.

I’m clean, my kids are being regularly hosed down with a jet wash and a dose of Dettol, I don’t need every company from the local stationers to the bakers telling me stuff we are all reading and seeing on our Goggle boxes on a daily basis.

Rather than offer up advice that no one asked for, I thought I would share a couple of examples of what passes as Covid-19 planning in some business circles. These are all genuine accounts from individuals I have chatted with in the past couple of weeks.

The other guy: “were working from home in shifts”

Me: “how does that work?”

The other guy: “We have a team A and a team B, when A is in the office B works from home and vice versa”

Me: “So all your guys are out at the weekend still, getting shopping and commuting every other week then?”

The other guy: “yea?”

Me: “so your company is assuming that the two teams can only catch it from each other and the fact they are out and about at the weekend evenings and commuting every other week doesn’t matter?”

The other guy: “(prolonged pause)…oh yea, the senior management team came up with it after two weeks worth of meetings!”

I’m not sure what is scarier the fact the senior management team came up with the idea and thought the logic was sound or the 45 intelligent individuals that work for the firm chose to be sheep and simply went along with it.

The HR Manager: “We need to cancel Johns interview for this afternoon”

Chris (a friend who runs a recruitment firm in London): “Ok I can let him know, has something cropped up for Dan” (Okay I admit I made the Dan bit up I don’t know the line managers name, Dan is a solid name lets run with it)

The HR Manager: “We are putting all recruitment on hold because of the risk of Covid-19”

Chris “Is that because Dan’s project has been impacted, has the end client shifted their focus?”

The HR Manager: “No the poor bloke is pulling his hair out, he still needs the seven developers and sign off is still there”

Chris “You have lost me? So the work is there your flat out busy and everything we spoke about with regards the end client needing this yesterday still stands” (I’m ad-libbing a little here, you can assume Chris was professional and just wanted to understand more about how we got here)

The HR Manager: “We are worried about interviewing candidates so we have put all recruitment on hold”

Chris “So the 4000+ employees, sales reps, maintenance staff, service companies, catering firms, etc. are still entering and leaving your building every day?”

The HR Manager: “Oh yes, it’s business, as usual, we are just putting recruitment on hold until this all blows over”

I will leave this story there and hope my point is made. For the record we have the worlds largest market leading product for audio and video meets and we are happy to set up interviews via the platform but if you have 10, 20 or a hundred different individuals entering your office each day then… hopefully, the sane amongst you get my point…oh and when exactly is this going to “blow over?” we are at the very least 18 months plus away from a vaccine if the news I hear is to be believed, that’s the real news not what my stationer had to say about it.

If your business is being impacted by the outbreak on a commercial/fiscal basis I get it and as a small company owner I expect we will see the fallout from this, so sincerely I feel your pain.

For those of you with business models less vulnerable to the economic effects of Covid19, this is actually a potential opportunity to bag the best talent while the sheep are all following the sheep in front. We will get past this, the question is will your company be in a position to move forward or will your competitor have stole the lead in all the Covid-19 hysteria.

Barry: (Barry’s name has been changed to protect the guilty) “Hey mate, how’s it hanging? (who says that anymore, Barry’s 40 not 70!) I’m in the area are you in the office? I will come up for a coffee”

Me: “Are the trains not running then mate? How come you’re not at work”

Barry: “I’m in isolation for 14 days”

Me: “it’s people like you….”£$%^&*^$££^%^&^&%$ so no mate I’m not around, go home and stop being a “£%%£%%£$£%%$££$”

Barry is a senior tech guy, very smart dude, this week not such a smart dude.

So to sum up:

1. Don’t rush out and buy anything in bulk, there are no shortages if there is nothing on the shelf it’s because someone before you behaved like a sheep and selfishly stripped the shelf of said product. That doesn’t mean next time you see said shelf full you should do the same “just in case!”

2. If you are being asked to self-isolate then do it, my father-in-law has COPD and will thank you for it! Barry is a $%^&*&^

3. If you are a business who isn’t in the medical profession, the government, WHO or someone else relevant to this crisis, please don’t feel the need to send out mailers telling others to wash there hands, you can rest easy that the message is being conveyed, we appreciate your service though thanks.

4. Don’t be dirty, there I said it. You should have been washing your hands anyway, eurgh!

On a more sensible note all of you in my network are managers, business owners, fathers/mothers, husbands/wives, school governors, church leaders or brothers/sisters the list goes on, recognise that your comments and behaviours influence those around you, use the right words and actions and perhaps we can avoid the human race tearing it’s self apart over toilet paper!

Heartfelt thanks to all of the organisations working to get us through this, NHS clearly front and centre but the many people who make up the supply chain, the innovative companies who are leveraging technology to find cures for all the world’s headaches both medical and environmental we respect your endeavour.

For the rest of us lookout for your family and community, where you can be of help then help, where you are a hindrance, get over yourself stop being so selfish and put some of the 25 rolls of loo paper in your trolley back on the shelf.

I personally plan to toughen up my dog, buy a pick-up truck and drive the streets of Suffolk hoping I can bag a deer for lunch! I’m kidding, I’m kidding… yep, that seemed obvious to me too, but judging on the past few weeks not everyone is thinking straight at the moment.


Heartfelt thanks to all of the organisations working to get us through this, NHS clearly front and centre but the many people who make up the supply chain, the innovative companies who are leveraging technology to find cures for all the world’s headaches both medical and environmental we respect your endeavour.

Don’t be dirty, there I said it. You should have been washing your hands anyway, eurgh!!!!

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