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Political Gumbo: Mr. Business Owner, Learn From This

Published on Monday, May 25, 2020 | 3:00 am
 

There are lessons to be learned during the pandemic for all involved that could really impact us if we take the time to stop and think.

We already knew the president would blow it in a crisis, so not much to say there.

Hopefully, parents realize it is not always a joy to have your child in class, and sadly I do have to say even if you work from home, you still have to get up and take a shower and get dressed before that Zoom meeting.

The hair part I get, beauty salons and barbers are closed. My afro is getting to the point where I look like I should be performing in a 70s Motown review. But, I am not missing any showers. Showers before meetings are a must, and put some damn clothes on.

Moving forward, I hope business owners are taking to heart what they are going through.

In some ways, the pandemic has placed business owners in the same place as struggling employees.

They’re both wondering how they are going to keep the lights on and keep things going.

Yes, I support our local businesses.

But that feeling some building owners have had in the pit of their stomachs for the past two months — and many of them will have it going forward — is the same feeling many employees and tenants have at night when they stare in the dark wondering how they are going to take care of their families.

The difference is in many cases the employees have endured that feeling for years, and I am not just talking about waiters.

The truth is wages are not keeping up with inflation. My parents could afford a home on 25 percent of my father’s income in 1969 and after he died. My mom, who went to work, in 1975 could afford to pay college tuition for five kids. The last three of us were in college at the same time.

No this column is not about the minimum wage,

This column is about remembering,

Yes Mr. Business owner, this too shall pass. Some of you will reopen and many of you will claw your way back to profitability.

But will you remember?

Will you remember how it feels when your employee tells you his lights are about to get shut off, or they say they can’t afford the rent on the money they are making?

I hope so, because now you know things can turn on a dime, and it can happen to you.

Maybe instead of things going back to “normal,” we should go forward after this.

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