Absurdly Driven usually looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
So many bar and restaurant owners are currently shaken.
Their businesses have disappeared, as if a cruel magician had come along in the night.
I've spoken to several restaurant owners who are trying everything they can to stay afloat. There's takeout and delivery. There's also, as one restaurant I recently wrote about did, selling your cleaning products and other items at cost.
It seems almost cruel to ask if bar and restaurant owners can do more, but many are still trying to come up with new ways to help their own staff. They feel it's the least they can do.
Restaurants don't just want to keep at least one or two people employed. They also want to keep in touch with -- and be in the good graces of -- those employees whom they had to lay off. How can they maintain an emotional attachment to them?
Hospitality is an emotional business. Deep attachments are made. And owners know how hard it is to find and then retain good employees.
Jennifer Knox, owner of the Sand Bar in Tybee Island, Georgia, so wanted to help her four unemployed bartenders, two musicians and others.
She stared blankly at the walls and suddenly realized they held at least one answer. As she told CNN:
We were sitting there, doors locked and I'm like oh my gosh, there's money on the walls and we have time on our hands. We gotta get this money down.
The Sand Bar is one of those places where dollar bills and those of other currencies are pinned to the walls.
I've often wondered who was first to create this phenomenon. I've always wondered what ultimately happened to the dollar bills.
In Knox's case, taking down those bills was a lot of work. There were, after all, $3,714 worth of them. It took five people three and a half days to carefully bring them down.
When locals heard what was going on, they contributed a little too. For the staff, the money was, at least in one case, a month's rent -- something crucial at this time.
You'll tell me kindness is not a strategy.
However, when people finally emerge from their homes and back into something that even vaguely resembles their normal lives, they might be a little different.
Greed, selfishness and maximizing wealth might seem (slightly) less interesting than community, camaraderie and loyalty.
So many times, people claim that we're all in this together. Too many times, that's not exactly noticeable in practice.
We've been taught individualism. We've been told success is a one-person show.
Yet the very definition of success just might change a little. It may begin to embrace collective values over individualistic and human warmth over the best deal.
It's worth preparing your business for that. It's worth considering how your business may benefit from catering to a new atmosphere, one in which insecurity and isolation have imparted a possibly lasting effect. You can start by thinking of the people that matter most -- the employees and customers who currently aren't around.
Think of them now and they'll remember when this is all over.
It took fifteen years for the Sand Bar's patrons to donate those $3,714.
I wonder what the next fifteen months will look like for Knox and her employees.