Are you essential?

The Post-Covid19 and the path to the uncertainty.

Around 2010, I met someone who was recently let go. He was a designer at a design agency in Dubai. I asked him if the decision to be made redundant was based on economic reasons. He said ‘No’


The agency I worked for has a dastard approach. Whenever
someone goes on leave, they try to restructure the company and
distribute the work load in order to fill the gap. If the new structure
worked, then whoever is on leave is really not adding much of value to
the output capacity and get fired. Can you believe it?’

So regardless how long someone has been working for that workplace or the state of their financials, if the new structure succeeded without disturbing the workflow, that someone is out.

This struck me at first. What kind of corporate culture govern such a company, who calls the shot here and what kind of values do they have? You go on a vacation, see your family, your kids, and your friends to come back to a job that doesn’t exist anymore.

How do they sleep at night!

This company does remind me of our current state of affairs, harsh, unfair and unjustifiable. Since the Covid19 has landed into our homes and the global economy is in full speed free fall. It is a first time we have witness such a thing since the great depression in 1929. It is actually the first time we experience such a thing since we have flown an airplane for the first time, drop a nuclear bomb for the first time, invented a computer for the first time, send a man to the moon for the first time (an the last time too) and knowing what is a social-connection means.

No one is safe, not even the big ones. Planes are grounded, shops are closed, beaches are deserted, can’t even shake hand for heavens sake! But this is not all, there is more. This pandemic is imposing set of rules that can not be justified, a set of rules that can not be labeled by being fair or unfair, right or wrong, they just ‘Are’. Your job is on the line, your clients are cutting budgets, your loyalty points are expiring, and what you are best at is on-hold because no one needs it right now and you can do nothing. Zero.

This sounds like a very Orwellian, dystopian, and freighting scene can be only observed and not touched.

But history always tell us that this is how nature works, it is a self correcting system, this pandemic is nature’s action of eliminating the sub-bar and sifting through us to keep the imperative, the necessary, and the only that can not be replaced. My question to you is: Where do you sit in all this? Do you consider yourself or what you do is irreplaceable?

Are you Essential?

A friend called me one week into the lock-down and told me ‘It seems that 99% of what we want is just non-essential’. and that is very true. We could always survive on little.

These times will go and we will move on. There will be a new reality with new normal. A new perspectives will be cast on our lives and some of it would seem abnormal, but we will get used to it and carry on. That’s how
nature worked for million and millions of years. We will be collectively stronger and those who lost the battle are the only ones who become a collateral damage. Call it evolution, progress, process, it’s all the same, a linear path will keep going no matter how much is on stake. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said in his recent book – Skin in the Game

‘If it works, it is right.’

Although I have my own take on what define ‘Essential’, I really have no straight answers to what is and what is not, in the abstract I mean. I really do not know what you should be doing to not be eliminated by the next pandemic, but something I am firmly sure of that the Post-Covid19 will emerge stronger and wiser, and with just the right amount of luck we will make it alive.

Stay safe, stay hard.


Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash
Dynamics is Dubai-based Brand strategy, design & innovation
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