EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

With just about everyone in the ENTIRE world running around like their hair was on fire, I personally wouldn’t fault you if you too were feeling that way. Whether we are watching the news or reading the newspaper, it is impossible at the moment to find any escape from what is going on WORLDWIDE.

I know you all enjoy my many sailing analogies, and tonight I have one that is very appropriate to our current circumstances.

If you are the head of your family, I want to point out to you that the captain of a ship is not allowed to show fear.

No matter how fierce the storm, no matter how lost he may be at the minute, even if the vessel is becalmed and the water and food are running out, the captain is expected to keep his wits about him and act like nothing is wrong.

Let us all relax a bit. While it may very well be true that the world IS actually going to heck in a hand basket, we can rely on the fact that anything that doesn’t kill us is only going to make us stronger. Most likely when this is all over, we will all be as strong as Superman. In any case, there is not much we can do to change what is going on.

The most important thing to keep in mind if you are the primary bread winner of your “ship” is that the crew is watching you at all times. If they see you break into a sweat, stay in bed until noon, cry when you get bills in the mail, or any of the other 100’s of things you might be well justified in doing, it is only going to make matters worse.

If the crew loses faith in the captain, mutiny is the likely result. And, with the crew out of control, your job and job search process is only going to get more difficult. Job search is stressful enough without members of the family acting out.

The solution is to have a plan. If you have lost your job or may lose it soon, face reality immediately. Short of burning the house down for the insurance and sleeping in the car, you should have a family meeting to discuss conserving cash. (I would point out to you that cash is a 4 letter word.) The longer you wait to begin the process, the harder it is to manage through.

We can all be critical of the corporations who lay off workers due to the novel coronavirus causing a downturn of their business, but the truth is that they are being smart. If they wait until they have no choice, there won’t be severance or even perhaps a last paycheck.

Unfortunately, your ship may not be of sufficient size for congress to believe that you are too big to fail. Most likely, you are going to be left to your own devices. So, chin up (it is easier to hit that way), and bite the bullet. Make a bold plan now and stick to it.

When you step into a lifeboat, you never know how long it will be until you are picked up. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

But, most important, do your “falling apart act” out of sight of the crew. They don’t respond well to it.

Regards, Matt

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