2020: The Year We Learned to Adapt and Take a Deep Breath
Written by: Gareth Danker, Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Euro Jet
Usually when I write this end of the year column, I talk about all the things that happened to Euro Jet during the year and all the things we plan on doing the following year.
Since it is 2020, and nothing in 2020 was like any other year, I decided that this post would be some thoughts and observations on the past year. I hope that when we write this again at the end of 2021, things will be relatively back to normal.
So lets begin with when I really started to worry….
There was something about Schedulers & Dispatchers in March 2020 that was just not right.
Instead of the usual chit chat about when you got in, your hotel of choice, and the evening event you were going to, the conversation had now changed.
The new discussion focused on which companies were no longer attending and how much hand sanitizer we had drenched our hands in. In hindsight we were very concerned about hand sanitizer while we discussed these issues indoors and maskless with hundreds of people walking around.
Questions were flying around as people started to grapple the seriousness of the issue:
“Did we think this virus was real?”
“I heard it was really bad in New York”
“Do you think you have it? I think I have a sore throat…Maybe I have it…???”
And then just a couple days later, everything stopped.
We were forced to stay home and wait.
A few times we popped our heads out, grappling with the fear of interacting with another human being…
And just when it was safe to come out – we were told to scurry back in….and this cycle repeated itself over and over again.
So we ended 2020, not so far off from when it really started back in March, though filled with hope that a vaccine and herd immunity will bring us relief in 2021.
First and foremost, Euro Jet has entered 2021 stronger than ever. We were very fortunate that the private aviation sector remained strong in Europe and Asia, and our teams on the ground and in their various offices performed above and beyond the call of duty.
Our employees masked up, and often times suited up in the required full body PPE when we had to assist sick customers.
And running a department during COVID, started to feel like playing Jazz. You knew the basic chord structures, but where they would take you and at what speed you would play them had to constantly be adjusted according to the circumstances. Like everyone else we adjusted to Zoom calls and doing a lot more via the phone.
Many years ago, I had a job that at times required me to stay up for 30 hours straight. When asked how I was able to cope with it, I would reply “you would be surprised at how adaptable people can be when they need to adjust.”
As 2020 comes to a close, I think back on that trade show in March and how the world completely changed. How those funny conversations were just a prelude to the “new normal” that we would soon adopt.
We do not get frustrated when we have to wear masks, we accept that there are certain friends we cannot see for a while, and the site of our kids always being home, makes us wonder if there was a time when they were never home?
But in another way 2020 was the year when we stopped and actually took a deep breath. At times it had tinges of panic, but other times, we were just breathing. The hectic nature of our lives had come to a halt and we were forced to be alone.
We were not rushing around, we were not planning trip after trip, we were actually just noticing ourselves breathe.
Perhaps for a moment, we even stopped to smell the roses, or jet fuel – whatever your preference.
That may be the greatest gift of 2021 that we perhaps may not realize until things we hope go back to some sense of normalcy later on this year.
And by normal, I mean when we can attend a trade show and talk about when we landed, what hotel we are staying in, and which events we will attend.
There may even be a time we can hug, kiss, shake, and be with someone without fear.
But for now, embrace the time at home. Learn something new about the kids. Practice deep breathing.
And be grateful for all the good that we have in our lives and can look forward to.
We wish everyone a safe and healthy 2021.