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Try a Little Sensitivity

I know someone who started a roasted chicken food shop at a mall food court a couple of years ago. I initially thought to myself that it might not work. I thought that there were already so many food shops here and there across the city. Then, there were already a considerable number of shops serving chicken, fried or roasted. What do I know? The business took off. Of course, I heard there were rough months, but they got through. The chicken shop even managed to birth another branch. (I guess, we really like chicken.) The second branch wasn’t so big, but it had a second floor of modest area. When they play some jazz, you could say that it was a cozy, classy place. A big plus was that it was along a major thoroughfare of the city.

Then came Covid. Do we really have to discuss details here? I would just like to underscore that we’re talking about a local business here. This is no McDonald’s or Jollibee. Just in case, you don’t know what I’m talking about, in the past year or so, we went through diners being totally closed, only opened for delivery, opened for limited dine in capacity, back to total closure of dine-in, and we don’t know what comes next. It’s been a rocking rollercoaster. On the other hand, food delivery has boosted to become a common component of our contemporary culture. In the shifting status of dine-in regulations, the food delivery services manages to remain unfazed. In fact, it definitely is growing to some extent.

Of course, they’re renting the place. Then, in the middle of this pandemic in which an end is not at all in clear visibility ahead, with the moratoria on salary deductions on loans, tariffs on meat products, and even the President declaring a suspension of rent for a period of time, the landlord of the roasted chicken shop’s second branch decides to raise rent by 20%. Some of you may probably be feeling the weight of that number already. Let me paint a clearer picture. The monthly rent sits at around at 20,000 pesos. Push that up by 20%, you’ll get some 24,000 pesos. This rent raise is set in the middle of the already mentioned shifting regulations for diners, and of course, the bills, staff salary and all other challenges in these trying times. With that charge, the sale of roasted chicken would be a mad chase to make the number for the monthly payment.

I know a government employee who had been stressed in the past months. Recently, she and her colleagues had been sitting away through a dizzying series of webinars. Deadlines have been set on submission of comprehensive performance reports with a year’s coverage. These would be piled upon with more delivery outputs. The agency with the employee is affiliated recently announced raising the target of resource generation to double the previous target percentage. Friends and acquaintances have noted that this employee have expressed exhaustion due to stress brought about by the work load. The regular routine of physical reporting and work from home was disrupted by a spike in her blood pressure which quickly brought her to critical condition in hospital confinement.

Right now, public schools are on academic break which traditionally ran from April to May. But throughout the past school year, I have heard of a high school student who had broken down in tears after receiving a failing grade after the learning module was misplaced by the teacher. High school students struggled with keeping up with finishing around 5 to 9 modules of one learning area in a week while groping in Internet signal that is weak or non-existent.

These incidents and probably , many similar other cases have occurred in the middle of the most unsettling worldwide health crisis of our age, with lasting lashing effects on the economy, society and individual well-being. We continue to wade through the uncertainty of virus, vaccines and variants, the confusions in commerce, social interaction and emotional and mental health. As days go by, anxiety reaches conventionality and ubiquity.

Perhaps, there are people in positions who believe that gears ought to continue towards advancement despite any situation, that there exist owners and officers who seek to move forward whatever the surrounding climate may be. Perhaps they sit in their comfortable bubbles, oblivious of any observation that the work force slides down unemployment and enterprise cries internally. Even seemingly secure employees have to battle with uncertainties of contracting infections in whatever form it has taken on a given day, submission to regulations and restrictions, and emotional and mental stresses that plague on different fronts.

Come on, be a little more considerate. Try a little sensitivity

“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” -James 1:19


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