The other day, a friend asked me how my business would survive the Coronavirus pandemic ,and whether I felt remorse over having to lay off my employees. I smiled because he didn’t know yet, that, although we have indeed temporarily closed our car washes, we have retained more than 200 employees, with full pay.
He was incredulous; why wasn’t I letting the unemployment system take care of them? I told him that I didn’t believe that the government would provide what they need right away – – that by the time they received relief funds, they’d be in trouble financially. That meant late rent or mortgage payments, and potentially not enough food in the house.
I had to explain that my employees are not numbers, statistics, or a payroll sheet, to me. They are my team, part of our Bliss family, the people who make my business a success.
They are dedicated to their work; they’re the ambassadors of my business – – the ones my customers remember after they’ve washed their cars. I am proud of them and grateful to them.
So, I told my friend, while I can’t control the pace of our return to normality, and I can’t control the trajectory of our economy, I can control the livelihood of 200 people.
I told him that, as long as there’s a roof over my head, I need to make sure they can keep a roof over theirs. As long as I enjoy food on my table, I want to ensure they have the same. I know what it’s like to struggle to raise a young family while trying to get ahead. I know there’s a lot we don’t know right now.
In fact, there are just so many unknowns at this time, and I certainly don’t know what the future is. But I do know that I don’t want to look back on this time and say that I didn’t do 100 percent to help lessen the pain for those whom I knew – those who inspire me, as well as those who help us, such as first responders, medical workers, truck drivers, and delivery folks, grocery store clerks, and more.
I worked very hard to achieve success, but I’d be an ingrate if I didn’t acknowledge the many wonderful people in my community who made it possible. If you’re reading this, and you are in a position to help, please consider a large, or a small, donation to an organization that provides support to those we may have taken for granted in the past.
I don’t think you’ll regret it.
I talk a lot about wellness, spiritualism, my faith in the goodness of people, and my own struggle as an immigrant in this country. I hope my commitment to my team demonstrates that, I walk the talk, and I want to pay it forward.
The Bliss Car Wash Team