Saturday, April 4, 2020
Here is the rundown of yesterday's idiotic conversations:
The paranoid Barista was not working yesterday but a colleague did tell me he is utterly afraid and hysterical over Covid but has no ability nor interest other than reading his Facebook posts where they quote numbers and "facts" gleaned from a hybrid of sources none of them legitimate journals, newspapers or even news that will help him well still be afraid but have some perspective. Again he was a Teacher and was demanding that we "shut it all down" but had no clear idea what that meant.
Then we had the varying closing, attempted openings and delivery of restaurants throughout Jersey City and that in turn has led to more confusion and unemployment that will lead to more misinformation and of course contribute to further chaos down the line. As even one Barista was unaware that while I paid 9 bucks for flowers she thought that was too expensive but wanted some and I said: "Well good luck as flowers are not essential and in turn flower markets where they are bought and sold to merchants are largely closed to a single source or two so that markup is pretty much given as there is no way to competitively shop and find sources that are cheaper so I am willing to pay that for some semblance of normal in my home." Again, the commenting and scolding about price but endlessly prattling on about flowers and having to find them. Well as the adage goes, "If you have to ask you probably can't afford it." And again the shop is keeping the bare minimum of workers by having them cover two small shifts which means they have money but they are also not able to qualify for unemployment so the purpose is what exactly? How about firing them all and have four people work the 8 hour day and that is it and rotate them. Nope its five people shifting four hours two days a week. Really? So I told two to sign up for food stamps and Medicaid at least.
And this is where most of the food providers in restaurants are doing, having this sad staff of folks trying to maintain a full time business that is no longer full time. So how do you make that work? You don't or you have a skeleton crew willing to work the hours and accept that it is better than nothing or have nothing as there is a choice. And some business that had a strong take out will always simply pivot and some even chose to not which again was more about overhead and costs than the ability to pivot hours and options for delivery. Some are consolidating shops and having one open and encouraging delivery but alas a local bakery could not even make that work as they were simply too afraid so shut it down! Again I said that to the young man after the option of shut it down also meant that while he cannot change people and their behavior he can change his and NEVER leave his home ever. And with that dopey pony is the response and I take my leave. I have since found a coffee shop that is open 8-4 daily two workers in total and closed on Wednesday's to take a break. Makes sense and at least they are there and I can avoid the stupid.
That has been the biggest challenge as to how to staff. We were on a skeleton crew of Concierge's and in turn the package delivery has led to chaos in the lobby to the point I don't even go in it unless I have to. The food and the other assorted drop offs that can be done contactless are also overwhelming that at one point I could not even see one behind them all. Many are utter nonsense as well I too have taken advantage of desperate merchants to buy some clothing but mostly non-essential items such as hair dye, face creams, and other luxury items to at least be able to maintain my own personal well being and have some normalcy. And yes I do get Whole Foods delivery but that is to supplement my attempt to actually buy groceries dressed as a ninja warrior against covid but I do go.
And yesterday one of the staff told me his friends had gotten their "Trump checks" and he thought that was made up and no such thing existed. Well half right as again this is student in Nursing college, right there explains some of the problems, and in turn he is an idiot as he tried to book a flight to Florida mid March to take advantage of the cheap flights; Again - Nursing student.
I explained to him that these "Trump checks" are real but his friends are lying to him and that the stimulus has not been disbursed and will be tentatively coming next week and in waves depending on many factors. Again he quoted his friends telling him that they have said checks so I went up pulled up the Washington Post and an article on the stimulus and printed it took it down to the front desk and left it there for him to read later so he would know they were lying and how that program was being implemented, the one he did not believe was real. I doubt he read it as it would require reading. Okay then.
The other two staffers are on medical leave not from Covid but from stress and one man is truly too old and has extraneous health problems to work in this building during the prime hours of 7-3. He should work graveyard, literally pun intended, or work in a smaller building that has less chaos and fewer residents. My building is a hot mess of families with dogs and kids and they are largely idiots who cannot manage throwing out trash correctly as walking into the refuse room daily is like walking into a petri dish of discarded food and other bacteria and virus loaded packages that for some reason cannot be broken down and thrown away properly. Go figure.
The reality is that we are in dark times and when the lockdown is lifted it will be an insane rush to go to the stores that will never re-open, hello Macy's and Bed, Bath and Beyond, and then to sit in every restaurant which were the only ones ever open during this so by this time are you not sick of the food? And of course race to every public facility, other than libraries, to crowd out and shove others in an attempt to secure some other item that they did not buy/hoard/need online during the past 90 days. And that is when wave two will hit. It is then in those first 14 days I will self quarantine and still maintain the Covid protocol of gloves, face mask and long sleeves. Good times, end times.
With unemployment at 6 million and climbing over 2 million from last week this will not be a sudden switch back to full employment the next day. Nope not going to happen. Schools will not start on a summer timetable they will go back in September, the varying restaurants, theaters and other entertainment facilities will not suddenly re-open. Some museums may on a shortened timetable and some may find themselves in deep shit and may end up closing permanently. The real estate market will get hit if they don't die off first and anyone who thinks otherwise is a real estate agent; However, the luxury market will rebound as rich people will need haircuts, spa treatments and of course a vacation from being locked up in their vacation home. The push for them to have private planes and other modes of travel to further segregate them from ever being exposed to the general public will ramp up and of course the public will head to buy cars and other modes of transports to avoid public transportation so that debt will increase and in turn progress on that infrastructure will cease and the aged trains, buses, subways will be packed as ever with the great unwashed as service will be cut in response to meet budgets that did not include the BILLIONS in chaos relief fund. So many folks after realizing city life is not that great, Green Acres here we come, and with that they may move to the burbs, so that market for homes will rise and in turn set into motion a new housing debt crisis. Urban density will not be as green and attractive as it once was but the rental market will not reduce rents in response, re-negotiate leases as they will find property taxes risen to meet new budgets and of course wages will level back to 2008 level and debt will rise to much higher levels as people try to figure out how to get back to "normal." There will be no normal.
As for the homeless crisis it will in turn increase, the medical industry lauded as heroes now will be charlatans that played with people's lives and in turn the costs and overall rise of insurance will lead people to finally go "Oh yeah I guess I can't keep my employer care" when they find out how that benefit will be cut to offset loss of profits for the business providing said benefit when private insurance companies rise costs to offset the rise in overall costs. Got to make a profit folks!
Oddly Goldman Sachs is already "forecasting" a quick turnaround and as they are the Vampire Squid of banks I suspect that they are already buying distressed stocks, companies and other bonds being sold at a discount by the fed to encourage the economy and what the Corvid virus did not kill they will. So say goodbye to many franchises, hotels, and restaurant chains that are not just big names but smaller ones held by small investors that run several restaurants, properties and bars in their local areas. Leases will be re-negotiated, staff rehired at lower wages and in turn any properties that are not making the their profit margins will be promptly sold off.
And yes we will go forward. Trump will be re-elected as the lack of focus on the election, the moving of dates for primaries, the conventions and the overall hysteria will not be done by November and at that point the few who vote will and that is usually diehards who are largely conservative; That is if they are not dead as well they are old and the young and stupid which seems to be Covid's targets. As for my Concierge staff they don't read so no on voting as one is not even registered and again seems to think Trump Checks are being cut as I write this and another is sure that we should have "shut it down" he is the doppelgänger of the young Barista so again this is where we are.
Americans are stupid, ill informed and utterly ignorant. They thrive on competitiveness, greed and self absorption. As my friend who wants to be a Minister I asked him what qualities that he possesses that would make him a good one and he goes: "A fear of God and love of Scripture." That says it all, nothing about loving life, sharing a love of God, building community and having empathy and compassion, two traits I would tie to being a Minister. And that sums up Americans, a lack of compassion and empathy and in turn that is why they have a lack of personal responsibility when it comes to the health and overall wealth of the larger picture. So going forward it will be business as usual. We are fucked with dinner however as some take out joints will still be open.