“So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke…”
Oh! Those lines hit hard in 2020 when suddenly Rachel, Monica, Ross, Phoebe, Joey and Chandler were the only friends who would hang out again at Central Perk to make us happy.
Nobody really told us that life was going to be that way and will leave its shadow for a longer period than what anyone could imagine.
But, it was all about patience and agility that helped us swim through the unforeseen changes. Rachel showed us that when life gives you lemons, make a lemonade out of it.
Who thought that a runaway bride with no practical knowledge of life could turn out to be a successful fashion executive some day? Did we anticipate that chopping off the credit cards would make her ‘the daughter dad is the most proud of’?
"...When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but
I'll be there for you..."
Remember how Phoebe screamed at Joey saying, “Boyfriends and girlfriends are gonna come and go but THIS (friendship) is for life”. Though it was Phoebe Buffay to have summarised the whole show in a line, Chandler actually made it happen.
Right from paying for Joey’s headshots and dance classes to keeping a room for him in his own house in the final season, Chandler continued to be there for Joey. While Joey was struggling to get roles during the early days of his career, Chandler never gave up on his expenses. They almost shared a father-son relationship.
Did you imagine how life would be without family and friends during those long suffocating lockdowns? Work may bring you bread butter but with no work-life balance will you have anybody to share that with?
This reflects the need for the leaders to be empathetic towards the workforce which faced several sets of challenges while trying to adjust to the ‘new-normal’. Today’s workforce prioritises empathy and appreciation more than pay hike. What started with the pandemic is persistent due to the anticipated recession- ‘layoffs’. Talent shortage and recession are absolute contradictions in terms of talent acquisition and retention. Thus, what leaders can aim at is ‘attraction’ in the post recession period. Here, employer branding strategies come to the rescue. Employers that ace at convincing the leaving employees that they may be rehired once the disruption is over, swim through the ocean of talent shortage successfully.
Whether a ‘salmon skin roll’ or not, Ross was right about self-awareness. Though there continues to be a doubt among Phoebe and Rachel whether Ross possessed what he called ‘Unagi’, the idea is highly relevant amid the ‘quiet-firing’ atmosphere.
To get away with the quiet firing the first and most crucial step should be to be fully aware of the surroundings. At every organisation, even during the period of disruption only those who may not be meeting the expectation are considered first during the layoffs. The process doesn’t take place in a day or two but happens over a period of time. Quiet firing comes with a lot of signs and one significant one is seniors resigning one by one.
With full awareness of the financial end of the company and the HR policies with respect to that, employees may be able to have enough ‘Unagi’ to survive the quiet-firing period.
Joey finds out
Joey finds out about Chandler and Monica and keeps it secret. While community development may be important in a corporate setting, it is also important to maintain secrecy as and when needed. Gossiping may not be the right thing to do when accidentally an employee may get hands on personal information of another one.
The pandemic has caused our personal and professional lives to merge to a great extent but it is always humble to respect personal privacy and not leak info which may have been caught on record during a Zoom meeting.
Rachel’s birthday party
That was what they called ‘teamwork’! Did you find Chandler’s awkward dance at Rachel’s birthday party funny? Did you not laugh to see Ross struggling to hold the doors to keep Mr. and Mrs. Greene away from each other’s sight? We all laughed.
But, imagine taking a stand for each other while a manager questions about shortcomings of a project. Have you been privileged enough to enjoy company of such teammates who walked hand-in-hand with you to make your life better while you were trying to cope with all that work load.