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Harvey R. Heller

Life Lessons Learned Along the Way: Escape to Orderliness


By Harvey R. Heller

I have used this space to tell stories about who I am and to introduce you to our group. My stories aren’t about me, but about people and events that have had a profound impact on me.

So, I wrote about the new normal and we are over a year later and no one seems to have found it. We are partially back in person as we look at a new undefined hybrid form, but hardly as fast as we thought. One wonders what each change will bring in the adjusted fabric of our lives going forward. A new work culture is forming (I hope for the good). We plan, and then we must adjust the plan and we keep adjusting, which must be done in order to keep our businesses vibrant, current and growing. 

In the mid 90’s Mike Tyson was quoted as saying before the Holyfield fight:  “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” 

We have been hit. Some direct hits, some just grazes, but we’ve been in the ring a long time. Just look back at this non-exhaustive list as we are just shy of 24 months:

  • Learning remote daily work on the fly
  • Essential employees who can’t be remote and who need to carry papers to work designating them as essential
  • One at time in the only available restrooms on the floor (a personal irritant!)
  • 20 minute hand washes
  • Masks AND GLOVES
  • None or rationed paper products, special cleansers, and lots of empty shelves
  • Papers on your desk curled up after a mass office disinfecting spray
  • Injecting disinfectants and sunlight as a cure!
  • Hydroxyicantspellit treatments!
  • Chasing vaccine opportunities
  • Partial openings
  • Closures again and again
  • Teacher shortages
  • Healthcare worker shortages
  • Staff shortages
  • Resignations from jobs becoming contagious within individual business environments
  • Remote work becoming part of life going forward

We see it changing literally by the day and we continuously work to put our arms around it.  We have planned and adjusted on what seems like an endless continuum.

As I was writing this, I realized what a debt of gratitude we owe to cable and streaming services throughout this journey.  They have provided lots of content to divert us from the disruption. Imagine or remember, just three networks (remember the 60s if you can!) who all signed off after the Tonight Show followed by the national anthem and a test pattern until dawn! Nothing but re-runs from May to September in prime time. Yes, I saw every episode of the Three Stooges and enjoyed each one multiple times. And the early wrestling shows? Could never get enough!

Thankfully, technology and certainly the spirt of capitalism have combined to provide endless fresh content that we are viewing on multiple platforms. (Some of which I have no idea about; another reason to be grateful to my children and grandchildren for their enlightenment.).

While I feel that we have too much news, or stuff masquerading as news, thrown at us, there is plenty else to divert us.  Whether network programming or on demand, content is available in an orderly reliable manner 24/7. This orderliness is truly something to behold as we continue to adjust in our lives and our businesses. It’s a good old-fashioned plan that is being carried out before our eyes.

One thing is for certain, whether you are a “boxer” in any arena or involved in any other endeavor, without a plan things can go sideways very quickly.

In our practice, we plan, we execute, we modify, we learn, we grow.  Whether you are a business or a family, this must be done as we adjust and go forward. Take the hit, adjust your plan and keep on moving!

In our next article, Conventional Wisdom, David Saperstein discusses a recent arbitration experience.