Farewell to 2020 in 2 words

I believe in keeping things simple and to the point. So I’ll start with my two words to bid adieu to 2020. The second one is “off”. You can insert your own first word.

In normal times I’ve never been much of a fan of the annual review of “the year that was”. Always struck me as a lazy way of filling pages in newspapers. However these are not normal times, 2020 has not been a normal year, and I’ve made an exception and am joining the busied throng of bloggers and journos currently hammering away at their keyboards to do a “year wrap up”. The good news is mine won’t take long.

What my 2020 reflection will also avoid doing is pulling out and eulogising about all those wonderful positives about the year. How as a human race we’ve shown resilience and grown closer together. Learnt new skills and adapted quickly. Shown how nothing will beat us. Poppycock! This year has been a scheister. End of.

For me my personal 2020 reflections will not be a Covid rant. My 2020 has been a veritable pot pourri of fun and frolics mainly associated with achieving my supposed career defining goal of landing a CEO gig. Now I realise I’m lucky. I’m still employed and earning a very healthy salary, and many – especially over the last year – would swap places in the blink of an eye. However the year has not been a cakewalk, and I will be very pleased to witness its chortling and wheezing departure over the horizon. With enough material to fill a book once I get the time (and yes it’s on the list – form an orderly queue for pre-orders please), it’s fair to say I’ve been tested in ways I hadn’t imagined. Starting with a Covid enforced absence from loved ones for two thirds of the year, the rest of the random pot shots that came my way included, not one but two crippling cyber attacks across the business, a series of strikes at key operations, a full on head office and key site location move in the countdown to lockdown, a sweeping set of internal investigations (handled from afar due to travel bans) into me and key members of my team for anything that a disgruntled poisonous ex member of the leadership team could come up with, and finally confirmation that the business is being put up for sale. It’s fair to say that 2020 and me are wary of each other.

For the whole world in general the year is probably best forgotten for the short term. Sure we could do the right thing, stare at our navels and review all the learnings to ensure we are better prepared for the future, but right now I reckon global 2020 amnesia might be a better option. Whatever 2021 holds, and I don’t believe it will be that special, it will be better than 2020. For one thing we are getting used to the world being shit now. Any former ideological myth that competent politicians lead us seamlessly to happiness and prosperity just for our own good and the harmony of the world has been nuked forever. With the abiding and current images of the orange one in the White House performing his screaming tantrums of refusal and denial that facts are facts and numbers are numbers, through to the outright incomprehensible incompetence of the British aristocracy and their seedy self interested chums, 2020 will perhaps be most remembered for a failure of leadership – or at least a failure of democratic leadership. Sadly the despots and faceless bureaucrats seem to be doing ok.

So what to take from this diabolical year of disease and death? Of disinfectant and disingenuity? Of dullards and dickheads? Well for one thing – avoid bats. Maybe that’s the pearl of wisdom we need to swallow. The truth couldn’t be much more ridiculous. Bat off?

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