On the heels of Hurricane Sandy, it was bitter sweet to be in NYC and attend the Customer Engagement Technology World conference at Javits Convention Center. For CETW, attendance was understandably down but it was a good show. At the convention center and while out and about, we heard many stories. Times Square was buzzing and seemed even more cheerful than I remember from any previous visit. People were back to work but as we asked how the storm affected them and their families, many reported that power was still out at home. And then each one said, "but we're doing ok."
I can see each of their faces - the waiter, the street vendors, the guides... They seemed grateful to have been asked while displaying grace and resilience. Not one voice was bitter or critical. Wednesday night the Northeaster hit while a friend drove us all around the city. The financial district was the most eerie. Several inches of snow covered cars and made the streets slippery but most striking was seeing building after building completely dark. Dozens of work crews with trucks and generators attached to work lights lined the blocks. I'm sure that scene is repeated in larger circles throughout the surrounding areas.
And yet, those that could, were back to work. They seemed happy to be working even knowing they were going home to a cold, dark place. Work offered a sense of normalcy. It represented hope, survival and resilience. In difficult times, that is often what we need to help us get to the other side.