We started strong, right on course, plenty of inquiries, requests from the laboratory for more staff and the new building on budget and on schedule. A trip to Chicago at the beginning of March. There we heard the question: “What is it about Corona in Europe? My answer: “It’ll be gone by Easter.”
Easter came and went. Corona stayed. Doemens activities went into part-time mode,more home office, the laboratory was divided into two teams that no longer met physically, inquiries for consulting/training stopped. This was called lockdown, one of those words you hadn’t heard before, as well as “Corona hygiene concept” … I can’t even begin to quantify how many hours were spent on this.
But even then there was still hope. We were able to maintain our webinars at nearly full capacity due to our many years of experience, and preparations for final exams were also underway. And when, in May, we were allowed to open up for instruction and practical workshops again, things seemed to be returning to normal.
New building construction proceeded as expected throughout 2020. Apart from the usual squabbles between teams of specialists about mutual obstruction, visits to the construction site to meet with project managers were a pleasant timeout from Corona worries.
December 2020: The outlook for 2021 includes the final spurt of new construction, though not without some added stress because we have to redouble our efforts to complete sections that were slowed down or even halted this year. It will be a time to implement new ideas, to roll up our sleeves and hit the ground running, because there is still a lot to do.
It’s also time to take a breath, open up a cold beer as we think back on all those months of uncertainty, and be thankful for all the colleagues who actively helped tackle all of these problems, for the students and seminar participants who hung in there with us, for our valued customers for their loyalty to Doemens, and of course for the one who has held his hand over us – we have not had a single instance of Corona-related impact to date.
It works, even if things are not like we expected at the beginning of the year!
Dr. Werner Gloßner