Thoughts on Cash: Rising from the fog of COVID | F. Marc Ruiz: Your Thoughts on Cash

I ordered and paid for a new garage door in the first week of February this year. Last Monday the garage door should finally be delivered. It didn’t arrive, and now we’re hoping for next week.

My wife called an airline the other day to resolve some travel issues for an autumn trip. The automatic “On Hold” message said your waiting time would be 77 minutes. She decided to hang up and try another time; the problems remain unsolved.

Customers tell me that furniture deliveries take three or four months. Headlines say that new cars, when they can be found, are flying off the lots and used car prices are about as high as new cars.

Sometimes it feels like we are collectively “on hold” at the moment when it comes to consumer goods and services. In the post-COVID world, things that we took for granted, like inventory and customer service, just don’t seem to apply before the pandemic.

I could use a variety of recent economic statistics to support my point, but I don’t think I have to as most of us have now seen these phenomena firsthand.

In the post-COVID economy, it turned out to be a lot easier to stimulate demand than to restore supply. Our modern on-demand economy is a marvel of technology, transportation and logistics, but as we find out, it only takes one flaw in the chain to turn an impressive process into a closed mess, and with the productivity of productivity “Work at home” is falling through the floor, it seems as if nobody is picking up the phone to listen to customer problems, let alone solve them.