People always act like it’s so tragic when an employer closes down and someone loses their job that they held for 25 years there. Girl, I’d be happy if I could work somewhere for a year before getting laid off. I used to look for a job every 6 months. I’d love to have that stability. and on top of it, you’ll get like 2,4,6,20 weeks of severance pay and all this, that, and the other comfy cushion. You can breathe a little while looking for your next job. Me, it was see ya’ don’t let the door hit ya’, then they’d fight me on the unemployment I was owed.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to be mean or minimize anything, losing a job is never good. But I get annoyed when people can’t ever see the other side of things. All they see is their world, their own little microcosm, where everything is about them and their wants and needs. You may think you’re world is crashing down around you, there are other people that would give their right arm to be in your position. Seriously. Ok maybe not an arm, but me personally, I’d disfigure myself for it. But not the face!
You see, I was just reading an article that someone posted online about a business closing in my hometown where 400 people would lose their jobs. That city hasn’t had the best of luck. But anyway… there were all these people complaining about being there 15, 20, 25, 30 years and Oh my God the world is ending.
Them – “But I’ll have to roll over my 401k!”
Me – “Girl, I’ve never worked for a place that had enough employees or money to have a 401k”
Them – “But I’m losing all my vacation! I’ve had 8 week vacation from being their so long!”
Me – “Most small start-ups make you work 1099 so they don’t have to give you vacation. I haven’t been on a vacation since 1988.”
Them – “My health insurance is gone!”
Me – “Well, yea that’s a shitty one. And no employer offers it anymore since they realized they can save money by dicking us. They’ll either keep you at part-time so they don’t have to provide it, or they have a really crappy plan where you ‘only have to pay $1,000 a month’ for this great benefit we provide you” “Welcome to the new world order.”
Them – “My pension, my stock options!”
Me – *Blank stare*
Me – “Don’t make me kick your ass.”
I’ve known many people over decades that were losing jobs after a nice long run. The fact of the matter is, employers don’t give a shit anymore. It’s how the world is these days. If they aren’t making the profits they want, they won’t bat an eyelash at closing a place and kicking it’s employees to the curb.
Some of you have no idea what it’s like out there in the trenches. Me, I’ve been in a business that chews up people and spits them out without even a hiccup for years. I’ve worked in radio, television, real estate, and marketing over the past 27 years. Some of those all at the same time. Marketing is a very competitive business, there are lots of people vying for jobs, and there’s always a kid right out of college willing to work for half your pay. There are lots of small companies that need marketing and have no idea what they’re doing, so they bring someone in and when they don’t magically raise their profits by 200%, they fire them.
I would get one part-time job, but I’d have to keep looking for another part-time job to equal full-time. Then I’d find a new one, breathe for a minute, and the other one ends. Wash, rinse, repeat. So looking for a job was a never ending job. And now as a freelance writer, I’m constantly looking for opportunities (read: jobs). Just like actors, endlessly going on auditions, and even when they do get a gig, who knows how long it will last? A day, a month, a year, if you’ve been anointed by Christ?
“Well, Madge why don’t you stop doing that and get a real steady job?”
“Because those are just falling off trees for people like me, right?”
So people who are losing jobs after decades in the same place, consider yourself blessed. No really, I mean it. You’ve had a run that only a mere fraction of us has had. To have a cushion of 3 months pay and not have to worry about running out to Target the next day to try and find a job… any job… just to eat, because the asshole small company you worked for wants to fight your unemployment so they can hold onto every nickel? Is like winning the lottery to some of us. It truly is. I would kill for stability. It doesn’t have to be forever, any period of time where I could take a breath for a while would be stability.
I know some people can’t handle change, but put on your big boy hat and coat and go find another job. You can do it. You’ve been blessed beyond belief, and you have a great resume with stability on it (or complacency, however they view it), so set fire upon the Earth – as the Jesuits like to say. You are one of the few, the proud, the people who have been employed longer than a year somewhere!