I'm at home today, "enjoying" another holiday without pay. Mojo is at work and the kids are in daycare. I need the time to think, and decompress, and grieve a little.
Because when I got into my work yesterday I found that the other staff person had been put on "hourly"...meaning that he only works when there IS work. In effect, he's been laid off other than when we have something billable for him to do. And right now, we have nothing.This is the sort of thing you read about 1929; about men begging for work and finding nothing. Guys who had never rested more than a Sunday a week in their lives, strong men, men who wanted work and couldn't find it.
There's something deeply wrong with a society, with an economic system, that can't find a place for people who want to do something, or a job for people who can do the job. It doesn't feel that way when you're working and doing well, but now, with the prospect of a job and work I love slipping away, I feel that abyss gaping before me and fear the sickening drop. I've been through hard times before. I've come home and sat down with my wife and had to tell her that I might not have a job the next day.
But this feels different. This IS different. Not only is my company reeling and my job is in jeopardy - everyone's job is unsafe. We advertised for a position in the winter and got hundreds of applications. For a low-level job with a tiny company. And I'm fifty-two. I will be out there competing with twenty-somethings, hungry, mobile and infinitely more adaptable.So I have been feeling like I'm sitting beside the bed of a dying friend; unable to do anything but sit and watch the slowing breaths and the growing pallor. Sick with fear, wanting to jump up and tear something, howl and cry, but constrained by responsibility and the need of others to be stoic. Fearing the worst and at the same time longing for the release to come, like a silent snowfall, blanketing the earth, covering all the imperfections and blemishes with an all-forgiving obscurity, where the noises of pain are muffled and trials and fears are chilled into immobility by a remorseless, impersonal, universal, perfectly lethal nepenthe.