As I made my trip to the client’s office this morning, I was struck by the sense of finality regarding a friend who lost his job this last week. He had welcomed me when I first arrived over 10 years ago even though he worked for a different contractor, the first of several that he worked for through the ensuing years. As I walked past his workstation, everything was sterile. There were no signs at all that he had ever been there. This was rather unnerving because when the client relocated their offices in 2011, my friend was one of the fortunate ones who went to the new office with them. The workstation has never had another occupant and it seems wrong somehow that he isn’t there any longer.
I have circulated my friend’s resume to my company and a few others that I know of in the hopes that he will be picked up soon. He is a great team player and a valuable asset for any group to have. Sadly, money is the factor that makes everything happen in this fucked-up world, and he is at the mercy of factors that he cannot control. Everyone has their budgets that govern what they can and cannot do, who they can and cannot hire, etc. This makes things no easier on him. I am sure that the head of my friend’s last company will not have to sacrifice too much because so many of his loyal employees are now out of jobs. Rich bastards always take care of themselves first and fuck over everyone else that they can.
I hope that something opens up for him in the very near future. Perhaps the client will find a way to bring him onboard as a part of their own team, but I have no idea what the chances of that truly are. At least he won’t be destitute because he did retire from the Navy and has his retirement to help out with things until a new job comes along. I know that it won’t be easy on him, but I will give him the emotional support he needs as long as I can.
Things like this also make me think about the “American Dream” syndrome that everyone wants to believe in. Hal (person) and I refer to it as the “American Nightmare” because it is nothing but a headlong pursuit of things throughout a person’s entire life. Buy a house, start a family, go back to school, do some improvement on your house so it doesn’t look worse than the neighbors. Get a new car so everyone thinks that you are doing well, redecorate your perfectly functional house in order to not appear “cheap”, Acquire so much shit that your house cannot hold it all. All of these things are designed to do nothing more than separate someone from their income as quickly as possible with the promise that by just trying a little harder to meet the impossible goals, that you will be alright in the end. Sadly, most people end up staring at a mountain of debts and not enough time to pay them all off. You end up losing your home and your possessions that used to define you. That is the “American Nightmare” to me.
These are the thoughts that occur to me as I look at the empty workstation where my friend used to sit. I do tend to overthink things, or so I have been told on many occasions. I prefer to think that I see the world with eyes that are wide open and the blinders have been removed. I am a skeptic and a dreamer at the same time. I believe in both the best and worst that people have to offer, it is all in the perspective. I cannot see a friend hurt without it hurting me, but I can turn on a “friend” with a vengeance if they ever cross me like I could never turn on an enemy because I feel that I was violated by trusting them. In all honesty I have never reconciled with any former friends after they have turned on me for their own benefit. I cannot do that to someone, and I will not allow it to be done to me without reprisal.
And so, this is the state of my mind on Wednesday. Pretty much an ordinary day with the exception of a feeling for a friend who has had a really bad thing happen to him through no fault of his own.