Getting Laid Off is a Blessing in Disguise

Story Mode

Life is good, life is great. Family doing well, have great friends, and my career is going in the right direction. I love going to work because I like to use my skills to better the human race. When I wake up in the morning I do my usual routine of washing my face, brushing my teeth, taking a shower, putting on my clothes, waking up my 10 year old son, getting the pot ready to make coffee, and turning on the television to check the traffic report. This process that I do for 5 days is mindless, I don’t really cheris my time much, I am always on the move to get to work at an early time to please the boss. I am scared and frighten of all of the people losing their jobs in this low performing economy. I know that after a hurricane and moving to a new building for work I have to do my best in the projects that I over. I have to get there earlier and stay late. I have convinced my husband to take the kids to school because his job is very secure. I have to kiss ass, I have to do more work then everyone else, and I have to work 3 hours extra without getting paid for it. I’m loosing my mind and I am not being honest with myself about what I really want to do with my life. All I see are bills; long hours at work; taking care of kids; going to church; and putting on a fake smile in front of friends, family, and co-workers. I’m so damn exhausted, I sleep like a baby on the weekends and then I repeat the same typical ordinary and habitual schedule. Again I’m not being completely honest with myself and I am blinded by the signs that will ultimately destroy my self-esteem for who knows how long.

The next day comes and I am back on my grind. My boss walks in with this sadden, but calculated face. I know something is up and I just hope that it isn’t me. I love my co-workers, but dammit it is survival of the fittest and I only care about if I am here another day. I look around the office, which is a sea of archipelagoes of white picnic tables with computer monitors and cpu’s. I also see empty boxes spread out and my only guess is that my stuff or somebody else’s belongings will fill them. They will be filled with shit that people used to do their jobs with pride and dignity.

I’m just waiting and hope to God that I’m not called in. My boss calls me in! As my boss was telling me that it wasn’t me and only the struggling economy that is making the company come to these measures; I stop listening and think of all of the signs that were in my face that I ignored, all of the other people that left and found a job that suited them more, and all of the fucken hours that I poured in this damn company for free to now be given the opportunity to fill this box with my job attachments in front of everyone. I stopped pity words coming from my boss’ mouth, got up, filled up that box, and left.


Today I got a call from a friend that told me that my previous employer laid off 41 or so people yesterday. I was floored and alittle shocked of what he was telling me. There were quite a bit of people that I knew that got laid off. There were also some people that made fun of me because I was taking less money to work for a more secured company and a job opportunity that will help me grow in all areas of my life. I had the “I told you so” grin on, but started thinking of those people who had kids, bills, a mortgage, car note, and whatever else that we are all attached to as Americans. I continued to think of what those people really wanted to do in their lives; their hobbies, what they liked doing while spending time with their families, a reoccurring dream that brought a smile to their face whenever they woke up, or a childhood dream job that has constently resurfaced during these hard times in our economy.

Whatever the case for those people that got laid off or those who are thinking of doing something different in their lives, now is the chance to do so. Being fired or laid off or daydreaming at your cube is only the beginning and it is up to you to take that risk. I would say think about the parameters, how it will effect your close friends, and think about what you have to lose.

2 responses to “Getting Laid Off is a Blessing in Disguise”

  1. I’m glad it worked for you, but you’re over generalizing and your story is not typical. I’ve been in management for over 30 years and have laid off numerous people (never my decision, ever) and followed up with countless individuals. Your story is unfortunately rare. The problem with the general perception that being laid off frees people to do other fulfilling things is that only the ones who land on their feet are the ones we hear about, which is only about 1 in 20. The other 19 you’ll never hear from so you’re not taking into account. I know many who found no employment for years, no medical for their kids (COBRA is too expensive, typically), and spent all their retirement just trying to stay alive. I’m talking about people who all made good six figure salaries. I know people who made over $200,000 end up driving taxis. But they’re not the ones you hear of about it being a blessing in disguise. I know many who will tell you it ruined them for a good part of their lives.

    Remember, that “life is only what we make of it” exists only in cultures that provide the resources to us from adverse circumstances, and that is not most of the world. Most of the world is at the mercy of their circumstances as their society cannot provide the resources to “do what you want.” That view, that we all can do what we want, is a providential western view built on a supporting economic foundation and is not reflective of most of the world. So, when I hear this I’m always reminded that that person thinks the whole world is like the U.S. or Europe. It’s not.

    So, my only point is be careful projecting personal anecdotes from which you assumed from your culture. Your experience is not necessarily representative others. And you cannot go off what other people report because people tend to only broadcast when things go good for them. You must look at the complete picture before drawing a conclusion.

    All the best in your new endeavor!

  2. Ray,

    I totally understand what you are saying and believe in what you say is true. That example that I wrote about was from knowing the actual person that got laid off. I added some jazz to the story to give a point-a-view from the employee. I am not saying that I’m safe from what is happening and really do believe that I am lucky with all that I have done and will do in the future. I have friends calling me left and right about getting laid off recently. I have helped them with finding a similar job or doing something totally different with their lives.

    It does seem that I am overly positive in what I write. However, through the years I have gotten very cynical about the way I look at the world. I play devil’s advocate and try to put myself in other’s shoes as much as possible.

    Most of what I say is from me looking at life from a positive perspective. I do believe “life is what you make of it”, however, I do understand that everyone isn’t given the same opportunity.

    I have traveled around the world. Also, growing up with people that would be considered below middle class to poor; needing government assistance to help pay their rent or living underneath a bridge with their belongings. Life does suck for the majority of the world and it doesn’t look like it is getting better anytime soon.

    A great bit of what I write about is to follow your dreams. As I know you know people go to work as a means to an end. I do think people should find jobs that they are passionate about, but everyone are going to do what is best for them ultimately.

    Ray, I thank you so much for giving your opinion of what I wrote. Is there anything that I can read or do to help me understand your world from your perspective to educate myself?

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