***Graphic warning- There’s some foul language in this post***
I find the whole topic of “change” to be fascinating, horrifying, uncomfortable, exciting and invigorating. For you. For me, it’s become one of those inevitable things that I relish at about 3/4’s of the way through the process. In the beginning of it, I reeeeeeaaalllly hate it. Maybe because, most of the time, change for me has some sort of spiritual component that requires me getting my butt kicked in numerous ways before I grudgingly accept the way in which I need to change. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to wax poetic or philosophic or even attempt to give you advice on the best way to handle “change”. What I am going to to talk about is “this change”. And by this change, I actually mean being laid-off.
So, the metaphysical aspect aside for the time being, I have literally been forced into a change that I had no desire to seek, nor had any idea was coming my way. Granted, the industry that I work in has been in the grips of a downturn of epic proportions. Me? I was actually in a position of relative security only six months ago. But, when three projects delay and you are the new kid on the block, and you also happen to be the most expensive, you end up with a pretty sizable target placed RIGHT BETWEEN YOUR EYES. Actually, I felt more like a baby seal saying hi to those curious bipedal furry-faced vodka smelling ice-walkers… ‘Hey guys! you look funny! Why do you need that sti… *Whack!*
To be fair, well actually, screw that. It wasn’t fair. But I do understand the business behind the decision and have always known that the possibility of this type of outcome could happen to me. It doesn’t make it any easier to swallow and coupled with the actual excellent job I had done prior made this one of the most difficult changes I have ever faced. I have not been unemployed in over 30 years. I have never drawn unemployment. And now… I’m not sure.
I used to have a couple of “mentors” in the business. My Grandfather, my father, and my first coordinator. They’ve all died. And let me tell you, I miss their counsel. Even if they would not have been very gentle in delivering it! They were all steady voices and knew how to look at things in a way that gruffly exposed their enormous hearts. Berry, Eddie, and Kevin. You are truly missed.
I guess, it sort of gets to the point. The point I would want to make to my sons in the event they are faced with a similar situation. How do you handle it? What do you do? Why the hell did it happen to me? Look, truth is, I don’t know. I’m not even sure God knows. And this is where the part of change that is really important comes in… In fact, this is the most important lesson a man can learn. You are not your job.
YOU are not your job.
Sure, I mean, thats easy enough to accept when you read it. It’s even easier to accept when you have 4-6 months of operating cash in the bank and have a house that you can afford even if you are unemployed. I mean, I know this is true because this is my situation.
But when HR and your boss sit you down, two days before Christmas, and say “It’s not you. You have done an excellent job. We are being forced to reduce head count because of the delay of 3 projects. As such, here is your package detailing…” The first thing that went my highly evolved spiritual brain was *FUUUUUCK YOU you sorry Motherfucker! If we meet anywhere outside this building I am going break your damned cock-sucking JAW… So help me GOD!* What I said, was “Yeah, man, I get it.”
The fact is, most people, to some degree, are their jobs. Proof? Do you want your brain surgeon to just be sort of interested in his job or do you want him to LOVE his jay-oh-bee? Yeah, me too. And most brain surgeons to a large degree need to LOVE what they do to be able to get through all of the stuff they have to get through to be able to cut on brains. Anyway, I liked what I did. And what made me good at what I did was that I took what I did personal. It was important to me that I did a good job. In fact, the people I worked with also thought that about me as well as clients I worked with thought the same too.
And all of that is great until you become your job. You ARE NOT your job…
And it’s exactly at that point where your value as a person is tied directly to your job that the whole thing becomes skewed. The point at which you fail to recognize your value in the eyes of your Creator. Or more correctly minimize that value in relation to your value to the Corporation. This is how I came to my current “Change”.
How do I order my life so that the value I bring to life is in harmony with that which my God wants. How do I bring that to fruition while also putting food on the table? Yeah, I’m still working on it and I am hoping that I can get it together quickly. I can tell you that I have spent more time with my spiritual advisor. I have been praying more. I have also been trying, to keep all of my actions centered on Today.
I am not sure that it is making a huge difference in anything other than I have really come to accept that I am not my job. I am a child of God, working at being a better man through prayer. I am trying to make sure that each day, most of my actions reflect what God would have me be. And when I fall short, I ask for forgiveness and pray for the strength to do better.
You are a child of God… Your job is to do His will.