Monday, 7 March 2016

Laid Off

Another of my friends got laid off today. It's happening a lot here in Calgary, a result of the fall in global oil prices. I've seen a few of my friends lose their jobs, and it's been going on for a while. Some have found other jobs, some have moved away to other cities where work is to be had, others are still here and still looking for work.

They say a recession is when someone else loses their job, and a depression when you lose your job. That small witticism is true in more than just an economic sense. Most of us find a lot of our identity in our jobs. We find purpose in our work, a reason to get up and go each day. I know I did. It's not that I was all about my work. I just know that working is a good thing, not just for the money but for the sense of being a contributor to society.

It's an awful thing when someone tells you that you are no longer needed at your workplace, for whatever reason. It can be something as clear as an economy hemorrhaging jobs, like right now in Calgary, or something as muddled as a change in corporate strategy or organization where this is no clear reason why you were picked to stay or go. Either way, you end up out in the cold, with no income, with no reason to get up in the morning, with no apparent purpose.

It was like this for me when I could no longer work. At first I appreciated the chance to rest; working was getting too exhausting for me and I knew I had limited time left. Then, after a few weeks, I really began to notice the impact of not working, the lack of focus and purpose. It had little to do with who I was, and everything to do with what was happening to me. Of course, that was ALS at work, but nonetheless, not working doesn't really work for me, nor for most other people I know. We want to work. We need the money and just as importantly, we need the reason to get up and keep going.

1 comment:

  1. I always say looking for a job is harder than working a job you don't like, but not being able to go to a decent job is worst of all. It's not like it's a day off and you know you're going back. You can only entertain yourself so much before you feel like it's a permanent vacation without the perks.