Monday, December 15, 2008

You're F**kin' Kidding Me!

The title of this post represented the first words out of my mouth when my employer laid me off this past Friday morning. I didn't say a whole lot more than that. Needless to say, my emotions quickly rose to a dangerous temperature. When emotions rise, intelligence dips, and had I tried to speak again, the result would have been either incredibly pathetic or incredibly illegal. So, as I turned in my inventory, I did so in a number of trips to the car instead of one trip loading up a cart, so that I might walk it off as best as possible, that I might regain some composure before they seek to elicit from me any comments. If I was more like Paul the Apostle, I would rejoice in this episode allowing me the opportunity to act like a Christian for His Glory. But to my shame, I think only of how easily I could render them permanently justified in parking in the handicapped space. God grant me peace.

But this situation also affords me the opportunity of once again affirming my position that we are where we are as a result of actions taken or not taken, decisions made one way or the other. Can we sustain the injury of such unceremonious treatment? What can we do to insure that we can? It is a necessary concern that each of us is as totally covered against major inconveniences as we can make ourselves. It is a task that should have total priority. The reason for this is that one never knows what life has in store. Maybe it's not a layoff, but a catastrophic illness or injury. Can we survive it financially? If not, why not? What the heck are you doing with your money, with your life, that you can't secure this responsibility?

If you are an employee, this warning must be taken more to heart. One gives up at least eight hours, plus whatever time is used up by being employed, including lunch breaks and commuter time. One also gives up the full right to determine when one can take time off for vacations, sick time, personal time, how many holidays are honored. One is limited by pay to living a life limited by that level of pay. In other words, one's life is not one's own. The trade is not equitable, unless you feel your time, that 10-12 total hours devoted to a job, is worth only what your employer is willing to pay you for renting it.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there is nothing more one's employer owes than that to which both parties agreed upon one's hiring. And that goes especially for keeping you employed. Think about that. Did anyone negotiate the permanence of their position upon hiring? Thus, one can be let go at any time, no matter what your union rep tells you. Plus, the employer might be stupid and running the business into the ground and the business folds. Or, the company could be bought out and your position eliminated. The bottom line is, how are you prepared for this? Just as death, the loss of one's job comes like a thief in the night. At least it feels that way.

There's one overriding purpose for having a job: that's to have money that one can invest in order to provide another, hopefully passive, form of income that will at least match one's wage at the J.O.B. As it is being developed, all debt should be paid down at once. Then, with debt removed, more investing can take place. Learning to make money work for you is a study worth mastering.

Anyway, I haven't been practicing what I've preached to the best of my abilities. The loss of this meager gig is troubling. There's no doubt about that. But I am not without resources and the mortgage will be paid before we run out of dough. Though I'd like to find a situation quickly, we can handle things for an extended period. Not good enough by a long shot, but fortunately, we've managed to get to this point, so that shows that better things can be had if effort is actually exerted. The opportunities are endless and there truly is no excuse for poverty, none for not being prepared to fend it off should the time come.


Dan Trabue said...

Sorry for the job loss. May it lead to newer, better roads.

Anonymous said...

I find that I agree with Dan on this. May your circumstances only improve.

Marty said...

Much wisdom in your words Marshall.

It is always unsettling to lose a job whether you've prepared financially for it or not. These are hard economic times and it's times like these I thank God for the social program of unemployment. May you quickly find another avenue of work. Peace and blessings to you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

You and I will never agree about politics, or religion, but, man, Marshall, I am so very sorry.

I will be thinking of you and your family, and all of you will be in our prayers.

I'm sorry, Marshall. Really.

hashfanatic said...

Ditto. I am sorry, very sorry about this setback.

Setbacks are temporary, and I'll be praying that you secure another source of income, speedily.

Please take note of your observations along the way, and share them with us, so we may benefit from the insights you gain from your experiences.

Teresa said...

Sorry to hear about the job loss, Marshall. Best of luck to you.

Mark said...

Wow, that sucks, Art. Every time I've ever been discharged, I was left with a feeling of inadequacy. Even when it's just a result of cutbacks and downsizing, it still hurts the pride. Keep yoru chin up and don't give up, Art. I know things look bleak, but keep on keeping on, and it will work out for you.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ~
Romans 8:28

Mark said...

I have been doing part time work since 2006. Try as I might, I can't seem to land a full time job here in Virginia. The job I have pays very good most of the time, but lately, since the economy went bust, my income has dropped to about 1/5 of what it was.

So, hard times all over. Doesn't make things better to know you aren't the only one, I know, but at least you know I can empathize with you.

Anonymous said...

Marshall, I'm really sorry to hear about that and will be praying for you to find something even better -- and soon! Trust me, that is a very natural reaction. That happened to me a few years ago and I just kept focusing on Romans 8:28 (among others).

Those are wise words and I hope that many heed them.

Vinny said...

You have my sympathy as well. Last time I got s**t-canned, I had two small children and new mortgage. It was one of the crappier periods of my life, but I learned that my wife was even a better person than I thought she was when I married her. Hope you find some unexpected blessings.

Marshall Art said...

Thank you all so very much for the kind words of concern. Shows how greatly blessed I am. I've got a few leads, as it happens, and my twenty years of experience after having found myself in this business is said to be a plus. We'll see. I'm not worried at this point. How could I be with all this support?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

No matter disagreements, man, you're a fellow blogger, and someone who has helped me along in what it is I am trying to do here. I am glad you actually have "leads" all things considered. Please know you have all sorts of support out here, and we're rooting for you.

Anonymous said...


My heart goes out to you as well, and I'm very sorry to learn of this. I too have been in similar circumstances and He provided a way for me.


blamin said...

Mr. Marshall Art

Good luck to you, myman!

It’s good to see your philosophy on life holds over, even into bad (suck ass!) times.

I too have suffered a recent, negative, life altering event.

In a society where all too many are willing to wallow in the “game of blame”, your words of cautious optimism have given me strength, more than you can ever know!!!

Thank you for all you do, and for the tremendous amount of time it takes to do it!

Marshall Art said...


Truth be told, there are far more productive things, and many of them I am told by the fetching Mrs. MA, than blogging. (Pssst! I do it to dodge other chores! Keep it to yourself!)

Doc said...


Your story is, sadly, all too common right now. Very sorry to hear it, and we'll certainly light an extra candle over here. Try to enjoy the blessings of the family and the holidays, keep your head up, and good luck with the new hunt.

Cameron said...

Sorry to hear it Marshall. Good luck with the job hunt - may you be well in the meantime.

Ron said...

Marshall, My business runs people through like a cattle gate. I have been unemployed many times over the years. Have been out since about October this year. This one only lasted 2 years(almost to the day). Unfortunately no unemployment this time. It's tough and without the child support I usually send the kids suffer and my debt rises too. Short story, if you need anybody to talk to about it I'm a pro.:-) email me

God bless you and yours and good luck.