Sunday, September 21, 2008

Atheists In The Foxhole

Yesterday I got an email from a recruiter friend announcing his availability for a new position and directing interested parties to a website where the company’s resume book would be available. Blah-blah-blah. There was the euphemistic “company restructuring”, “impacted employees”, blah-blah-blah. My heart bleeds for him. Really. I know how it is.

Out of loyalty to the company who just axed you -- mind you! -- you put the best spin on the situation, not just as a face saving mechanism and for your own psychic wellness, but just as much for those candidates you’ve ushered into the pipeline of the hiring process. It’s an ethical dilemma.

His email was quite a surprise because just the week before this recruiter friend gave me a shout out – “Hey! Know any scientists with skeletal muscle biology experience?”

Now this. News of his lay-off. I guess it was inevitable. Even before the NYSE opened on Monday morning the cable news channels were already abuzz with the crash of Lehman Bros., the imminent buy-out of Merrill Lynch, and the looming failure of AIG. Employees with bankers’ boxes packed with their personal belongings where shown leaving the building at midnight. Needless to say, Elvis left the building in a golden parachute.

600,000 out of a job in the last eight months alone! I’m not even included in that statistic because I haven’t applied for unemployment. How many more are out there like me, holding off on EDD, with faith in God and the eternal flame of optimism in their hearts that the next gig is just around the corner? What’s the real unemployment number? I got two weeks severance for a job well done, taxed at 25%. Whoop-tee-doo. Carly Fiorina got $42 mil for a job badly botched. I was finding work for people; Ms. Piggy in lipstick was offshoring them.

My inner sense of justice tells me that the Church of Greed and the worship of the Almighty Dollar are on the wane. I pray fervently that this financial Armageddon drives the atheists out of my foxhole.

1 comment:

Carol Setters said...

I hope you're right, Maya.
My husband always says that the Most Highs rule in the Kingdom of Men, but then, what is it that God has in mind? I have no doubt that if we weren't supposed to go to a particular consequence, it would be simple enough for divine intervention to make sure we avoided it. Perhaps we just need - ALL of us - need to experience a little more pain before we are finally awake to the fact that materialism doesn't solve all our problems or bring us the joy we need. In the book "Happiness: Lessons from a New Science" author Richard Layard shows us clear scientific documentation that once we're safe, warm and fed, the increase in happiness in comparison with increase in money doesn't even compare. Community connection, belief that we're making a contribution, that sort of thing, is apparently what does it for people. (Big surprise) But do we listen? So perhaps this is our wake up call. I'd prefer not to live through it, but better us than our children's children. Let's get this moment of truth OVER with and get down the road!