punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Dear Bitter Watercooler Committee,

"What that's great, that's just fucking great man, now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty shit now man...That's it man, game over man, game over, man! Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?" - Hudson, from the movie Aliens

If I hear one more whiny coworker give me that kind of rhetoric, I am going to bash some heads in. Yes, I know the market is bad, and yes, I know that our company is cutting costs, and yes I *know* we could be fired or laid off for no reason at all without any notice whatsoever. I know that. I see that. I saw that twice last month! So for the love of God, will you stop repeating it like it's breaking news. I have woken up, I have smelled the coffee, and I fully realize that without a job, I am screwed. I know my income would plummet, I'd lose my house, and be without work probably for several years and they go back to starving like I did in 1991-1993. I realize that the company is shoveling bullshit to us, does not care about us, will probably give us crummy raises if we get raises at all, and by the way, did I mention I know we could be fired or laid off for any reason, just to save money?

You know what? Welcome to the real world, folks. I have been dealing with this since 1987. I was fired and replaced once because my boss thought that hiring a prisoner in a halfway house would save him money. I got no severance. No "sorry to see you go," but office politics and social security fraud (they took it from my paycheck, but never claimed it on my W2's). I got laid off another time because the district manager thought he'd save money by firing everyone and rehiring new people at minimum wage. His new spreadsheet program told him it would work. The praise of being top salesman of the chain gave me nothing but vapor memories only I recalled. I even once rose to the top of my team, changed how the did things, made the office a LOT more efficient, got praise, awards, and just before my next review, you know what? They outsourced my whole department to cheaper people in Tucson and I was out of a job. Boo hoo me.

None of this is new to me.

So shut the hell up. I am going to do my job, to the best of my abilities, and do it well. Yes, I realize that my extra hours will be worthless when I am laid off. No one will care and remember my accomplishments except if I back them up on a resume reference. I am fully cognizant of that. I fully realize that the projects I worry about right now will be long forgotten by everyone, including me, in five years. I realize that policies come and go with the tides of new management. We did it one way, now we do it another. Oh, and next year, we'll do it another way. It may be right, it may be wrong, but I have no choice. This is SOP, Standard Operating Procedure, people. Get off your panicking high-horse like you're alerting me to some serious new danger. Stop being a lawn sprinkler of bitterness in my work life, because in the end, you won't get points for being right about your pessimism.

I know. I spent many years being a pessimist and I got no credit for being right. What a waste of time. All I did was worry and cause others to panic. Doom and gloom never improved anything. What I did learn was to have a careful escape plan. That's why I am no longer in retail, that why I take training even if I fail the exam, and that's why I still plan on being a writer. It's a balance of long term and short term, and doom and gloom still have no place in that. Am I cheerful? No. I am scared, too, but I take my fear and try and make something useful out of it. I save money. I learn new skills, and keep the old ones in tune. I remember that the most long term concern I have is my family and friends. That's not senseless optimism, that's common sense.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000247.html
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