Overtaken By Reality

I was going to blog about tomorrow’s return of James Bond to theatres tomorrow in the movie “Quantum of Solace”. As you know, I’m a very big Bond fan. If you have any doubts, I suggest you check out the article in the Trib in which I took their personality test in the Trib Ticket in Thursday’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. However, my own joy over the return of my favorite film series was overtaken by reality.

A friend of mine was laid off today. He is not alone. This was a brutal day for such local standards as US Steel which laid off workers. It was a difficult day because while the economy is in the toilet, these moves came out of the blue.

This is a difficult time for workers in this country. Already being challenged by technology and stagnant wages, now the financial mess has finally begun to hit the workforce hard. Every day we are reporting job losses in the thousands affecting every industry. Truly no one is safe from this blood letting in order to save the company.

Being laid off is more than just about losing your job. For many, it’s about losing their identity. So often in life, who we are is linked to what we do and when that is gone, we become lost. Then, there is the uncertainty about what we will do next. Where will we earn the money to support ourselves and our families and how long will it be before we are working again. Will my money last until I find that next job … and what if I don’t get another job? These are questions that go through the mind of the those suddenly released from their jobs.

There’s also that inner feeling: a feeling of sickness and helplessness. There’s a nervousness about the future and a fight to hold back the tears after learning, often without warning, that you are no longer employed. Of course you are wondering how would I know. I mean what does a TV anchor in Pittsburgh know about the trials and tribulations of unemployment? The answer … is plenty. I was laid off once.

I can still remember being told I was no longer employed. A sense of failure and frustration overcame me. While it was early in my life, it stays with me to this day. It also launched my life into a different direction … as a broadcast journalist. I guess I can say if not for being laid off, I would not have ended up here.

I just hope this financial madness comes to an end because while its difficult to read stories about murders and killings, it’s just as hard to read about layoffs. In each situation, a person’s life is affected … and there is a painful aftermath.

Sorry for the somber entry. Try to have a pleasant weekend.

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