We heard the big news last Friday. Half of our team in the office is getting laid off, including myself. When that sudden announcement for an emergency meeting came, I already knew what was coming. I admittedly hoped that it was not that bad, but I was quite sure that something nasty was coming my way.
I’ve been hit directly on the head by this global recession for the second time in my working life. I was first victimized by it when I was working as a broadcast transcriptionist in a contact center in Makati. Back then, emergency meetings scared the shit out of me because I knew a bunch of people are going to get chucked out again. Then there’s this feeling of invincibility whenever the ax missed my head. And man, did I miss that ax loads of times. I felt so damn lucky I thought I’d be able to keep my job forever (even though I didn’t really like my job). Eventually though, the ax did hit the jackpot and my head was sent flying to Ortigas at Pearl Drive.
So the announcement last Friday was nothing new to me. There were only two things that comforted me: the thought that there are still people who need other people to write something for them out there, and the keeper of my heart, Chemae.
It’s easy to feel helpless when you become a victim of downsizing or retrenchment. You feel like a dispensable resource (which you are). There’s even this feeling that the world or the economy doesn’t need you. It’s like you’re a piece of scab that should be rubbed off the skin.
When I think of things, I realize that the economic god just doesn’t want me to do the things I do, so it sent a corporate angel or a messenger to tell me I’m getting laid off. In a way, I’m actually helping the economy by allowing myself to get laid off. Free economists like to describe the economy as a living organism that heals itself. This downsizing is but a part of that healing process; and I am just snot that needs to be sneezed away for this godly organism to recover.
It’s just disturbing to think that language kind of masks the true reality behind a “self-healing market.” If you think about it, when this market heals itself, it means that people are losing their jobs, some shifting to jobs that are not appropriate for them, people losing homes, OFWs returning with sad faces to their homeland, families worrying about their future, some really unfortunate beings probably dying of hunger, and a writer in Ortigas getting the ax. That is the horrible nitty gritty of this market correction or healing.
So do you want to help the economy recover faster? Get a job and willingly lose it. Pack your things, get out of your office, and find another area of the economy that needs your help.
How to Exact Vengeance on the Economy Without Being a Rebel
I’ve been thinking of the best way to exact vengeance on this sickly economy. I decided that the best way to hurt it would be to refuse to spend when I’m supposed to spend. This way, I’m denying it the food it needs to survive. It will get hungry and be in pain and get depressed, lose some of its hair, and get dehydrated.
So here’s my plan: when I finally get a better job and I’m amassing truckloads of money, I’m not going to spend it the way the economy expects me to spend it. I’ll be filthy rich but I’ll be eating tuyo, galunggong, daing and pancit canton. Then I’ll live in a shabby house and limit my electricity and water consumption. My kids will go to a public school and they’ll be eating the same cheap stuff. Yeah. Kidding. But you get the point, I’m going to let this economy drool for my money.
Big dreams, of course, but that’s how vengeful men think.
No Hard Feelings, Really
This article is already too long. To tell you the truth, I don’t even care much about getting laid off. Yeah, I’m a little pissed off, but it’s bearable. I don’t hate my friends at the office or my bosses at Canada. In fact, I still love them, especially my friends at the office.
The story would probably have been vastly different if I were not holding Chemae’s hands all the time, though.