An interesting thing happened the other day. My former workplace, which I worked at until last year, burnt to a gutted shell of itself through a 15 alarm fire. A total loss, the fire could be seen from miles away, and smelled of burning ink, chemicals and paper.
I had slightly mixed feelings about this. Luckily, no employees were hurt (although several fire fighters were injured in the process). I felt bad that people may lose their jobs. But….(and hereforth are my justifications)…..
I really loathed the place. In general, people tended to be rather provincial and didn’t seek betterment in education or self-development. Prejudice was rampant among many. The owners didn’t pay people well, give raises, and had terrible upkeep in the buildings. It was a gray purgatory that day by day slid into a slow gray hell. I’ve outlined my story of my uprooting in other entries, so I won’t go further than that. Suffice to say, my wife and I both couldn’t help but smile a wide smile. I have several reasons for this seemingly malicious and selfish action.
First of all, I feel a certain amount of vengeance. I am still angry, I admit it. And I take a bit of satisfaction in knowing that I and probably a fair portion of others treated poorly in that environment could see the place go down and not have to lift a finger to do it. Although I never dreamed of it, it kind of feels like a dream come true. The only thing better would be if the fire marshal found out something nefarious was going on by the owner. I personally don’t believe that though. I’m guessing something negligent happened, as it wasn’t a realm of natural evil, it was a realm of nowhere, or despair. I doubt they would have the imagination.
Secondly, I feel relief. If we would have stayed in our jobs, we would have, to put it bluntly, been boned. People told us to be grateful for our old jobs. Being treated poorly and paid poorly was ok as long as we had a job, we were told. Some people got angry and wouldn’t speak to us when we made our break. Some laughed at our foolishness. And now, if we would have stayed, we would have been miserable and without jobs. We would have been in big trouble. In contrast we currently both have employment. I work at Google, and it doesn’t get much better than that. My wife has a good temp job. We are making inroads in the area.
Thirdly, I feel a sense of karma. I don’t believe in such things, mind you. But I have a sense that the house of my employers have abused so many people over the years that finally something snapped, their luck ran out. I feel a similar sense of karma in that I have through very hard work, been able to last in this beautiful place in a great work environment.
Fourth, it ends a chapter, or perhaps a book in my life. I am currently in training for a new position at Google, as well as picking up long term freelance work for a local company. And then this happens. It feels like a dovetail at something significant. Through this fire, it creates a bullet through another reason for me to go back to PA. I wouldn’t have a job if I went back there.
Fifth, to those people who may have lost employment through this event….I think it may be a blessing in disguise. I think things may seem dark, but the chains that this company put around me, how they almost convinced me that I had no self worth, the gloom that settled over my smile, I know it the pall that this company shed was not just on me. This event may force those out of fear and self-doubt into finding something that is better, something that they can believe in. Although it can be extremely hard, breaking away is worth it. I would say to them that they can find self-worth and hope if they get beyond the psychic walls erected by our fears.
Do it! Use this employment tragedy to be rid of your shackles once and for all.