I've been down lately. Way down. And for a while now.
My job has vexed me almost to nervous exhaustion. A position has been forced upon me which I did not want. No one wanted it. It sucks. The previous person who held it begged for weeks to be allowed to "step down." But I have the reputation of being a fixer, of being a person who can take a tough situation and work to improve it. Now it seems that against my wishes I am having that opportunity again.
On my way home today I had to stop off at the local dollar store to get some office supplies that I will need. After shopping for a bit, attending to my list, I approached the checkout. Ahead of me was a gentlemen who looked my age or perhaps a bit older. He didn't have a purchase but instead leaned in towards the checkout girl and quietly asked for an application for a job. He was old that they only accept applications online. I think that seems to be the general rule now. (Never mind that many poor, hopeless people don't have easy internet access.) That fellow probably last applied for a job (like me) back when it was customary to appear at a personnel office and fill out a paper application and then hope for an interview.
He asked for a name so he could put it on his internet application in order to show that he did indeed talk to someone about a job. He was directed to the store manager, who informed him that wouldn't be necessary, and, no, neither would it be necessary to give that store number. Just go to so-and-so dot com and fill in the blank for this city on the application.
By now I had checked out and exited the store right behind the man. His disappointment was almost palpable. He walked, slump shouldered, to his beat up old truck. And rarely in my life did I feel more like uttering a prayer: "Dear God, please give this man some hope; please help him find a job that he seems so obviously to want and need."
My second thought was that I need to be more thankful for the situation - rough as it often is - that I have, the fact that I have a decent paying job to go to that allows me to keep buying food (and even some extras to improve the quality of my life), and to stay clothed and sheltered, and not the least of my concerns, to be able to give my mom some assistance when needed.
Right now I have several temporary workers who are wanting desperately to find permanent employment. And I don't know how many I will be able to keep once the dust has settled a bit. Yet I look into their anxious faces every day knowing I won't be able to keep everyone, that one day, more than likely, I'm going to have to make some tough choices.
But I will still have a job. I have worked for the same place for twenty years now. Even when it has been really rough, really patience trying, really outright sucky, I still have been able to bring home a paycheck every week. I've lived better these past twenty years than I have at any time in my life.
Today I saw the proverbial man who has no feet, and was reminded just how fortunate I am. Time to quit grumbling, methinks.