"Life is what happens while you're making other plans"
In the past few months it has become increasingly clear that it doesn't matter how intelligent, well-educated, eloquent, good-looking, industrious, or down-trodden you are. None of those things matter in an economic crisis. You can do all the right things and you may still fall victim to the budgetary axe.
What can you do if you find yourself in this situation? You have a right to ask questions, but you may not get straight answers. You can argue that a mistake has been made, while the rest of your co-workers are inventing reasons to explain why you were cut and they are allowed to stay. You can shout about the unfairness of it all, but very few people will listen, and even fewer will take up your cause. You can curl up in a fetal position and whine "why me?" but after a while you're bound to get a cramp.
My colleagues and I know these feelings all too well, having been fired on August 27. We have done everything we could to understand why this has happened to us. We have met numerous times with soulless administrators. We have endured the distance and apathy of our colleagues. We have sometimes retreated into our shells to make sense of it all.
We all do what we need to do to come to terms with misfortune, whether it's a death, a divorce, or the loss of one's job. But eventually you have to move on.
The lesson of this story: Don't get too comfortable. Relish your job, your marriage, your life. Do your best, but always be aware that your circumstances may change. Always have a back-up plan.
Sit down tonight, and answer the question "What would I do if I got fired tomorrow?" And if you are in the uncomfortable position of being unemployed, ask yourself, "What do I have to do to make this situation better?" Life-changing events like these test our mettle, but also open up opportunities that we never dreamed possible.
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