I wince as one of the men from 1-800-GOT-JUNK drops one end of my recliner onto the flatbed, cracking one of the wooden feet in the process. I keep telling myself that it’s old, and there are bite marks on one part from a pesky mouse, that I haven’t the money to store it, and that it’s done it’s job. It’s a struggle watching the rest of my furniture being taken to the flatbed by the two men, who are really great guys and are chatting with me about my plans in Kitchener. No doubt they can see this is a pretty tough moment for me and are trying to lift my spirits. Between their efforts to cheer me up and my own internal will, I keep a pretty good poker face and even crack a few jokes.
The moment I get upstairs though is a different story. I see my living room and dining room for the first time without furniture since my tour of the apartment in November of 1989. The whole apartment looks so big. When I see the pressure marks on the carpet where the sectional, recliner and dining room table used to be, my composure cracked. I sat down on the carpet, back against the wall, and had a good cry.
Nothing unmanly about crying. It’s natural to mourn over loss. Loss of personal space. Loss of independence. Loss of privacy. Loss of friends, familiarity of the neighborhood, knowing a city as well as the back of my hand. All lost because I failed at what I believed to be a simple task: find a job.
So simple, right? 20 years in information technology, 17 years of that in a large multi-national company. I wore the hats of programmer, systems administrator, was a pinch hitter for PC and EDI issues when the pros went on vacation. Not fired from my job, on awesome terms with my employer and former co-workers. Kept saying to myself all that should have translated to a short unemployment spell. That was over 3 and a half years ago.
When you sustain any personal loss — the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage, or in my case, losing my ability to sustain myself as an independent sovereign individual — you suddenly feel very vulnerable. Doubt starts to creep in. You question those mileposts you passed and once thought as high moments. Was I as good as I thought I was? Were those accomplishments I did that the users and my boss thought were amazing or was I just fooling myself? Maybe it was all one long ego coast over the last 20 years and the lengthy unemployment was Life’s way of saying, “David: you actually sucked”.
I was in no mood to continue with my packing that day my furniture was taken to the heap, or to look for work in Kitchener, or to do anything. I went on YouTube to find a video that would cheer me up. Because I use FireFox, I ended up auto-logged on my “David Needs A Job” channel and saw some recommendations that related to my channel’s content (job searching). I was going to log out when I saw the grinning face in a thumbnail of one woman’s video and decided to watch it. Her video was her personal commentary about her own job search which she described as having “her soul raped backwards naked over a cactus”. She nailed it: the job market is really that bad and she described the snakes and ladders game that is looking for work for the farce it truly is. A joke.
Came across another video that was truly heartbreaking. I thought I had the market cornered with my 1000 video on YouTube describing my depression, until I saw this woman describing not only what her lack of employment was doing to her, but the domino effect it was having on other parts of her life. I’ve had those days as a result of my job search where I don’t know what to feel any more. For what it was worth, I left my two cents worth to her in support.
Some of you out there might advise I should not watch these videos because it will put the wrong things in my head. Actually, they put a fresh perspective on my own situation. I’m not the only one having this trouble. There are countless others like me who are trying to find a job but are not making it. It’s not my fault. It never was my fault. The fault is with the economy. The fault is with government for not stimulating the economy by offering initiatives like keeping companies — and jobs — in Canada instead of farming them off overseas through taxes. The fault is with companies who refuse to give people a chance through more mentoring and apprenticeship openings, and who believe in working their employees to death through their insane mantra of “do more than less! do more with less!” instead of hiring more staff.
Einstein’s “Theory Of Relativity” postulated that “measurements of various quantities are relative to the velocities of observers”. In short, it’s all about one’s point of view. Things are actually not what they seem when you look at it just from your own emotional vantage point, especially when your perch is in a ditch. The world truly is screwed up, and it’s unfortunate that mourning over the loss of my furniture made me forget that important fact.
Thanks for reading.