The title of this post represented the first words out of my mouth when my employer laid me off this past Friday morning. I didn’t say a whole lot more than that. Needless to say, my emotions quickly rose to a dangerous temperature. When emotions rise, intelligence dips, and had I tried to speak again, the result would have been either incredibly pathetic or incredibly illegal. So, as I turned in my inventory, I did so in a number of trips to the car instead of one trip loading up a cart, so that I might walk it off as best as possible, that I might regain some composure before they seek to elicit from me any comments. If I was more like Paul the Apostle, I would rejoice in this episode allowing me the opportunity to act like a Christian for His Glory. But to my shame, I think only of how easily I could render them permanently justified in parking in the handicapped space. God grant me peace.

But this situation also affords me the opportunity of once again affirming my position that we are where we are as a result of actions taken or not taken, decisions made one way or the other. Can we sustain the injury of such unceremonious treatment? What can we do to insure that we can? It is a necessary concern that each of us is as totally covered against major inconveniences as we can make ourselves. It is a task that should have total priority. The reason for this is that one never knows what life has in store. Maybe it’s not a layoff, but a catastrophic illness or injury. Can we survive it financially? If not, why not? What the heck are you doing with your money, with your life, that you can’t secure this responsibility?

If you are an employee, this warning must be taken more to heart. One gives up at least eight hours, plus whatever time is used up by being employed, including lunch breaks and commuter time. One also gives up the full right to determine when one can take time off for vacations, sick time, personal time, how many holidays are honored. One is limited by pay to living a life limited by that level of pay. In other words, one’s life is not one’s own. The trade is not equitable, unless you feel your time, that 10-12 total hours devoted to a job, is worth only what your employer is willing to pay you for renting it.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there is nothing more one’s employer owes than that to which both parties agreed upon one’s hiring. And that goes especially for keeping you employed. Think about that. Did anyone negotiate the permanence of their position upon hiring? Thus, one can be let go at any time, no matter what your union rep tells you. Plus, the employer might be stupid and running the business into the ground and the business folds. Or, the company could be bought out and your position eliminated. The bottom line is, how are you prepared for this? Just as death, the loss of one’s job comes like a thief in the night. At least it feels that way.

There’s one overriding purpose for having a job: that’s to have money that one can invest in order to provide another, hopefully passive, form of income that will at least match one’s wage at the J.O.B. As it is being developed, all debt should be paid down at once. Then, with debt removed, more investing can take place. Learning to make money work for you is a study worth mastering.

Anyway, I haven’t been practicing what I’ve preached to the best of my abilities. The loss of this meager gig is troubling. There’s no doubt about that. But I am not without resources and the mortgage will be paid before we run out of dough. Though I’d like to find a situation quickly, we can handle things for an extended period. Not good enough by a long shot, but fortunately, we’ve managed to get to this point, so that shows that better things can be had if effort is actually exerted. The opportunities are endless and there truly is no excuse for poverty, none for not being prepared to fend it off should the time come.

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