Maybe I really am an asshole. We were just told that 30 people were laid off here today and my second thought was "Well, that frees up 30 parking spaces out front." I made myself laugh, at least. Of course my first thought was "Sucks for them," so I'm not completely heartless.
None of this was expressed out loud, naturally, aside from perhaps a less flippant version of "sucks for them." Really, it just reminds me of the cold, unfeeling nature of a large corporation and the value (or lack thereof) of the people who comprise it. By this I don't mean the cold, unfeeling nature of some rich guys sitting in some wood-paneled office smoking cigars and counting their money but rather the corporation as an organism itself. There is no evil consortium controlling it. It's just a collection of people and an idea, really. It's nothing personal, but that's what makes it cold and unfeeling. Of course the people who've just lost their jobs did so for the purported benefit of those who get to keep showing up everyday and getting a paycheck, a sacrifice to the bottom line. I've never been laid off myself or worked someplace where any one else has, for that matter, so being this close to the fact is a new experience for me.
That's why I'm really glad that I don't give a shit if it had been me. Actually, I just gave someone a box of paperclips that had been sitting on my desk collecting dust and had to stop myself from saying to them "I don't plan on being around long enough to use them all." This line of work ain't for me, and I'll be moving on eventually, although I do appreciate the copious amounts of time this job affords me to write this here blog. More important than the work itself (or lack thereof, which really is a huge bonus) I'm not interested in working for a corporate organism, as it were. I'm all for working with other people in the service of a common goal, but that goal has to be meaningful (beyond simply earning a living) and I can't be viewed as a dispensable or interchangeable part of it. That's pretty basic, right? Not too much to ask?
I'm fond of saying a monkey could do my job. Or a machine, but I prefer to picture the monkey. He'd have more fun than the machine, although I doubt the blog he would write while he's supposed to be working would be nearly as well composed as mine. It would probably be funnier, though, 'cause monkeys are funny. Damn, that's what this post should have been about, instead my rambling about the inhumanity of corporations and my own dissatisfaction. Maybe next time.