Friday, October 31, 2008


I woke up this morning, got dressed, and headed in to work. When I arrived, I walked over to the time-clock to punch in, but, much to my surprise, there was no longer a time-card with my name on it. Strangely, the bin which usually contains all of the blank time-cards was conspicuously empty. (!?!?!)

As I stood there, mulling over the possible ramifications of this situation, one of my more senior co-workers approached, with his best funeral-director face on, and informed me not to punch in (as though I could!!), and to just sit tight for a while, as the owner of the company wanted to talk to a few of us...... (That didn't sound good!).

I stood around like a knob for a while, and then the intercom announced an incoming telephone call for the shop foreman... (this has never happened in all of the time I have been there... so it certainly seemed significant....)

At this point, I send my wife a brief text message over the cell phone, as follows: "Luv U-     Lookin like I may not hav a job       wont know till mike comes in       this sucks"

Sure enough, the foreman went from person to person, had a brief conversation, faces went from surprise, to shock, to sadness... shoulders slumped, and folks headed for their individual work areas and began to collect their belongings..... I knew the axe had fallen when he headed in my direction.

"Mike just called... I really hate to have the be the one to do this... he always does this to me... Well, you don't work here any more... They discussed the situation, we are dead... there isn't any work... and, well, they don't have any need of your services any more.... your last check is in the mail. I'm sorry, I really like you.... Whenever he has to let people go, he disappears, and I am always the one who has to do it...."

So... that was it. No job. Surprise!

I went around and shook everyone's hand, wished them well... packed up my few things, and headed out on the lonely drive home.

Anybody hiring??


Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog and am feeling a bit confused. Are you a Buddhist monk? Your vulgar language and the way you express yourself seems hurtful and lacking in love, peace and compassion. But as a Christian, sadly the same can be said about me, too. I often wrestle with this. :o) I hope work finds you soon. What a tough time of year to be unemployed.

Bear said...

Yes.. I am a monk... and you have hit upon what is, clearly, a great weakness and flaw; my humor tends to have a worse bark and a worse bite than my heart...

I think that perhaps when viewed from the outside looking in, my vulgarities and certain forms that my humor takes are very likely seen from a vastly different perspective than either how it is meant, or how it appears to me when I *know* what is truly in my heart...

I spent perhaps too many years as a soldier, and have inculcated the culture of humor too deeply.. but, as you point out, it is not befitting in a monk, nor perhaps, in anybody else.

it is definitely a flaw that I must both pay closer attention to, and work on resolving with greater diligence.

In humility I bow to you, palms joined, and thank you for pointing out with such kindness and compassion.