Friday, September 28, 2012

Is Losing Your Job a Death Sentence?

Just this past week, news broke of a man in Minneapolis, Minnesota walking into a Sign store and shooting and killing four people including the owner of the store. Who was he? A disgruntled former employer who was fired not too long before he decided to start bustin' caps. After drawing a swarm of police and SWAT teams to the scene of the crime to confront him, the man turned the gun on himself, dying before the police could apprehend him.

The sad thing is, stuff like this is happening way too often. Ex-employers fired for one reason or another vowing revenge on the boss who handed them the pink slip, students grabbing guns and blasting away professors who gave them a failing grade. Patience and preseverence are a thing of the past. Accountability is now an ancient concept. Blame the economy and the curriculum all you want but in the end it's all on your own head.

People are treating losing a job in this economic climate as a death sentence. It's the end of the world! People are so on edge and take things so personally now that it's come to a point where someone firing you or failing you in class for slacking off has wronged you and needs to die? I'm sure people in those positions are deathly afraid sometimes when they have to fire somebody because they can't predict how they'll react.

I easily get reminded of Milton in the movie Office Space. The meek, weird character who worked at a corporation and repeatedly threatened to burn the building down (he eventually did). Management was afraid to be straight up with him and tell him he's fired because they wanted to avoid confrontation, so they just took his name off of payroll and allowed him to keep coming in and working for free! 

While reading up on this news story, I took a look at the comments section and the very first comment summed things up brilliantly. Yahoo! reader JBA stated:

"American consumerism is like a Heroin addiction. The lifestyle is BUY, BUY, BUY, make more money, buy buy buy. Gotta keep up with the Jones's, gotta keep spending, gotta keep moving, gotta work 6o hour work weeks to maintain these insane lifestyles. And what happens when it stops? Just like a Crackhead needing his next fix, they'll go nuts when they don't get it.  
We have to reject this lifestyle of constant consumption and live like our ancestors. Live small, live within your means. You don't need the next iPhone, you don't need that big screen tv, or that new BMW with $700 a month payments, or that expensive "data plan" or the latest hi-speed internet that at&t offers. Let's drop this crap and the Banks and Media that peddle this toxic crap on us!"

Couldn't have said it better myself. A job, no matter how cushy or how much you think it's secure, can very well be gone tomorrow. And that's why it's so important to save money and have an emergency fund to tap into in case a calamity happens like being layed off. Unfortunately theirs staggering statistics where over 70% of Americans don't save their money and live paycheck to paycheck. When you're living that way, in that cycle, the second theres a chink in that cycle, everything goes haywire and in some cases it gets to homicidal, suicidal levels.

One of God's 99 names is Ar-Razzaq (The Provider). He's the one we should depend on cause he provides our sustenance. Ultimately, through Him, we get that raise or promotion, we land that lucrative job or deal, we snag that A+ on the exam. Very easily, Allah can take it away. When that happens, He asks us to be patient and seek help in Him and to keep striving. However a good number of people feel screwed and sound the panic alarm. Allah addresses even this in the Qur'an saying that it's in our nature to forget.

How very easily can this man who killed his former employer could have just dusted his resume off and get back on the job hunt? Sure it could take a while, weeks or maybe months but that's why saving some money is ideal. When you finally land another job, you may have to do something you feel is "beneath you" but you can bounce back. It all comes back down to patience and the awareness of God testing you with "hard times" to see if you'll react the right way, or crack under the pressure like the man from Minneapolis.

That's my PhilAsify for the day, hope you have a good one. 

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