I’m currently viewing TIME’s TOP 10 of everything for 2008 and found myself glued to the top 10 news makers. To name a few, Mumbai’s hostage is on top 3. Obama’s victory is on top 2 and the shocking Wallstreet company layoffs, specifically at the start of Lehman’s announcement in Sept 13, clinched the number 1 spot.
It’s depressing. It’s too depressing to think that at this state, we are considered blessed and lucky. At least my city’s not littered with dead bodies due to a wrath of any storm, or firing of bullets due to civil war. At least I’m lucky that we were not directly hit by the melamine scare and officials immediately took actions to regulate milk products in the country. At least we are still lucky to be able to harbor such feelings for some people, without any other further inconveniences in life, except for those people that we hate of course.
The picture on Top 1 spot made me really feel loopy and sad. It was a guy in his 40’s impeccably dressed, executive-looking, carrying his moving out box and painting frame out of Lehman Brothers’ building in New York. Based from the reflection seen on the glass doors, at least a swarm of people and paparazzi were waiting on him, asking for further details. Ouch. He doesn’t need to publicly represent those who have lost their jobs in an expensive city no less, and at that age at that.
I guess if I were to be drastically “laid off” without having any warnings or time to think of where to go, I’d probably wish for it to happen when I’m still at my primer years rather than being laid off at the time when I should be already thinking of my retirement.
I believe if anyone has to be “laid off,” I think younger people could survive the storm better. Younger people have a larger ideal well which fuels resourcefulness, creativeness and determination to succeed. Being laid off in around 20’s is just like quitting a job you don’t like. AT this age, people can always start fresh in their careers and people wouldn’t really mind or pass you by. If you start careers at late 30’s, 4o’s or 50’s, I don’t think there is enough room for energy and vitality in learning new processes, being outwardly creative and mainstream, and doing more flexible things like what a 20 something could do. By this age, I’m sure most have more serious responsibilities with their families and truth is it could be a form of liability to the company. Why hire people with baggage, they would say?
Also, being laid off in 20 somethings, one can still catch up with the race. Theirs is still room within reach and still give that ladder another try even though you have to start anew granting that the situation is practically hopeless. In this age, we can still be able to swallow our pride and do what needs to be done. In 40 somethings, pride, professional achievements and stature are already taken into consideration. Years of knowledge and experience would make ones market value higher. It has to be. Therefore pride in doing greater things and moving on towards the next level are something “senior professionals” are expected of. But being laid off in more senior years would make it more difficult to swallow just any types of jobs. Granting that the economy is slow and there are limited ‘appropriate’ opportunities, some jobs would just have to do to make ends meet. It’s a demeaning feeling of worthlessness after all those years of hard work. And even if they did get over the feeling of starting over, I’m not so sure if working with a bunch of fresh graduates on the same level would make it any better.
Lastly if worse comes to worst, the younger individuals still have the immediate assistance of parents and relatives. In older individuals, they cannot expect their parents to still shoulder them. It wouldn’t feel entirely right. They only have their partners, friends, siblings and the younger generation to hold on to, which is a case far worse than being in the age-radar of running towards parents.
As much as I hate to discuss this, I never thought that the picture could immediately impact me as such. I just don’t want to see myself in the same situation. I would most probably have a family or someone that I support by then, my bills would’ve gone bigger and I would have been maintaining bigger things in life. My pride and self-worth would’ve been devastated with any layoff past my prime. I could blame a thousand organizational crap that has gotten the company sick, but I would look intensely silly at that age. I cannot afford to lose track and walk out of the building, a 40 something and forcibly unemployed. That would’ve been too tragic. I don’t want to make the headline news.
*These doesn't apply of course, if you're already a multi-millionnaire by the age of 20, an artist or have become a legend. This applies to me and other struggling individuals who just try hard to build empires from scratch and reap the fruits of labor as early as 40...granting something doesn't f*ck up.