Recent topics in the news (hello, government shutdown) have made me realize that I am actually a non-essential government employee. Does that cut me to the quick? Not really. I'm not that sensitive.
I have a job, and do work at that job, but I could be replaced. By a robot or a chimpanzee or something that would make less money and surf the internet less. I am not that busy. My tasks could be passed out to other employees and not even ruin their day or make them stay one minute later. I used to be busier, so maybe this is just a slow time and it will pick back up. Changes lurk around every corner, so I don't know what the future months will bring.
While pondering this recently, I realized that in the event of a down-sizing, my boss might keep me around for entertainment value. We have become friends to some extent, and we instant message each other all day, especially in the afternoons, with movie lines and witty banter and snarky comments, and occasional work-related notes. We go to lunch a couple times a week, and when we started that, we started getting along much better. The first year I was employed here, we really didn't work together well at all. Once we clicked, it became a great working relationship and we crack each other up all day. That's not to say that everything is fun and games, but we both try to fit some playing in between the work tasks. This is great and awesome and I love it. But. ("Everybody I know has a big but(t); let's talk about your big but(t), Simone.")
Seriously, if we had lay-offs, how could I keep my job and a clear conscience, knowing that there are more qualified or necessary people that may lose theirs? We're not in danger of that now or in the near future, but it just made me wonder. I can't QUIT, because then I couldn't get unemployment, and I have an overabundance of bills to pay. But other people may have kids and mortgages. I guess they could collect unemployment as well as I could, but then there's the loss of medical coverage at some point, etc. I just don't know. It's not really my decision or my problem, and it's not even a problem yet. I guess life is full of unfairness, and in this case, it would be someone else's turn on the receiving end. I could suggest they pick me to go, and then it would be out of my hands. I sort of mentioned that once and was told that I would not be the first to go. Which is why I'm even having this conversation with myself, I guess.
This was supposed to be a funny topic. I'm a court jester! I work for the judiciary! Haha! Get it? But again the mood turned a bit somber and serious, because people losing jobs, no matter who they are or what they do, is not funny.