Thursday, 17 January 2013

Forced Change

I heard some bad news today.  My sister-in-law was laid off from her job after 27 years with the same company.  It's a rotten thing to have happen and I think it's going to be a rough few days (weeks?) for her as she tries to get her feet under her again.  She's got what appears to be a good severance package but without going into too much detail (because this isn't really my story to share), it could have been much better.

The funny thing about forced change like this though is that in my experience it always works out for the best.  All my friends have lost their jobs at some point and each and every one of them has ended up in a better situation than they were in before.  Truly - every single one of them; me included.  I'm sure you have similar stories.  So why is it that if it always works out so well that we avoid it like the plague and send condolences to the person who lost their job?

I don't have answers, though I suspect its something along the lines of "people don't like uncertainty" or "pressing financial commitments".   But I suspect the real answer is about control - I don't know anyone who goes out of their way to court change like this, but I know lots of people who have voluntarily left jobs for something else; me included.  But I was the one who decided to leave the old job and I had something to go to.  I was the one who called the shots, who decided if, when, where, how and why.  That's a pretty powerful position to be in.

On a related note, I took a deep breath today and unraveled Semele, my scarf which demonstrated that I can't reliably count to four.  It went from being 95% done to being very undone.


But you know what?  This too has ended up being a good thing even though it looks like a setback - I read the entire directions again and am using the actual printed instructions instead of what I thought they said and the whole thing looks better.  I can tell already that this end is going to block out to a better shape than what I had before.

Now before I'm publicly flogged, I'm well aware that ripping out a scarf isn't in the same category - the same universe - as losing a job - that feels more like having your right arm ripped off.  But just like when the scarf wasn't working out, being forced to start over will produce a better end product and for my lovely and talented SIL, this forced change will surely produce something better than she had.

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