So, I've been retrenched, what now. This is the thing that has been rolling around in my head for a couple of months now and getting over it has been trying, to say the least. I've recently noticed the number of companies, worldwide, who have been doing this to their employees and it's staggering. I do understand that, in the current economic environment, prices are being driven lower by customers who are not as faithful as one would desire and companies have to reduce costs to remain competitive, this makes sense but to what end.
In South Africa the number of unemployed people desperately trying to survive is staggering, I'm one of those. I think the figure is currently about 5.5 million. That is, five and a half million people of the eligible working population who have no income, no way to create savings, no way to prepare for their retirement, no way to pay for services, no way to positively impact the economy of the country. And that's just here in South Africa. I recently heard about Air France employees who were slated for retrenchment attacking their directors and ripping their shirts off their backs, kind of exactly what these directors were doing to them and their dependents wouldn't you say. Their violence erupted after the management announced a job cut of some 2900 employees and a 10% reduction in long distance flights. When people are without income, no matter what they do, they are no better off than slaves who do not put money back into the countries economy, probably one of the motivations behind the global demise of the slave industry, the banks weren't making money off them.
Enough about figures and statistics. I want to tell you what has happened to my sense of self worth since I lost my source of income and who has been affected by it.
My earnings before I lost my job were about $520.00 for a 7 day week, that's about $74.00 a day, which isn't too bad in this country. But this of course isn't the average for South Africa, there are those who earn far in excess of this and those who earn far less, I just happen to have 40 years experience under my belt and an ability to lead others that stands me in good stead. Over the 27 odd years of working in the film industry as a freelancer with uncertain income stability, I've learned to be very frugal with any money I do have coming in so as to have something for the lean times. I've had more than 25 years dealing with this so have been at an advantage for some time now. Add to that the fact that I have only myself and my animals to take care of with no debt or credit cards and you can see how much of an advantage I do have over the average citizen who has children, a wife, parents who depend on him a mortgage, credit card debt and so on. There is also another advantage I have over others in that I have absolute faith in God and his son Jesus, not everyone believes in them. They will in due course though, just give it a while without food and resources and they will come around and start praying, it happens to be one of God's greatest attractions, when in trouble people do turn to God for help even if they won't do so in the beginning or when things are going comfortably well.
Anyway, what I've struggled with the most has been my self confidence, bad thoughts about my own worthiness as an employee have caused me a lot of distress. My ability to be of service, not only to man but to God himself, has restricted my interaction with just about everyone including God and Jesus. I know that I'm a very capable person in just about everything and that Jesus does indeed care about me but that has not stopped me from sinking into a mire of self doubt. That is why I have to depend on the love of God to pull me up out of this state at some time or other.
Depending on Shelley to help me with things like food and rent is also soul destroying, she has her own expenses and having now to provide for me is very taxing on her limited resources, this I know. The rest of the family don't help much financially but my sister Toni does provide encouragement in large doses although she too isn't working and without financial resources.
I do place advertisements for my services on the internet, which are almost free, all I have to pay for is the data I use placing the ad and going back to it on a daily basis to check up on any replies. Data here, by the way is expensive, I had to buy R95.00 worth of data yesterday to publish this post and place an ad. It'll last for a day or two, not quite sure how long though. To give you an idea of what I had for dinner last night, (This post is for those who retrench others without caring about the hardship visited on them) I cooked up a pot of "packet" soup (powdered wheat flour concentrate with a few flavor-ants and preservatives) and had two slices of brown bread. Am I complaining about this? No, not at all. I had dinner last night and my animals were fed. I have a roof over my head with electric lights and running water on tap, but then I am the exception. What do you think my wife and children, which I fortunately do not have, would think of such a meager meal, not much I would imagine.
So, before you retrench a whole bunch of employees, please think of how you would be compromised should the same thing be done to you. Jesus tells us to do unto others as we would have done unto us. You, as the retrencher, may not believe in God or his son Jesus but I can assure that what He says makes perfect sense. As a retrenchee I know but am in a better position purely because of my experience as a freelance worker.
May God bless the employers of the world, whether they believe in him or not, for the sake of all those who depend on them for their daily bread. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.