Reaching to an eighth (8) day, the government shutdown has cost me a job. So like many many others, sequester included, I lost my job this past Thursday, twenty-two days into a five year project. As a contractor, you are accustomed to sitting and listening to bad news. In this new marketplace of being a “one-off,” “one-man” company, there are many times when you have to face the bad news. Oftentimes, someone doesn’t like the way you parted your hair or for having no hair. Sometimes, you brought Starbucks, so therefore you must make way too much money. Other times, you simply screwed up. You performed an incorrect calculation, went one way on the project, but management wanted another.
Other days, like last Thursday, management cuts you afloat simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As you listen to Human Resources parcel words, you realize you just joined an elite crowd, one that’s filled with the best of the best. There are those who will claim, “No problem. I will pick-up something quick,” “There’s another job right around the corner” and “Keep the faith.” You grab your things, pass security, receive a reluctant handshake, watch your identification badge shred as you are cast from the dock like a boat set adrift from port.
In truth, that badge represented your life. It was you, helped make you and your spouse. That small thing … that badge was food, a home, a live, meant times spent with friends, meant Thanksgiving, Christmas and life. That badge meant your child had a future and meant meaning and nourishment of the soul. And because Washington, D.C. bureaucrats act like playground bullies, your life gets shredded. There is little decency, no denunciations to be heard. Speaker Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid and President Obama are a thousand miles away. Like millions before me, I am herded through unemployment and watch our legislature play sandlot bullies with a cast of millions.
In truth, regardless of what is said, faith will not help you. Jesus will not get the next meal, pay the mortgage, feed the children or buy gasoline. I’ve never heard an employed politician pay for diapers, baby formula, make an offer to pay the car note, buy a tank of gas, fill a shopping cart or God forbid …. even create a job. I’ve never heard of a professional politician pay for a doctor’s visit, console someone who has cancer with no insurance or tell a child the family pet was given away because they couldn’t afford pet food. I’ve never seen a professional politician freely babysit a couple in low income housing while parents work.
If you think any of that’s true, then I request any of the Washington intellectuals to come to nowhere America for validation. Tell a homeless mother that Obamacare is the cause of all their misery. Likewise, tell an unemployed man the House GOP is the cause of all your problems. Tell them how you saved the auto industry and what that meant for the poor dirt farmer in North Dakota. Show them how that bridge to nowhere helped that underfed child in Iowa. Show them how stripping food stamps positively impacted their soul and made them a better person.
Come on Speaker Boehner, tell them. For God’s fricking sake Mr. Reid, have someone tell them. Tell me Mr. President. Tell me Senator McConnell, so I can tell them. Because here in nowhere America, where I live, all of you look pretty damn disgusting. On second thought, I’ll place my faith in my neighbor. On this street, in this dirt road, real life lives. Your lives’ are surreal.