Pay to the order of…

Unemployment Check

For months now many of us in Newark, New Jersey‘s fire department have known that layoffs were on the way.  For lack of a better cliche’, “the writing was on the wall”, and has been since the world’s economy has crashed.  And months ago, I damn near lost my mind.  I’ve worked all of my life since young adulthood, and before being old enough to work for others legally, I knew what work was at home.  Mama ain’t raise no bum.  I’ve never had to collect unemployment checks.  I’ve never had a day arrive where I wasn’t planning something around my work schedule, (and I’ve worked every schedule known to man, I’m sure).  So this impending doom is rather new to me, personally.  Outside of myself, I’ve always known people with employment issues, and now I guess I’ll finally be able to relate to their plight.  As a lifelong, full-time worker, I was always a bit confused as to why these seemingly intelligent and motivated people had trouble finding full-time work.

I remember when I first got home after my stint in the army, I didn’t have a dime’s worth of income.  My mom had an administrative position with a toy company, and after being home for a month, (which I used to catch up on a year’s worth of lost sleep), I asked if she could get me a job there.  She warned me that the only positions open were for minimum wage labor.  It didn’t occur to me to pass up on the job because it didn’t pay big bucks.  I never had that weird reasoning some folks have about being too good for, or too proud to a job for menial pay when the alternative was $0.00/hr.  Easy excuses make such strange decisions justifiable, I suppose, but not for me.  I’ve always been a fan of “any income, while working towards a better income, is better than no income at all”, and soon enough, I’ll be living that motto by example.

I love being a firefighter, all the more so being a firefighter in the city of my birth and up raising.  As tortured a soul this city of Newark is, and even though I don’t live there anymore, she will always be my home base.  The politics of my job – well, let’s just say I’ll never have such a feeling of fondness.  Someone once said to me firefighting is a vocation.  I couldn’t agree more.  The job isn’t one considered for reasons related to finance.  It just doesn’t fit.  While the job will provide one with the means of providing for one’s family, the check one receives doesn’t cover the actual cost of the labor – which brings me back to my original point:  lack of labor.

In about a month and a half, I too will lack labor.  And I suppose I’m posting this in order to set myself up to practice what I preach.  I’m ready.  Whatever my next step holds, $0.00 will not be a part of the equation.

…no matter what.

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