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7/14/2009 - Mary Johnston

This has been an interesting day at work.  It started with the executive director meeting with people who will have their hours cut.  And it will end with meetings to notify employees who are being laid-off.  Initially it appeared that my chaplain colleagues and I would have our hours cut.  However, at the eleventh hour one chaplain asked to be laid-off, so my job is secure.  

I feel bad for those who are waiting.  One co-worker summarized their distress by saying, ďeveryone Iíve talked to today has diarrhea.Ē  As my anxiety abates and my empathy kicks in, Iíve had time to observe the ways people cope.  The younger employees--those who are in their first full-time, professional jobs--are struggling the most.  For them, it seems the world is ending.  One young woman whose hours were cut to 60%  (no children, no house payment) had already figured out a way to supplement her income by the time I talked to her.  Yet she sat at her desk crying most of the morning as she called  her parents and boyfriend.  

But the over-fifty crowd seems to have a different perspective.  Most have been through something similar to this and know that the sun will rise tomorrow.  The pain and anguish may be the same as that experienced by the younger set, but their emotional resources are stronger.  At least I hope thatís the case.  Thanks to the WE women for listening (reading) to me and offering supportive words.  I think Iíve dodged a bullet, at least for now.

6 Comments From Other Members
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7/14/2009 Susan Terbay from Dayton OH wrote:
Good news! It is interesting regarding reactions. and then of course there is the fact that those who are dying put life totally into perspective in many ways and the longer you minister to those extraordinary ordinary people, the more you learn about life.
7/14/2009 Melissa Harmon from Woodbridge NJ wrote:
Good news indeed. I don't know how you do it Mary. An hour spent with my father in his eldercare facility and I am drained.
7/15/2009 Suzanne Caplan from PA wrote:
We need to be heard more about what is important to us and to the quality of the culture. Everyone dies and everyone loses someone and until you understand the value of hospice, it is just another word. I hope that it will not only be the banks and investment houses and car companies that get a seat at the table of priorities. Thank you for letting us know.
7/15/2009 from wrote:
I have been anxious to know how it went, Mary, and I'm glad you still have a job. It's interesting, observing how other people cope. Experience does prepare one for events like this and it's probably harder for the younger people if it's their first time. I really hope that things will work out well for everyone.
7/15/2009 LeAnn Farley from Mt. Pleasant IA wrote:
Mary, I'm so glad to hear the good news, and I'm thankful that you can continue your valuable mission. I also wish that this damned economy would turn around already. Then maybe all your coworkers could do the same.
7/17/2009 Dorothy Sander from Durham NC wrote:
We all need to continue to get our priorities in order every day and encourage others to do the same, especially the young people. As you said, it is harder on them. Youth have such high hopes and expectations that invariably are dashed once or twice along the road of life. But it does make you stronger. It does teach you that you are resilient and will find a way to survive. Ultimately we are all in control of our own fate and young people are still in the process of breaking free from the comfort and support of being cared for and learning at new levels what it means to care for themselves.

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