My Coworkers Want To Get Laid Off

So, I was talking to two of my coworkers today. Well I was listening to them, since I’m not talkative and rarely have more to contribute to a conversation than nods and occasional one or two-word statements. And, they were talking about the shortened university semester, which ends in November this year. As we/they speculated about what could happen after the students leave – at the end of the semester or earlier,because of a shut down – one of my coworkers said, “I hope they lay me off.”

My other coworkers seemed to agree. At the very least, he understood.

They painted a pretty rosy picture of being laid off. “I’d have time to be with my family, and stay at home and do projects, and sit on my porch, and spend time with my dog”. And, “You don’t have kids, Mark. You don’t understand. You need to spend time with your kids, and learn how to be a dad, and be at home with your wife…

And they went on about all these great things they could do if the university would lay them off.

There was no mention of being jobless, of having to comb the online classifieds and job boards, having to ultimately pound the pavement for face-to-face- interviews, or taking lower paying jobs just to bring in money.

My coworkers are starting to look forward to staying home. They are tired of working, tired (yes) of being at risk every day, and tired of worrying about whether or not they will keep their jobs after this next downturn. They just want to lose their jobs and be done with it. They don’t see joblessness as frightening and uncertain and potentially ruinous. They see it as free time, like they are still going to be receiving their full pay from the government and be able to spend their time as they please. They see it as early, temporary retirement, watching the world go by from their porches with a glass of iced tea and a loving pet.

And, I just don’t understand it.

I don’t want to be laid off. I don’t want my work hours shortened, and my pay also. I admit there are a lot of things I could be doing around my apartment, but I would rather put them off indefinitely than have be jobless and looking for a new job, in this economy during a pandemic. I don’t want to be unemployed and adrift, getting more worried everyday about where my next job is coming from and how long my current savings are going to last.

Earlier this year, when the pandemic started, my coworkers and I got a great gift. We we allowed to work one week and be off the next, for almost two months, and receive full-time wages on our paychecks. It was a blessing, to be off every other week and not have you downtime, when you were least at rick, soured by a pay decrease.

I think my coworkers, the two I am talking about, are getting wistful about that time, and wish they could go back to it. They are seeing by laid off, being fired, in a rosy light, as if it is the same thing as the off weeks we had in March and April, a time of leisure and potential personal productivity, instead of what it really is: unemployment.

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