Saturday, March 9, 2013

Signs of the Times (part 3) - Layoffs

layoffs and food lines

Has the recovery happened yet?

To many,
and for too many 

- no

Currently, unemployment in the United States is around 8% (latest 7.7%) and has stayed at that level for some time.  That does not even factor in those who have given up looking for work or are underemployed.  (reference:  Unemployment Rate Down As Americans Give Up On Work - Forbes)

For the trends, check out:  Unemployment in the U.S. - Google Public Data Explorer.  And there is even a web site dedicated to layoffs:   Daily Job Cuts - Layoff News 

Doesn't that lift your spirits? sarcasm-off

To his credit,  Michael Hyatt offers some positive steps to cope during this recession:  7 Ways to Keep Your Spirit Up in a Down Economy | Michael Hyatt  and 10 Benefits of a Recession | Michael Hyatt.

Since I have had my share of layoffs during my working life, I have felt the gambit of emotions that go with losing a job, losing part of my identity, as well as experiencing the frustration and rejection while looking for work during a weak economy. I sympathize with those who have been laid off.  I've been there.  You are not alone.

And on this "cheery" topic, while perusing the web, a revival of a play got my attention -
Quartermaine's Terms
 [reference: Quartermaine’s Terms, April 13th, Wyndham's - Telegraph]

What got my interest was that the main character, St. John Quatermaine, called Sinjin, had the same name of a fictional character I created in an eBook (see Anastasis).  A review of Quatermaine's Terms piqued my curiosity - teasing that the play ended with an act of cruelty leaving Sinjin's future looking very bleak.

The writer didn't say what that cruel act was - but I just had to know.  Since I was not about going to hop on a plane and fly "across the pond" to London to see the play before it closed in April, back to the internet I went.


I found the TV movie version from 1987 - "Screen Two" Quartermaine's Terms (TV episode 1987) - IMDb.

* Spoiler Alert *

The story was set in the 1960s at an English school to teach foreigners.  The final act, the teachers gathered before the holidays where they heard news of a death and an announcement of a new principal.  Then in the final minutes, with a veneer of politeness, Sinjin gets sacked - right before Christmas.  (Even Ebeneezer Scrooge was not so cruel to Bob Cratchit at Christmas.)

In the final scene below, I could feel the loneliness and hopelessness of Sinjin as he struggles to conceal his crushed spirit.  Undoubted, so many have been there (myself included) when losing a job and wondering about the future.

Layoffs are cruel as are many other kinds of loses in this life.  Yet, people do carry on and overcome them.  Perhaps that is why this song from the musical Carousel has endured.  The words speak to the spirit as all human beings, at times, struggle during dark days and have the hope that -

We Never Walk Alone

Layoffs are one of the signs of the times.

For all those who lost jobs, wonder what is next, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

May ...

You Never Walk Alone.  

As the good Lord promised -

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; ...

Isaiah 43:2,3 (NIV)

Final thoughts:

Some wisdom from Max Lucado, when you feel like giving up:  God Never Gives Up | Max Lucado

And another moving song by Sissel:  Sissel - Bridge Over Troubled Water - YouTube


Previous posts in this series:

Signs of the Times (part 1) - Camping in the Parks (2012)

Signs of the Times (part 2) - Layaway (2012)


Photo from: - food lines

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