In the last week, I've heard three people tell me that some oaf has said these hideous words to them: "You're lucky to have a job."
What an odious phrase. Consider its intent. These words are really not meant to offer comfort or congratulation. They are a club to beat someone down and to impress upon them where their station lies. It is a cautionary phrase.
Sadly, it's not only used by people in power, but by people who cling precariously to their station, to their class level, to their own employment. For them it's a phrase which comes from jealousy and bitterness, from their own insecurities.
"They're changing my health benefits."
"Really? Well, I wouldn't complain too loudly. You're lucky to have a job at all."
REALLY? Well since I'm so fortunate, why am I even accepting compensation? Hell, I should turn around and give my employer half my paycheck for being so wonderful as to let me help him make a profit. Perhaps I should elevate him to godhood and supplant the Holy Trinity with the Holy Quartet.
It astonishes me how we accept certain statements and ideas without questioning them. How we love our conditioning.
The next time some miscreant utters those words to me, no matter how well intentioned, I am going to rip open his or her shirt and bite their belly. It might not make a proper political statement, but it will be something to remember.