Friday, December 21, 2007

How Lucky For Us All

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.


SQT said...

I wish I could be there to see that!

Vwriter said...

So Mr. Happy is back, eh?

Sphinx Ink said...

I see you're returned, in the guise of Scrooge, in time for the Festivus season, eh? Welcome to the merry celebrations. Bah humbug!

I understand, and partake of, those hibernative instincts you mentioned in your preceding post. But welcome back!

Stewart Sternberg said...

I consider myself Father Festivus. And yes, Mr. Happy is here, so bite me. Thanks Sphinx, Sqt, Vwriter.

Charles Gramlich said...

I have felt that way in the last year or so myself, though, primarily because about half of my colleagues lost their jobs in the wake of Katrina.

Franki said...

Better not do that shirt-ripping thing at work, or you might find yourself being accused of sexual harassment!

Word Veri: anlgx

Pythia3 said...

I love it - and I couldn't agree with you more. This is coming from an unemployed single mother / starving writer / dancing gypsy in designer scarves. I would NEVER throw that "you're lucky . . ." sh*t around. That would be a disgrace to myself. Who's lucky? We're all pretty much scr*wed. Blah blah - I agree.
As for the tummy threat . . . I'll only say it if you promise to do the raspberries thing. LOL!
Happy Holidays Stewart - I am thrilled to know you and therefore have access to the happenings in the space between your ears.

spyscribbler said...

Or sometimes it's self-consolation. Like remember when we didn't want to eat limp broccoli drowned in cheese when we were young? And our mothers said, "You're lucky to have food! Think of all those starving people in ..."

Oh, heck. I don't know what it is. You're probably right. I'd just about turn myself inside out for DH to have a job locally. :-(

miller580 said...

It's funny...when I worked at the agency, those were the words they told us right before the cut christmas bonus in half and took away the paid vacation.

"While other agencies are laying off their people, I guess we can all be glad that we haven't had to let any of you go."

What they did do, is put a hiring freeze on 8 months earlier, won 5 multi-million dollar accounts and made their staff work 70-80 hours a week.

And we were the lucky ones.

Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, I have heard the same thing! But I haven't tried belly biting as yet. Let me know how that turns out.

Merry Christmas, Stewart! Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.


Mark Rainey said...

That's just damn beautiful. How true it rings.

Pythia3 said...

Happy Holydays . . . eat, drink and be merry!
Stewart, are the "Bizarro Santa?"
(PS If you never watched Seinfeld, forget that question.)
All the best to you and yours :)

Kate S said...

The bastards. :)

Lana Gramlich said...

I hear you on this! I remember calling a store one day & when they finally answered the phone, they immediately asked if I could hold. I said "no" & that simple break from the norm (aka; conditioning,) threw a huge wrench into their normal functioning. :)

Carol said...

Bite their belly? Oh my gosh!

Avery said...

How well people love their conditioning, indeed. Too afraid of casting attention upon themselves to even attempt making their own lives more tolerable.

Happily, no one has ever said those words to me before. I'm afraid I'd have to kick them in the 'nads. You might want to consider that option, as well, Stewart. Less chance of communicable disease transfer.