'THIS is what I get for all those #@*! years of faithful service?!'
Charlie's refrain is one I hear often. I call it, 'Middle Aged Vocational Disillusionment' (aka: MAVD). It seems an epidemic.
Charlie had labored faithfully, sacrificed significantly, and contributed greatly to his company for many years. He was a devoted employee and a team player, believing that his devotion would one day be reciprocated. After all, 'ya get out of it what ya put into it,' right?
On one fateful day, Charlie's boss 'circled back' to inform him that the company was undergoing a 'paradigm shift' and that, because Charlie's 'skill set' didnt ' bring optimal resources to the corporate table,' the company decided to extend to him a IEO. Charlie: 'What's that?' Boss: ' Involuntary Entrepreneurial Opportunity.' Said it would allow Charlie to 'leverage' his experience to 'maximum advantage' elsewhere.
When the semantic fog lifted, Charlie was stunned. 'I've been fired.....this is not how it was supposed to go.'
Instead of promotions, pink slips?
Instead of rewards, replacements?
Instead of security, severance?
Instead of appreciation, abandonment?
Instead of bonuses, betrayal?
Under such circumstances, most experience MAVD, becoming bitter, cynical and angry at the world. Their soul calcifies, their energy wanes and they effectively shut down, swearing that they'll ' never be duped again.'
Charlie, however, took a path less traveled. It began when a friend of his, Rick, dropped by to visit him at his lowest point.
After listening, for some time, to Charlie's vitriol over, 'the injustice of it all,' Rick said something like this: ' You may not be religious Charlie, but you're experiencing something very religious. That's why it hurts so much.'
The words hung in the air just long enough to allow Charlie to change the subject before politely showing Rick to the door.
Inside, however, Charlie was seething. As Rick drove away, Charlie mumbled something like: 'Some friend HE is?! Instead of sympathy, I get a sermon. What a #&*!."
[to be continued]