Friday, December 10, 2010


Almost ten years ago, my younger brother lost his job at Motorola. He was in quality control, as an electrical tester, or something. Motorola, like every other consortium or collective superorganism, does not particularly care about its component parts, so long as it does not impact its own objectives of growth, profitability and pain avoidance (lawsuits, bad press, drop in share price, etc).

(Indeed, my old joke about when corporations changed the name of the Personnel Department to Human Resources was: "Why did they change the name? Its easier to justify exploiting a Resource". Ha ha ha.)

So, Motorola, like so many other corporations, took it's jobs to China.

The economy sucking the way it did, thanks to St. Ronnie and the Neoliberal's efforts to make the World Safe For Business, most corporations had no choice. Maggie Thatcher once said "Socialism works until it runs out of money". Others counter that "Capitalism works until it runs out of cheap labor".

(And am I starting to sound like a Marxist? Not quite yet, but give me time. By the time I reach my dotage, I plan on becoming radically insufferable, and it will be "proletarian" this and "imperialist running dog" that).

At any rate, my brother and his family suffered through a long period of unemployment due partly to the fact that he was in severe denial. He was trying to get his job back - not at Motorola, but a similar job, with the same pay scale and benefits. I, on more than one occasion, tried to persuade him that, Dude, those jobs are gone. Gone for good. Fled overseas. Never to return.

Finally, finally, after a nightmarish time, he landed a job. Not nearly as well paying. Requiring a much lower skill set. But it was a job.

So it is, that, as a result of my brother's ordeal, I'm a bit gun-shy in reading his communications. Quite frankly, I always have a sense of dread before I open an email from him.

So, guess what? His company went under right before Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays!

(The bank which held the loan for the company, and was more than happy to take money from the government on the promise that they would make loans out to struggling businesses, promptly turned around and reneged on it. There's one superorganism I'd like to see violated up the backside, with some type of collective equivalent of a toxic anal probe).

Needless to say, I've had a small case of anxiety going on since the announcement. I was able to help them out financially the last go around, but this time I'm struggling as well (and yes, brilliant fucking career move, Johnny, going into the art world). It's like there is a lit doorway opening onto a small, cramped, uncomfortable and not particularly well kept room in my limbic system. Didn't really need the added worry of how my brother's family is going to weather the current economic storm.

Well, good news, and better than a lot of people. He got himself a new job. A job with a company that took over the distributorship from his old company. Got the job mainly on the praise from the contractor population that my brother shares this little industry he is in.

Typing this right now, I'm experiencing a strange a build up of moisture on the eyes.  I guess I didn't realize how much this affected me until just now. It is a weight I didn't know was upon me, until I received the good news about his hiring. I'm not ashamed to say I've a hard time keeping the sting of tears out of the corners of my eyes in relief.

So, here's wishing well to anyone out there that is going through tough times. I'm hoping my our good luck is contagious.

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