July 16, 2003
As I drove down the highway, thunderheads billowed to my left, and lightning flashed from dark clouds to my right. But overhead and in front of me, the sky was clear. It seemed an apt metaphor for conditions at work these days.
I have driven between so many storms at the company I work for! I came in its heyday when it was considered to be the best thing that ever happened to our city, and nobody could even imagine it closing, thanks to its big-name contracts. Then the big name contracts started pulling out one by one… I have bounced from shift to shift, from account to account.
The other day I was given a message that I needed to go see the account manager, and I knew more changes were in store. I was right, of course. I was changed to a 3 p.m. to midnight shift, after working overnights for most of the time I worked there. I have a love/hate relationship with second shift. It’s perfect for my body’s natural cycle, and it will be good to not have to switch between night and day schedules on my days off. But I have no social life at all. When there is company at the farm who I would like to see, I can no longer cut my sleep short and run out on a workday. When friends and family come to town, I will no longer have the flexibility to adjust my sleep to find time to meet with them. It even affects my Internet friendships, since most people go online in the evenings. But all that is really moot, since I had no choice in the matter.
At least I have not been laid off, unlike 400 of my coworkers. I am still driving between the storms. As usual, the change in my work situation has rejuvenated me, and the first day of my new shift, I was incredibly productive before I went in to work. It will pass, of course. The novelty will wear off and this burst of energy will fizzle. But I will enjoy it while it lasts.
Change is good, sometimes even just a small change in the weather.
I know that eventually one of the storms is going to hit me, and I will be laid off as well. I can read the handwriting on the wall, and all those other old clichés. But I’ll deal with that when it happens. I know how to weather storms.
In a way, I suppose, most of us are driving between storms. It seems there are usually at least a few clouds looming on one horizon or the other. But I look at it this way… You can either wait to possibly be struck by lightning from some storm that might pass overhead, or you can be glad that, at this moment, the sky above you is clear.