Sitting at work this morning, a sales rep peeked around the doorway to my office. I thought I had scheduled a meeting with him next Tuesday, but apparently I was wrong. I invited him in, as we needed to discuss some different inventory management options, and how he can make MY life easier. When discussing inventory, and tracking, he inquired as to the people that work in the foundry part of the business. “What is our turnover like, and where do we find our employees?” I explained that turnover is high, we can’t seem to find, or keep employees. I read, see, and hear that people are desperate for work, yet apparently beggars can be choosers…. I explained that our company works with a local organization that places people who have fallen on hard times. These people can be recovering addicts who’ve lost everything, to people who have spent time in prison. This organization helps to train them, provides them transportation, and some guidance and counseling about re-entering society. All in all, I admire this organization, and I am proud to work for a company who lends a helping hand, rather than to judge and deny.
I work in the office side of the business. It is rare that I am in direct contact with some of these employees, but when I am, they are extremely friendly and courteous. I stated that to this sales rep. He then told me that before taking his current position he ran a staffing agency, similar to the one we use. He cared about people and helping them, but he also had a young family, and his wife worried all of the time about some of the people he would encounter and sometimes have to “let go”. He had to be on-call a lot, and deal with altercations between employees/supervisors. It became a heavy burden, and he made the decision to leave his role, to pursue something “safer”. That’s when he said something that caught me off guard…
He told me to be careful, always be aware. “Some of these people have nothing to lose”.
That thought went through my head 100 times the rest of the day. In my darkest days, through struggles, depression, anger, and sometimes a sense of hopelessness, I NEVER felt like I had nothing to lose. I wondered what that feels like? I never worried about losing my home, job, materialistic things. All of that is simply replaceable. For me, my entire world has been about my kids. Nothing can happen to me until they are grown. Who would raise them? Who would teach them what they need taught? They still need guidance and a moral compass. I have always said I am afraid of death, but once they are grown, I can accept death. So to feel as though you have nothing to lose, is a feeling so foreign to me. With nothing to lose, do you live carefree, or very alone?
My question would be, do you sympathize, or envy those who have nothing to lose?