My friend Diane told me the other day that she heard about a woman who had lost her well paying job and was reduced to clearing stray carts from the parking lot at one of those big box places. A couple of men came up and asked her if there wasn’t a machine that would do what she was doing. She replied that she was more reliable. One of the men said he’d tell his boss to take the job and shove it if he were asked to do such a task.
Well, she kept on putting the carts together as they were supposed to be, but after the men left, she just put her head down and cried for a few minutes. She knew where these men were coming from because she had a university degree and at least ten years of management experience. She knew her options at the time weren’t good, but she decided even a tiny paycheck was better than none at all.
This poor girl knew that success or failure depends on attitude. She wasn’t going to give up the fight. My husband Survival Sam says the same thing about survival. It really depends on our attitude. Preparation is as much in your mind as whether or not you have the equipment you need.
But back to this woman. Sam says we’ll see a lot more people knocked down a few pegs in status like she was. One of the other things Sam tells me often is that people don’t know their rightful place. What he says is that we have class divisions in our society, whether we like it or not. We don’t want to admit it because we think everybody is equal, but we really do have the “haves” and the “have nots.” Sam says the economy right now is bringing those class divisions out more clearly than before. He says we may be seeing new lines drawn as to who’s who in our society.
I have to hand it to this girl for sticking with it out there in the parking lot with those carts other people didn’t put away. It’s a thankless job. Sure, she could have complained about it and even quit, as I’m sure she was tempted to do. She could have refused to accept her situation, but what good would that have done for her? I think she’s a survivor. She accepted things as they are, even though she didn’t like it, but she wasn’t going to let it get her down. She’d lost a lot, but kept on going. My heart goes out to her, and I sure hope things start looking up for her, sooner than later. I think she sets a good example for the rest of us.
A pastor we know told a story about some advice an older pastor gave him as a young man. He was expecting to hear something deep and theological, but the older pastor said, “Don’t be afraid to clean toilets.” Well, he didn’t think much of it, but, sure enough, he found himself cleaning toilets at the little church where he started as a pastor. It’s just one of those things that has to be done. Now this man has others to clean the bathrooms, but he’s much more sympathetic and appreciative for what they do. It reminds me of that old saying. Maybe you’ve heard it before. They say success comes before work only in the dictionary.
I guess I’m ranting here, and I didn’t mean to do that. Mostly I just wanted to tell you that, no matter what situation you’re in or where you find yourself, keep your chin up, and don’t give up. That’s what you have to do to survive.