When you work for a gazillion dollar company as a seasonal employee, you might walk into the warehouse one day and before you have time to put on your steel toe boots and safety glasses, the manager calls you over. Oh ow. You know what time it is. Did I really take a one hour tram, train and bus only to hear this will be my last shift? I can stay and work for the day, since I'm already here. I smile and say something like 'oh, you're too kind'. I can think of about 926 things I'd rather do than work at a place that just let me go. I hug colleagues who turned into friends, grab my stuff and on the way out I start breathing again.
Before I leave, I make myself a last cup of tea. I use the warehouse internet because where I live, wifi is currently down and I'm still that last survivor without a smartphone. As I open my facebook, pictures pop up. Beloved ones holding my book in their hands. Sweet words, proud friends and nothing can bring me down. Emails with more orders. My cheeks blush and my smile grows as I see the synchronicity of being let go at a factory job that was not all that lush and seeing my writings reaching people worldwide. A colleague runs to me, finding out I was not coming into work the next day, she stuffs money in my hand. 'For one book, please!' Another order, and another! I hug her with the biggest smile on my face, and send virtual kisses to sweet friends who gave me their enthusiastic feedback.
On the way home, I sing and skip. The end of something is the beginning of something new. The end of my life as a factory girl marks the start of me as a writer. To celebrate I put on my favourite glitter dress, buy chocolates, a new notebook and a ticket for an afternoon documentary screening. I get messages from colleagues: half the department has been sent home with those same words. The movie I'm watching is called 'Theater of Life'. It's about a soup kitchen in an old theater in Milan, run by the best chefs in the world, catering divine dishes made entirely of waste food from the Expo. Their clientele: homeless people. Every night ninety people who live on the streets or in shelters can join in for a gourmet meal. It allows them a couple of hours away from the cold, the hard reality of life outside, to enjoy the company and the warm feeling you get from sharing a meal with others. The feeling that you belong.
The story and everything that happened today made a big impact on me. When you're not being treated as a person, but as a something disposable. With Christmas around the corner and a family to feed, you lose your job, just like that. "That's the way it goes," other jobless colleagues say. Really? If that's the way it goes, I choose not to be a part of 'that' anymore. I want to be a part of the theater of life, of helping each other out and creating a community. Of treating every human being equally, with respect and with love. Of no more exclusion, because we're all players in this big theater.
If you have, know or support a wonderful social project and you need someone to write stuff with passion, with love, with enthusiasm, for FREE. I'm your woman. All I need is a big hug and food, and life is good.