Yesterday, I lost my job.
It was something that I thought might happen, but that didn’t stop it from being very sad.
On January 1st, Ontario changed minimum wage from somewhere about 11.50/hr to a mandatory 14/hr. There were many thoughts behind it I am sure. For those of us who actually make minimum wage, it wasn’t necessarily the benefit the government proposed it to be.
Numerous people will lose their jobs. Numerous small businesses will close up. Our cost of living (for EVERYONE) will rise significantly.
I anticipated that in January I may be without a job. I am the last person hired at my store, and also drive about an hour to get there. Everyone else is local and has been there over two years. I was considering attempting a new job in September closer to home, but knew that there would be much upheaval with the coming changes.
The thing that makes me saddest about this situation, is one of the things that made my heart hurt last time as well. I love people. As someone that works in the Customer Service industry, it is hard not to come to know and enjoy the people you daily interact with. In this situation and the last one, I was unable to say goodbye to either my coworkers (this time I got to tell two people and get a hug) or the customers who really meant something to me.
Last night tears ran down my face, thinking about the people who I won’t see today…or any day in the future. I didn’t know yesterday would be our last interaction. I hope they know how much they meant to me and how thankful I am to have had them in my life.
In some sense, perhaps I cry because I want to be acknowledged for having made a difference, for being someone that really made their day a little better and brighter. I also cry because they made my day better and brighter.
I will miss Bill saying “hello Janel” in his special way every shift we work together. I will miss Jen laughing with me and telling me fun things about her family and dog. I will miss Bob’s easy going personality. I will miss Zach’s encouragement when I really messed things up. I will miss Todd’s easy going smile. I will miss Joan calling me and telling me I’m something special. I will miss all the people who came in for water and who I had a weekly interaction with at the same time each week. I will miss Dana putting up with my quirkiness. I will miss Betty’s mom’s smile. I will missing hearing all the Platz Deutch around me. I will miss the beards, and bonnets and homemade/homespun clothes. I will miss Melissa telling me about her painting escapades. Dean telling me about his daughter and new grandson. Sheila and her husband claiming me as their favourite.
These are the people whose faces run through my mind as the tears drip down my face. these are the people I wished I had known to say goodbye to before I left.
I understand being let go at the end of my shift. It makes sense. But its hard to not have closure, especially for someone that needs and loves people like I do.