Last Friday I walked into my place of work and was surprised to see two tall men in dark suits, wearing corporate ID tags, walking the halls. They rarely reveal themselves to us. They are the unseen forces that shape our world. As we approached each other, it became clear, they did not see me nor did they want to. In my whole life I have never felt so inconsequential. They could see only each other. I suppose that is because no one else matters to them.
That experience, as minor as it may seem, made me angry to my core. Not for being ignored but for what it means. They saw no one. The were people with a purpose, one that did not acknowledge the staff that keeps the money rolling in for them so they can rake in their six figure wages year after year. We do not matter, we are expendable, we are not their problem.
Now I understand why it is so easy to send young people off to die and be maimed in a for profit war. They too are invisible, non-existent, expendable. What matters is that GE and the rest of the weapons builders make money along with Halliburton, KBR, etc. Let us not forget Blackwater, CACI and the other mercenaries. Mercenaries gotta live too, no?
For many years I have resented working for corporations. I am a nurse. I believe that for profit health care is neither workable or sustainable. I feel like a sell out enabling *them*. That day I vowed to find another job in a facility that is privately owned. (I pray such a place still exists.)
Over the last 35 years I have watched nursing change from a highly enjoyable and rewarding career to a miserable existence for both patients and staff. Everyday more work is added until it is no longer possible to do everything and still care for patients. In the end result the patients suffer. There is barely time to even speak to them.
I wondered about those men I saw. I wondered if they ever see other people at all? Do they only recognize the ones who offer them something they cannot refuse? Do they ever experience joy? What must it be like to be them? Do they require sleep aids at night? Do they tell their families they love them or do they neglect them all year and try to make it up to them with things offered at holidays? Are they depressed? Do they understand the meaning of life at all or is it just the ability to buy things that drives them? How much money do they need to have to feel it is enough? These people, if my suspicions are correct are victims of themselves. I pity them but I grow weary of being victimized by them.
Today I must make some choices and I shall. I can no longer justify my complicity. I want once again to feel good about what I do. I want my personal power back. I have given away to the corporation. I will not work for the corporation and will try very hard to limit my spending to those places that are not corporate owned. It won't be easy but nothing that is worth it is.