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When I was a kid, my mom used to sing songs from church to help me sleep. Being the night owl that I was even then, I would often stay up long enough to see my dad at the door when he would come home from the mine at around midnight. I’m certain I got up at about 6am to watch cartoons too, bright and early and ready to glaze over watching Popeye and LooneyToons.

One of the songs she used to sing was “I Can’t Feel At Home in this Word Anymore” which even then I thought was a little morbid. Church has changed a lot in the last forty years. The last time I went to church the songs were all bland, hardly memorable, and easily forgotten. I’m glad they flashed the lyrics up on a screen, otherwise I would have never been able to tell one from the other. But those old songs from back in the day are haunting. They are the kinds of songs that people would hum or sing when they weren’t at church. I don’t go to church anymore, and I don’t miss it. It wasn’t for me. Something was lost from those days. Maybe the darkness.

Maybe something else.

I’m starting off on a new path soon and it scares the hell out of me. But like they say, everything you want is on the other side of fear. I can’t help but think of that old song my mom used to sing. I have seldom thought of it in the way that Christians are supposed to. The transcendence from our earthly design to a heavenly purpose. Usually I just think of how weary I have become of this life. These days, I have felt especially weary. Six years of just maintaining, surviving, getting by.

There’s not a lot holding me to this place, to this position in life. Two of my three kids are out of my house. My job ended. I am not in a relationship. I am comfortable in many ways, but ways that will eventually fade into quiet desperation. When I went to London in 2019, I made it my goal to do something everyday that scared me.

So, I’m making some changes in my life. Might as well. The world is not going back to how it once was, so I might as well ride the wave of that. Ahead of me lies opportunity. Here is just scrambling to hold the pieces together of what I built for the last twenty years. Honestly, I don’t feel at home in this life anymore. I feel like everything has moved on.

So, it’s time to move on myself.

Watch this site for updates.

Like mourners at our own funerals

Last Friday the University President announced that they will be laying off upwards of 65-70 UNC classified employees.

So today, everyone is walking around like a zombie, just numb, stunned, despondent.  Lost.

Everyone is whispering about the layoffs, which of course the upper admins know full well who they are going to cut.  And they also expect anyone who is left to pick up the slack and do the work of 65 people who take with them on average about 20 years experience.   For no more pay.

The University is getting rid of the Classified system too, which used to be sorta our union, since we aren’t allowed to unionize as state employees.  Well that is until this year.  It used to protect employees from at-will firing.  It actually used to mean something.  Now it just means they can hold layoffs over our heads, while the mucky-mucks and faculty get raises.

The rest of us can pound sand apparently.

The only thing that scares me worse than being laid off right now, is the possibility I won’t be.  Those getting the axe are getting two months of severance pay, then they can draw unemployment.  Those who remain will be “Restructured.”

Sometimes I rant about how this place is like a model for a Socialist state.  Honestly, I’ve been talking about that since my Freshman year of college.  Here at this same school.  I graduated 22 years ago.  I worked 30 feet away in a computer lab which I helped turn into a classroom.

In the last five years, I have seen so many changes.  The university got “Woke”.  They spent a hundred thousand on making “All Gender Bathrooms” which nobody uses.  Well, I do, because they are clean.  Because nobody uses them.

The former President got a $400k bonus when she left, and she also ran up a $75million debt for a new building on campus.  Our President went from making $86k per year to nearly $300k.  Our faculty have been leaving like rats from a sinking ship and we can’t hire new people on because we have nothing to offer them.

Such a little closed system, filled with faculty who just continued on from High School to College and never left.  We have our own police, our facilities, IT department, and movers all bill each other, like a nice little closed off economic system.  The place is so out of touch with reality it isn’t even funny.  And the funniest part about it is while they are spreading their Marxist dogma to these poor students, they are also whispering in corners, hoping that someone doesn’t hear about how unhappy they are, or what black market hustle they’ve got going on just to pay the bills.

These names of the 65 are written on a piece of paper someone is keeping on their desk, I am certain.  I hate that everyone is tiptoeing around, worried about who is next.  We all shuffled in to work today and sat down and dutifully started our day, just like always.  I think about how easy it actually is to herd people into box cars.  We just all do what we are told until that final moment of panic, when finality is realized.

The faculty are getting a pay raise at our expense.

The truth be told, not many people here actually do much work.  For the most part, they only do what they are told, they don’t question where something is going or where it came from.  They do the bare minimum and the rest of the time is spent shopping online, eating snacky treats, side hustles, schmoozing, double-crossing, covering one’s ass, and pretty much ticking down the hours of a dull day in quiet desperation until retirement because everyone’s dicks get hard over PERA.

Yes, because having cuts and layoffs and inept coworkers and scumbag upper administrator bosses and throat-cutting co-workers are so worth that retirement.

So you can have enough money to sit on your ass at home and wait to die.  Just like you sat on your ass all day at work, slowly killing yourself with stress.

Sounds perfect.

Today, the Dean came into the office and said, “How is everyone today?”

I answered, “About as well as can be expected! hahaha!”

I got the side eye for that.  Yes, because one of the biggest things I have been reminded of as long as I have worked here, as long as I dated a faculty person, as long as I have a used car and live hand to mouth, while the mucky-mucks complain about the service they got on their last “Conference” trip abroad…

My place.

I am continually reminded of my place.

Well, the place they want me to be in.  They know nothing about me or how getting out of here might be the best thing that ever happened to me.  But I’m sure if they did, they would hold me so close to their hearts it would smother the life out of me.

I am the help.  I am the faithful servant who like in times gone by would stand as the loyal footman or valet for his master, giving up his life in Service to the manor.

This idea strikes me as completely preposterous.