Hope can be a silly thing to understand

Luis Bahena and Luis Bahena

I wrote in my Facebook status update a while ago (of course) that, “foolish is the man who waste his time on hoping for the best .” Or something like that. I was in a rather somber mood that day and I didn’t really feel like going into detail about what had brought me down.

What brought me down? Well life of course. See, I’m usually not a negative person, nor am I a martyr. I tend to be a happy and optimistic person, not to confuse that with one that’s full of hope however. I make my decisions based on logic and facts. I try to do the right thing and go from there, trial and error.

But as life would have it, of course it would come to be that I would be affected by the current budget crisis occurring throughout the U.S.

A couple of weeks ago, I was called into the office of our facility’s director. I in no way or form was I anticipating anything bad seeing as how I tend to be a pretty good employee. I do have a couple of problems with tardiness from time to time, but I more than make up for it with my strong worth ethic and willingness to do more.

I sat in front of our director, our departmental personnel officer and an analyst from human resources and anxiously waited for what they had to say. After they finished, I was speechless.

What they had to say was this: my position at our facility is going to be eliminated. Because of seniority, I was somebody that would have to leave the facility. HR would try to help me find another job within the county (I work for the County of San Diego), but if that was unsuccessful, my last day of work would June 17 with official notice of “lay-off” as of June 18.

I remained as stoic as I possibly could while they were explaining this to me. Once they finished, I thanked them for all the helpful information and went on my way. As I walked to my desk I couldn’t help but realize how emotionless I felt. I wasn’t either scared or happy (obviously). I was just stoic, frozen in a thought that would not come. I guess this is what people call “shock.”

After my emotionless state passed, I began to go over my options. Obviously I would need to find a new job, and perhaps HR would be helpful in helping me find another position within the county. The truth is, on some level, I kind of knew something like this would happen.

There had been rumors going around about cuts at work, but because I was a good employee (all of my employee evaluations are above standard), I didn’t think I would be one of the few that would get axed. Boy was I wrong.

I began kicking myself because when I heard about the rumors I just sat back, kept on doing my job and hoped for the best. I realized that hoping for the best got me nowhere. The time I spent “hoping” for the best I could’ve spend it on updating my resume and applying for open positions in the county.

Hope is a funny thing that I don’t quite get. One can hope for the best, but its only really there to make you feel better about something that is uncertain. It’s like prayer, you pray and you pray and you pray but it really doesn’t get you any results. Don’t get me wrong I respect religion. I may not understand the many religions and their views, but I show respect.

I am not a religious person, but out of habit, I do tend to do a little prayer every once in a while (my mother raised us Catholic and then Christian). But again, prayer is much like hope (which was found at the bottom of Pandora’s box no?).

I would like to say that I got too comfortable, that I let my guard down. Yet now that I have been given an end date to my current employment with minimal assistance from HR, all I really have is hope.

Hoping for the best makes me feel so defeated and helpless. I have nothing left to offer other than my updated resume and the hopes that the places where I’ve applied review my application and consider me for an interview.

In this economy, where there are thousands of people who are unemployed and fighting for whatever positions are available, I feel like I won’t have a fighting chance. I feel as if there’s no point in hoping.

How can I be proactive in this situation? How can I “take charge of my own destiny” and do what I need to do to keep on going? How can I keep my head above water in an ocean where everyone else is trying to stay afloat?

I tried to go back to look for that exact quote that I had posted as my Facebook status update because I know that I had added more. I remembered that I had deleted it after I realized that all I really had was hope and the strength to keep on swimming while trying to keep my head above water.

Perhaps I should move on to superstition and ask all my friends to cross their fingers for me. I should also try to avoid black cats and ladders, cleanse my aura of negativity and send positive vibes out to the universe.

When you really compare all that to hope though, I think the other one is easier than the other. Perhaps a little prayer wouldn’t hurt either. And who knows, if we’re going with a little bit of everything, I might get lucky. In reality, only time will tell. For now, all I can do is play the waiting game. And cue the Jeopardy theme song.