Dave is Restless

Dave was just an ordinary kind of guy, working in an ordinary job. He had been employed with the same company for more than ten years and been loyal and dedicated. He'd always believed that if he worked hard for the company, they would look after him. At least that was how it had been since the dark ages. 

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he felt that something was not right. The company was not making as much money these days, due to such things as increased global competition and sudden changes in the marketplace. Ever since the "temporary" freeze on pay increases, which had gone on for some time now, much of the fun had gone from his job. The management attitude had changed from one of caring to one of survival. The welfare of the employees somehow had dropped off the list of management concerns.

Dave was concerned. He had been loyal to his employer in exchange for security. But now that security seemed to be disappearing. Just when he thought he knew the rules, the game had changed.

Dave used to feel like part of a big family, but that feeling was gone now. Then the company began the rounds of downsizing. At first he did not notice anything much. There was a slow degradation of the support staff, but the new technology helped compensate for it. Dave did find himself doing more work for the same pay, but the company now expected everyone throughout the company to put in longer hours. He figured it was just the way things were. Perhaps things would improve, and the company would return to normal. In the back of his mind, though, he kind of knew that they never would.

The company, the industry and even the economy seemed out of control, like an airplane in a tail spin. He felt that he had no influence on things. All he could do was hang on tight, and hope he did not become the next casualty.

When Dave had the chance to talk with friends who worked elsewhere, he heard the same story. The whole industry was changing. Downsizing was common everywhere. Some companies were going out of business. More people were chasing fewer jobs, and those who still had their jobs had to work unpaid overtime to make up for the lost positions.

Dave continued to go to work. He felt uneasy, yet he did not know what else to do. Perhaps if he just worked harder, he might survive future rounds of downsizing. He tried to come up with ideas on how the company could cut costs. If it was just dollars that caught their attention, perhaps they would see him as one of the more valuable employees.

In an effort to further reduce costs, certain benefits were cut. Dave did not complain. He felt even more uneasy though. But he kept working, trying to be a valuable employee, trying to keep his job. Fear was now his motivation. Each evening, he would return home feeling tired and empty, burned out and helpless.