"Let me hear another sound from you," said Scrooge, "and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation..."
You may recognize this little exchange between Scrooge and Bob Cratchit. It's present in almost every movie adaptation of A Christmas Carol that's ever been made, including the one with Kermit and company. Fred, Scrooge's nephew, has just made a passionate defense of Christmas to his uncle, and Bob can't contain his support of Fred's words. Therefore, Scrooge strikes down Bob's enthusiasm with the threat of firing him on Christmas Eve.
It's a pretty good threat, touching upon the fear of most working class people. If you hold a job, working for the man every night and day, to quote Tina Turner, any threat to that job can strike terror into your heart and life. I've been teaching at the university for close to 20 years. I've been working at an outpatient surgery center for twelve years. With that kind of longevity, I should feel fairly secure in my positions. I don't. My university job is a semester-by-semester contract gig. The hospital that owns the surgery center is in the process of being sold to a huge health care system. Nothing is secure. Ever. Not even church.
|I wonder if I'll end up at the Smithsonian|
I want to believe loyalty and perseverance and hard work pay off. I want to believe that two decades of my life can't be wiped out by a Scrooge saying, "You services are no longer required. You can pick up your last tuppence on Friday." Again, I have no idea why I'm feeling so unsettled, but I am.
Saint Marty has a bad case of low self esteem this morning.