The South African economy is not doing well. Two of the four big banks are going through a restructuring process and hundreds of people are losing their jobs. Many other corporates are going through this. It’s ugly. It’s the Hunger Games.
The world is changing. We are faced with technological solutions that will make jobs as we know it today, redundant. In South Africa, this is the metered taxis being pushed out of the arena by Uber. Centuries ago, this was the spices industry being pushed out by the discovery of ice and fridges. The world is changing…it is the best of times…it is the worst of times.
George Clooney acted in a movie called “Up in the Air”. It wasn’t a good movie. It was, in fact, a shitty movie. George plays the character of someone who professionally retrenches people. So big corporates would hire them to give the bad news to the poor sods not needed anymore. In the first half hour of the movie, this happened, and you need to listen (this is after they give Bob the news he is not needed anymore and Bod bitches about not being able to give his family what they needed):
Ryan Bingham: Your children’s admiration is important to you?
Bob: Yeah. Yeah. It was
Ryan Bingham: Well, I doubt they ever admired you, Bob.
Bob: Hey asshole, aren’t you supposed to be consoling me?
Ryan Bingham: I’m not a shrink, Bob, I’m a wake-up call. You know why kids love athletes?
Bob: I don’t know…because they screw lingerie models?
Ryan Bingham: No, that’s why we love athletes. Kids love athletes because they follow their dreams.
Bob: Well, I can’t dunk.
Ryan Bingham: No, but you can cook.
Bob: What are you talking about?
Ryan Bingham: Your resume says that you minored in French Culinary arts. Most students, they were gonna fryer at KFC, but you busted tables at IL Picador to support yourself. And then you get out of college and you come and you work here. How much did they first pay you to give up on your dreams?
Bob: 27 grand a year
Ryan Bingham : And when were you gonna stop and come back and do what makes you happy?
Bob: Good question
Ryan Bingham: I see the same guys work for the same company for their entire lives, guys exactly like you. They clock in, they clock out and they never have a moment of happiness. You have an opportunity here, Bob. This is a re-birth. If not for you, do it for your children.