Saturday, 31 March 2012

Wine Doesn't Fix Everything

This week was probably the most trying week I have had in the last year at work.

I have been working for the last 18 years in the safety industry. I'm currently in an amazing role and doing what would be my second choice as a career. Wine being the first.  During these last 18 years, there have been both good times and bad times. I have been through a number of company re-organizations and come out unscathed.  As everyone knows that the world economy is on the edge of a knife. One slip either way and you could end up slashed and fall into a ramekin of salt.

I was fortunate enough, this go round, to keep my position and have a manager that I actually can trust to keep me in the loop as much as he can. However, one of my colleagues was not so lucky. Not because of his abilities, but simply about numbers. That in itself is enough to make your nerves go into overdrive.

Unfortunately, another friend and colleague at work was also let go. For some reason this one hit me harder than the one in my department. Maybe because she is a friend and not 20 minutes before she was called into the conference room, I told her what my manager told me. "She is with a growing department and if she keep things up, she should be ok."

Now that makes me feel great. Relaying the information that I was just told to my friend from a manger. (Yes I still trust him, as he admitted to me that he didn't have the full picture.)

Here is the reality about the whole thing. No-one in the world knows what is going to happen over the next few months and there isn't anything that anyone can do about it.

I'm not going to go into the whole Occupy protests and my opinion on that, but maybe they do have a point even if they are going about it in the completely wrong approach.

So how did or do I cope with the situation? I made the statement on Twitter that "Lay-offs SUCK" and the overwhelming response was to drink some wine!

That was my initial response as well. And boy did I, but here is what I learned about the situation.
I wasn't drinking the wine to get totally wasted, or even to get a buzz on. The reason I was drinking wine was for an escape. The feeling of drinking a good glass of wine brought me back into a place where I could reflect on the things that really matter to me. I allowed me to take a few minutes to look at exactly what I have. I have a family that is amazing, a home that is better than I ever imagined, and the opportunity to be able to sit and reflect.

It took me 48 hours for that to really sink in. Did I have too much to drink? No. Was I planning on drinking a lot more? No doubt.

What I have come to the conclusion to in a situation like that is, you need to take a step back, try to put your emotions in check, and look at the situation. Sometimes it may take a catalyst for you to do that, but do it. It seemed to have worked for me.

I'm looking forward to going back to work on Monday and being back on my game after a couple of really hard days.

So please, enjoy a glass and take the time to reflect on what that glass of wine really means to YOU and what it can actually do to help.


  1. I know for me, wine has been more of a numbing agent in the last 6 months or so...I'm not a connoisseur in any way, shape or form, and would drink whatever happened to be in the fridge...sometimes it's more about not putting too much thought into the situation at hand, but rather escaping the hurt only works until the bottle is empty...
    Stephanie Sweet

  2. I can get that. One thing that is important is to know what to look forward too. I know that things can be tough at the time, but things will always get better in the time ahead!

  3. That's tough to see at the moment...

  4. Great article, and a very respectful perspective on wine. Even when we are stressed and have that overwhelming feeling to have some wine, it isn't to 'get wasted' but to relax and reflect on life's events. My sincere hope that things stabilize in your office. Cheers!

  5. Thanks Eileen
    As part of the HR group the cuts are done for a while. I really do believe that everyone should take the time to reflect on things and not just when an "event" happens. Thanks so much for the read and the comment..

  6. Great blog post. Tough times for us all. A glass of good wine does make things a little better.

  7. Thanks for the comment Nubian. Very Very true. A glass does help many times.

  8. Though wine can help soften blows, emotions and numb when necessary, it also helps you in other ways. For just a few moments, it gives you an opportunity to appreciate… relish what's in your glass and how hard work brought it to being. I for one support the "glass in tough" times philosophy, but also the "glass in good times" mentality. A toast to you Matt as you navigate the rough seas of employment in a tough economy. May you drink your next glass in appreciation of all you have!

  9. Thanks so much! I appreciate where you are coming from. Just keeping my fingers crossed for the next while that things start to turn around for everyone!


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