I forget that there is at the least a ten years age gap between me and the majority of my co-workers. I don’t know what being thisclose to the end feels like for them. I imagine it feels bittersweet but only in the sense that someone once described what bittersweet felt like to me. So theoretically I’m kinda capable of recognizing it when I see someone else feeling it but since I don’t know what bittersweet actually feels like I’m probably just assuming a close range shotgun wound feels the same as a butter knife stabbing.
They made cars for 27 years. But only one part of the car. One tiny section of a whole vehicle day after day. Many of them stayed in the same group for the entire time. Some of them didn’t. No matter what their personal history was at the plant, they all did the same jobs for decades. I did it for two years, only one of those years being employed full-time. I couldn’t even do the same job in one group. If I had not of been hired as a floater I would of quit after a month. The same job. Every day. For fucking decades. No. Nope. Nah. Not uh. Fuck that.
Losing my job hurts for me so I can only pretend to imagine their individual and collective pain. They’ve been together for a long time. They spent years working hours upon hours of overtime. Many of them will tell you they spent more time with each other than they did with their families. But don’t get it twisted. They did that shit for their families. That’s what American sacrifice looks like to me. Fuck you if you don’t see it. Every day now is a count down to the end. Everyday is intense and expansive and overwhelming. Even when it’s over, the day after November 30th, it will begin all over again, real and raw and scarier than fuck.