Laughing at Myself: Goodbye to My Pinstriped Suit, My Italian Shoes, My Silk Tie, My Office, My Career, My Dignity and Even My Name and Hello to the Funny Side!
by Timothy-the Former Exec-Now-Rocco
Two years ago I lost my job as a financial executive, and it has been a difficult time for me and my family, as it has been - and is - for millions of Americans.
For many months I felt overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do.
Then six weeks ago, my 22 year old son-in-law, a self-described "slacker", sent me the photo above in an email.
He entitled it "Before and After: My Unemployed Dad In Law" and wrote:
"That's you on the left - Used to be a Corporate Hosthot. But here's a job for you NOW - Horn Playing Homeless Beggar. You might have to dumb yourself down, forget the MBA and the office, but I like you better without the fancy suit! Now you're a slacker like me! Not so dignified or dapper now, but a lot more fun to be around!
P.S. You'd better change your name - Timothy is too upper class. How about calling yourself Rocco?"
I must admit that I didn't see the humor at all. I was already humiliated and now I was having my face rubbed in it.
The impeccably dressed gentleman on the left looks very much like I once did, my former self. The man on the right - well - hopefully I don't yet look like that!
Not so dignified or dapper! Why did he have to say it? I was angry.
Then, with my wife's help, I realized that I had lost all perspective. I was finally able to laugh at my own situation and stop taking myself quite so seriously.
Me? An executive with an MBA and a career in finance? Called Rocco? I don't think so! Not yet!
The addition of humor has allowed me to see my situation more clearly. Hope amd energy have returned.
When I asked my son-in-law why he had chosen THAT photo on the right, he said "I picked a job where you're barefoot. Not many of those."
"You always used to be so dapper and sharp in your old life. I had my eye on those expensive shoes you wear, but I can't afford them."
He had wanted my shoes all along? That was his answer. And not just my shoes...
"So if you stay barefoot, I get all your shoes, the wingtips and the loafers with the tassels, and your socks and your ties and your shirts all those great pinstriped suits. Maybe you can give me your car, your briefcase and your watch - it's a Cartier, isn't it? You won't need them! Hey, I won't be a slacker all my life!"
Not only that but he now calls me Rocco all the time.
Why did my daughter marry him...