This week I first felt like a commodity.
This is a new feeling for me. Prior to this, I felt like I added some value - perhaps not irreplaceable but someone who contributed and would at least be hard to replace. Now, I feel different. Like a can of soup or one of many hammers on a shelf - pick one, pick another, the results will be the same. Any one will do.
The initial realization is a bit of a depressing moment, followed by fear: Fear of being replaced - because you are suddenly replaceable; Fear of being let go - because your knowledge is now something that competes with all other knowledge out there.
The result seems to be living in fear and working harder, because the understanding that of any kind of social contract has been completely pock marked with holes. Work harder, because if you are not perceived as adding value - not a lot of value, but even more value - your position is something that is a commodity, and therefore easily replaced.
Is there a resolution to this? I do not know. Surely this level of fear and spasmodic reaction cannot go on forever. Surely the fear will subsided and work will become the ordinary occurance that it always was.
But there is no going back. I am a commodity, like rice or sugar or gasoline.
And can be discarded at will.