It's a Living: Part I: David's Saga. Episode 3: Heart to Heart

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In the previous episode of our fictional story, David helped decide who'd get laid off in the next round.

Mike had already been told he was adios. Big Enchilada acts fast--she was trained that she needed to be seen as decisive.

Confident he'd never get laid off, Mike had agreed to his wife's request that she work only part-time. After all, he was working for a big, solid company and he could program in Python, Ruby, C, Visual Basic, and Hadoop--among the most in-demand languages. And while no one could accuse Mike of being a workaholic or a ninja programmer, he certainly wasn't a lay-about.

Mike's ending up on The List was pretty much bad luck. If only that up-and-comer hadn't tried to show how cost-conscious he was by suggesting that The Company could find plenty programmers with five-star customer ratings on ODesk for 15 bucks an hour, no benefits, no security of employment.

David was no hugger but this was a rare time he actually wanted to hug the person, not as the now-obligatory evidence of being a modern male but because he truly felt for Mike...and maybe to soothe himself. After all, if one comment could put a good employee like Mike on the unemployment line, all it would take is for some coworker to say, "David's snarkiness is hurting morale" and he too would be pounding the pavement. And David couldn't bear to be Mr. Mom and collect unemployment checks.

Suddenly, David felt pressure in his chest. "Probably just the stress of thinking my job might not be so secure." But when the pain shot up into his neck and down his left arm, he knew he was having a heart attack. "Mike, call 911."

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