Labor Day Story: Handling Unemployment With Class

I was browsing through the OCRegister this evening and found the following story from Peggy Lowe about one of the employees recently laid off from the Orange County Probation Department. Reserve Specialist Shamid Chaudhry came home safe from Iraq, only to lose his job.

Handling unemployment with optimism
Laid off probation officer sees opportunity to pursue his dream

The Orange County Register

PLACENTIA – The reporter is late for the appointment at the local Starbucks. Army Reserve Specialist Shamid Chaudhry’s reaction?

No worries, ma’am.

He’s asked about being laid off from his job with Orange County’s probation department, just after returning from a month on active duty on a training exercise with his Army Reserve unit.

“It’s OK,” he said. “Because hopefully, the economy will do better and they’ll call us back.”

No worries? Actually, he’s grateful, he says, because he now has the time to go to school.

“It was sad for me to leave. But you know what? If one door closes, another opens up. Now I get to go to school, use the GI Bill and follow my dream.”

His dream is a culinary degree first, which he started working on this month at Cypress Community College. Then he’s going to open his own restaurant. A cool one, with the food he learned how to make from his Pakistani father and Mexican mother. One with a live jazz band, like those old-school clubs back in the day, and with a name that he’s working on, a name that’s going to be “suave, with some swagger in it.”

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