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posted 11/30/2009 4:20:16 PM |
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I have a job. So does my husband. Neither of us are as secure in our respective positions as we would like to be. We have a home that we have struggled to keep for the last two years.

I was unemployed for almost three months before I took a job at a pizza place waiting on tables. I worked there for about two weeks, making barely enough to keep gas in my car to get me back and forth to work.

I got a call from Lowes, offering better pay and benefits...and I jumped on it. I've been there for a little over a year, and I wonder almost every day if I'm going to be let go. Not because they don't like me, or because I'm not doing a good job...they do and I am. But because every day I hear about how many people are getting laid off or going to be laid off from this company alone. Every morning I hear about how much we are making at the store I work at and how far short we are of the weekly, monthly and quarterly goal. Every week I see less people on the sales floor, and hours being cut in different departments.

On the other side, because of the position I'm in, I see customers who are struggling financially. Ten years ago if they had bought extra screws or bolts, they would have kept them in a drawer in case of a future need. Now, people are bringing back .75 cent bolts and nails for a refund. Every little bit helps, they say. I see people who six months ago started a home improvement project; bringing back hundreds of dollars worth of mercandise from cabinets to flooring...because they could not afford to finish what they started.

I also see the ones who really do fall into the category of "you need to get a job". The ones who for whatever reason choose not to make an honest living and instead steal from our store and think they are fooling me when they walk in and say something like "my dad-mom-husband-brother-boss bought this last I don't know what store they bought it at, no they didn't use a credit card they paid cash, no I don't know what phone number they used...can't you just give me in store credit for it?" It's the same story every time...and usually the same items. Just different faces. Black, white, hispanic...young, middle-aged and old. Male and female. I barely even look at them anymore. When I do, I have to try very hard to hide the contempt I feel. These are the people who seem to believe they are somehow 'entitled' to getting a free ride. These people are literally taking money out of the pockets of not only the ones who work at my store, but the consumers who shop there as well. Think about that.

I don't have any answers for the state this country is in. But believe me, I'm not living in the bubble some may have perceived at the beginning of this blog. Those who have read Scribbler's blogs should know that I share his thoughts and opinions for the most part, as well as his struggles.

I know what is going on in this country. I know what has happened to jobs and why people are getting laid off. I've been in the middle of it and even been a part of the process more than once. I've seen businesses close down, and jobs being taken out of the country. Having been raised in the middle of the auto industry, and worked with that industry for a number of years, I know exactly how line workers are hired, paid and retained. Yes, these are union workers. However being part of a union does not protect them from this economy. If even one of the car companies fail and shut down, the entire industry is affected and there is nothing the unions can or will do about it.
Some people blame the unions...and to a certain degree they are correct. Others blame greedy management and stockholders...and they are also correct, to some extent. But there is no one person or entity responsible for the state of our economy. Therefore one person cannot be held accountable for fixing it.

While not every person is to blame, every person in this country is responsible for doing what they can to help fix the state of this country.

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Nov 30 @ 4:26PM  
i help the economy when i'm working...i travel so I spend plenty on something .... but it sure takes more then ONE person having some faith things will get better and spend a bit....jmho...good blog...

Nov 30 @ 4:39PM  
Good blog. Greenie for you for posting something worth thinking about that reflected some thought.

The thing about it is, is that we are going to see more layoffs after New Year's in the retail sector. Some retailers, notably those in the malls, cannot survive a second holiday sales season like they had to endure last year.

The recent economic woes coming out of Dubai could also ripple out into the global economy that we in the US, like or not, are part of.

Times like these bring out the best and the worst in people.

It easy to blame politicians of any party, business, labor unions, anything or anyone, everything or everyone. That doesn't make a shit of difference. Times are tough and they are going to be that way for a while. But they have been tough before and good people found a way to persevere and get through them.

Nov 30 @ 4:48PM  
Fortunately for us...we are currently in the black. And looking to stay that way thru the end of the year. Black Friday put us 11% up from this time last year...the weekend is up 16%.

I did notice that even Walmart wasn't any busier than a normal friday or saturday though...but that could have alot to do with the craziness of last year. Not to say they weren't busy...just not packed. The $749 42" LCD T.V.'s didn't sell out until around 2:30 in the afternoon...

Nov 30 @ 4:54PM  
I am just now catching up on my email having been out of pocket for a week. But I just came across this indicator that points to what I put forth.

On Black Friday Leading Retail Web Sites Slow Way Down, Reports Keynote Systems

Almost All Sites on Keynote’s Market-Leading Retail Web Transaction Performance Index Performed Slower Than Normal; Some Crumble Under Black Friday Pressure
However, Overall Performance Quality Improved This Year Over Last; Fewer Sites Had Major Outages
Best Site Performance Overall Was Delivered By Wal-Mart, Sears and Barnes & Noble
Of Pure Online Sites Newegg and Performed Well; Other Pure Online Sites Struggled

There will be more indicators coming out including those for today, cyber Monday.

Nov 30 @ 5:01PM  
Here some more indicators.

November 27, 2009 10:37 AM Eastern Time
Research Findings Show Although Still Manageable, Holiday Stress Among Americans is Slightly up from 2008

Decipher and Survey Sampling International, in Partnership with KW Strategems, Revealed Interesting Facts about Stress and the Holiday Season as Well as Current Gift Trends

FRESNO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the second year in a row, market research firms KW Strategems and Decipher, conducted a survey in coordination with sampling solutions provider, Survey Sampling International (SSI), that unlocked interesting data on how Americans handle holiday stress. The survey also uncovered what gifts stand out as the most preferable to give and receive, which may help shoppers in the weeks ahead.

Within the survey, respondents were asked to rate their stress levels during the holiday season—defined as the end of November through the first part of January—on a scale from zero to 10 across five categories: health, fitness, weight, personal relationships and finances. In summary, the study indicated:

Although still manageable, the stress meter is on the rise.
On a 10-point scale, Americans rated their stress level at 3.64 points, slightly higher than 3.44 points in 2008. The increase was driven primarily from male respondents.
This year, the holidays have an increased personal impact on men.
Since the 2008 findings, men have become significantly more concerned with how the holidays will affect their health and personal relationships.
Finances are the most likely cause of holiday stress.
Two-thirds of Americans claim paying for the holidays is what stresses them out most.
The current economy has a significant impact on the holiday stress level for one-third of Americans.
The holidays prove to be a more stressful time for women, an unchanged result from 2008’s findings.
Seven-in-ten women (68 percent) are moderately or significantly worried about finances during the holidays, significantly higher than men (57 percent).
Nearly one-half of women (45 percent) are moderately or significantly worried about their weight during the holidays, significantly more than men (31 percent).

Nov 30 @ 5:09PM  
Some of the stores are saving money by getting rid of managers and some are letting people go that have been there for years and hiring kids who will work for a lot less money. The problem is someone who has been in the workforce for years is going to be way overqualified for entry level jobs and people are not going to hire them. So the next time you go in a store and the customer service sucks, you will know why.


Nov 30 @ 5:13PM  
But there is no one person or entity responsible for the state of our economy. Therefore one person cannot be held accountable for fixing it.

Exactly. It has taken years and many different people from small business owners to government officials to help get this economy to where it is today. Wish I had the answer on how it can be fixed, but, I don't. I'm just thankful that I still have a job..such as it is. But, it pays the bills. Just like millions of others out there, I struggle every month to make sure I get my bills paid.

Great blog.

Nov 30 @ 5:14PM  
Great blog. What each one of us produce, what we save and invest, what we spend, and what we donate to those who need it all have a hand in bringing our economy back to where it needs to be. Unions, business, government and individuals will have to work together to make it happen. And it's in nobody's interest to hope for the worst, point the finger and say "see - I told you so."

Nov 30 @ 5:15PM  
did you know that some people are like tenth generation welfare recipients.
i had to really laugh in anger, when i found out some black woman
had formed a welfare recipients union back in the 60's. it used to be
they really hounded you. she changed all that. all welfare recipients
are to be treated with instant respect dignity and honor. bow down before
them and slave all your life for them. they are doing you a favor, they are
buying your products. otherwise very few people would enuff money to do it.
i call them the professional consumer class. ya oughta see it around
here, where the welfare class is hugest. they examine very carefully all the
merchandise they are about to select. very discriminating in all ways.
only 99 cents for a can of spaghetti, they really feel it should be free.
their divine right as one of the People. all should bow and kneel before
the honorable proletariat, educated too at public expense. if you don't pay
taxes? to their honorable majesties? its off to prison you go. the People
have spoken even in hoboken. where hobos rule the world. make it snappy
i want my stuff right now. bums bible bob 6:12, never work and thou
shalt get rich and prosper. stockholders do. idle poor are just as well
off as the idle rich. just have different playgrounds. land of the bums and brave.
free? dont' get me started. if ya can't win ''em join 'em or work under the table.
do barter. and now they feel their benefits are in jeopardy, taxes need to
be raised to 110% they need a new mansion in beverly hills, with three
or four rolls royces. the People's car.

Nov 30 @ 6:14PM  
While not every person is to blame, every person in this country is responsible for doing what they can to help fix the state of this country.

Amen !!!

Yanno, I have been Laid off since Feb. 26th of this year...... and its Tuff out there!!!!
My AGE Holds me back somewhat..cause there are so many Searching for JOBS that are Younger than I !!!! (But I could workem all under the Table NO Offence to Our Youth... )

I Left my Job before all this Shit started Happening..And I went back after it Did....(They contacted Me..wanting me to come back) My Bad!!! I Lost almost 15 years of Service!!!! That got me Laid Off!!!
I dont have Full Benifits..cause they take away the first 6 months ..then go back 12 Months..for your Benifits.......
anyways.... I got 18 weeks the first time....Not the 26 that I would have gotten if I hadda worked "Public"(I remolded my home)......! I recieved 12 weeks the 2nd time.....7 weeks the 3 time...
Now Its all over with!!! I did get a letter Sat. that told me to fill out that form and I may get a few weeks More....
I'm Not Crying Here....but Wow Our Country is in a VERY BAD WAY!!!
Fuck..I wanna WORK!!!
They did tell me that for me to find a JOB....was Prolly NOT gonna happen!!! Damn that was good News!!!!
I wish I hadda Coppied that Letter..!!!
Thank God... My X Sold her house a few months ago...Is all I'm sayin!!!
I am getting my house ready to Sell.....But ya Know What?...Life is Still good!!!

Great Blog!!!
Good Luck to Yall!!! But Please do remember...No Matter What...You Have Each Other!!!!! ^5's to My Bro....

Nov 30 @ 7:45PM  
I don't have anything to add so I'm just tossing in a kudo.

Nov 30 @ 8:25PM  
Congress fucked us when they opened free trade with China
and Mexico. That's not a racial statement. It's an economic
fact. Cheap products are nice but people without jobs and
money from manufacturing them do not have money to buy
them. I read economic forecasts and reports weekly now
as a result of wanting to know what will happen next. The
only thing I am seeing is that minimal growth will occur
next year but the most optimistic reports indicate that
it will take at least 5 years for unemployment to reach
reasonable levels since very slow growth is expected.

They are calling it the Great Recession.

Nov 30 @ 9:09PM  
Thanks for a worthy blog even though the subject is tough on many of us.


Nov 30 @ 9:49PM  
I'm with Skwirl. Nothing to add. Still working in the automotive field and with the general public. We see the same thing here with people trying to bring anything back that they can. Heres a kudo for you.

Nov 30 @ 9:59PM  
The automotive industry has always had it's ups and downs. This is nothing new. they have always had lay-offs, shut downs and production cut backs. This is how the industry survives. Unfortunately for me, when the lay offs come down one of the first to go it the contractors.

I've seen and heard of towns...where no one has a full time job. Anyone who is employed works at least two part time jobs...there are no employers who offer full time positions.

Nov 30 @ 10:34PM  
I am one of the lucky one's to have a job. One that is hard on my whole body. I am a waitress. What I don't like is when people come into eat and don't tip. I give them great service, run my ass for stuff that want. And once in a while get nothing in return. I had 2 tables walk out without paying their bill last week. If I can't afford to eat out and tip I won't eat out. I have pay my bills with the tips I earn. My wage is only $3.65 a hour. By the time they take everything out of my check I am lucky to get $40.00.

Around my area there are a lot of break in's, store theft's ect because of the drug problem's and pain clinics in my area. People will do anything to get a pill.

Kudo for you

Dec 1 @ 12:03AM  
I know a lot of people, and it dawned on me a few weeks ago that I know maybe 6 people who aren't struggling and worried about losing their jobs or their homes.... if they haven't already.
Including Griz. This is his last week at his job, with no perspectives in sight.

Seriously, what are people supposed to do?
This is not how life is supposed to be.... but I have no idea how to change it or make a difference.
I know I'm doing a whole lot of hopng and praying. For everyone.



Dec 1 @ 3:54AM  
we were informed last week that the largest vegetable processing factory in our town is closing in 12 mths , packing up and moving to New Zealand, just so mc'cains can save a few bucks cos the ppl will work for less over there, processing lesser quality produce.
155 workers lose their jobs, no ifs or buts.... my wife will be one of the ppl who will be out of work.
lucky for me I built up my own job/ business, but because all the ppl in town are selling their houses now and moving away searching for more employment,money has become even tighter and it looks like now I might have to move 200 miles away to work during the week and travel back here on weekends to see my family

in 12 mths time, Smithton will look like a ghost town

Dec 1 @ 10:31AM  
Tassie...I'm really sorry to hear this has happened in your country as well, or at least in your town. The same thing has happened here, the large textile mills that were the backbone of this area have moved to other countries that can hire cheaper labor. Other smaller companies have started hiring people who are willing to work for less wages and are able to qualify for government health benefits. It's hard to find work in the field I specialize in, so I have to work where I retail. Even that is not a sure thing.

Alybai, I've been a waitress and know what hard work that is. Long hours with little pay...and even that is not always guaranteed with tips. What regular wages you make are taken in taxes, I have a friend who has been a waitress at the same place for almost 20 years, and it has taken a toll. Even with the job I'm at now, I don't know how much longer I'll be able to do it. Maybe another 5 or 10 years...maybe more if I take better care of my back. Who knows.

My husband has some security with his job...but the company he works for has alot of competition. If he gets let go, he can go to another company and find work...but may have to start over again.

I have another blog I wrote, shortly after the last election that I will post later. It does no good to just sit back and cry about our troubles when there are things we as a country can do about it...

For now, I have things to do today and will check back later...

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