Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Unemployed family and friends

Seriously, unemployment has become quite an epidemic. What we have is a laundry list of folks that we know that have either gotten their pays cut or have gotten their jobs cut altogether. Just look:
Friend 1- Her husband got a job in the fall after having lost his previous job to job cuts. Had that job for 6 months and got cut again. He has since been unable to find another position, despite the fact that he has looked and continues to do so. They have had to subscribe to public assistance, phone their creditors to discuss creative financing and his wife has picked up as many hours as she can at her job.
Friend 2- Lost his job maybe earlier this year after his family went back to their home state after Christmas break. Since he is in school, his schedule is not as permissive with traditional jobs as what most would be.
Friend 3- Met up with us at the VBS Family Picnic and was telling us how his work hours had been cut from 40 to 32. He has a family and I have no idea what the state of healthcare is.
Friend 4- She's always sweating production hour numbers for her job, as she is afraid she will be cut if she falls under their requirement. She is a counselor.
Our dear plumber- Was at VBS as a volunteer. When I inquired as to why, he said, "There's no work." Apparently that has been the case for nearly a few months.
Neighbor 1- A police officer for a small nearby village and their department patrols are being absorbed by another township, thus leaving him partially unemployed in two weeks. Problem with this is that if he is unable to secure another job as a police officer, he must go back to school and pay several thousands of dollars to continue whatever he needs to do to be an officer.
Neighbor 2- A nurse that is looking at having a handful of nurses at his facility cut. On the other hand, his partner works for a pharmacy and has had hours out the eyeballs.
My dad- Pay was cut 10% and healthcare costs went up. He is afraid of losing his job altogether.
Family 1- One of my faithful readers' husband switched jobs right at the new year. Since, he has been handed a lovely 25% pay cut. (Correct me if I'm wrong, darling.) Ouch.
Family 2- Relation of my faithful reader above. Apparently he and his wife are gainfully unemployed. He is a blue collar worker and she is a teacher/coach. Double ouch.
Church staff- Everyone took a pay cut this year as a result of reduced giving. One of those folks who took a pay cut has a husband that has lost his job working for General Motors because of all of their difficulty. Hopes were raised when he was called back, only to have them dashed 4 days after the callback. He was let go again.
Church member 1- Said that her cupboards were very thin last week due to her employer not able to pay her.

Church members- We had so many additional volunteers this year. When my sister asked about volunteering (she knew we were always short), I told her that we were covered. "How?" "Unemployment is high. So is volunteerism."

Our prayers to all of these folks that their unemployment whoas be resolved quickly and they are able to get back up on their feet soon.

Frown in my day:

To the lady with the beautiful little 4 year old,

Please understand that you have a beautiful little daughter. It is your responsibility to watch that daughter, not allow her to go to one end of the gallery while you shop in the complete other end. I know that you yelled to her that you would be right there, but even after 10 minutes, you never did show up. I understand that your world might be a rosey one, but there are people out there that steal kids. It isn't cool, but it happens. Your new 4 year old should be with you at all times, particularly since there has been someone running around the nearby mall and the nearby city trying to abduct kids. Did you look around when you came in? In case you didn't notice, the neighborhood isn't the greatest in the world. Oh and I'm not a babysitter. While your daughter was good, didn't trash the place and used her gentle handies, you need to remember that she is YOUR responsibility, not mine.

Please understand that allowing the 10 year old to free roam through the American Craft gallery portion of our store unattended and unknown to you where she was-- that isn't cool. You might think that she isn't going to touch anything, but understand that she was the very kid that brought a Exotic Sands flip sculpture to you and was flipping it to show you what it did-- as she was holding it at the whole $80.00 or so that it is worth. Again, she could be abducted, but then I don't think that there is a high rate of child predators that shop at our store. Perhaps that is what you are resting on.

The 8 year old that was with you? Yes, he has the incredible touching handies. Touch, touch, touch. Clank, clank, clank. Wind-up after wind-up. If it made a noise, he had to do it 100 x, but you wouldn't know it because you were busy NOT WATCHING YOUR KIDS! That's what the gallery staff is there for anyhow, right? After all, we are a touchable museum, yes?

We're not Toys R Us, Walmart, Target, Kmart or another big box store. We are a little Mom and Pop. Please watch your kids and monitor what they do. Keep them at your side.

Thank you.

Smiles in my day:
- When my husband borrows my truck to tow the boat, he always takes my CD out of the truck (he hates my music) and puts it in his car for me, often at the song I was listening to. Today was Por*no for Py*ros. He really doesn't like them. Actually, hate is a better word. That's okay. I don't like his music, either.
- Antiques Roadshow. The ugly sailboat painting that hung outside of the lady's bathroom that appraised at 90 thousand or so. Bless her heart.
- Chocolate/Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.


Rach said...

I hear you on the job thing. My mom, a college prof. was given a 10 day furlough because the state had run out of money. I've got unemployed friends, and my friend Sarah's husband recently took a job he HATES just so there will be an income and insurance. He travels constantly and might be home with the new baby (and wife who had a C-section) for 2 weeks. Then, he'll travel once more. Things are tough right now. Ugh.

I'm sorry to hear you had unattended kids in the gallery. That's REALLY not cool. One of my most favorite signs on a store (an art gallery, I think, actually) said, "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy. Thank you for watching your children."

Bailey's Leaf said...

We have a sign that says something like "Children left unattended must have large allowances." We also have "Children will be towed away at owner's expense."

They still don't get it.

Sorry about the friends your way, too. Unemployment sucks.

Rach said...

Stupid parents...:sigh:

I've so often noticed children just don't behave like they once did and then the parents wonder why. I'm not suggesting ALL kiddos, but I certainly see it out in public. I would never have DREAMED of going off without my mom. I think parents forget that having a child means making sacrifices which include time alone whilst shopping. Parents don't seem to want to give up those things which they think are fun. You know what, having a child is NOT all fun and games and sometimes you have to do things you don't want to, such as leaving a restaurant with a recalcitrant child instead of making everyone else suffer through your child's tantrum. Gr.

Oops, sorry, rant over.

Kaycee said...

Unemployment is hitting us hard here too. I try to keep a good attitude, but it's scary. Especially considering that my parents and in laws will likely not be able to afford retirement now. There is a lot of talk about family homesteading. If things keep up this way I would not be surprised to see our extended family combine forces and just live together.

Jamie said...

I hate it when I see kids, especially little kids wandering around places touching and damaging items that don't belong to them. It's very sad that parents are not paying attention because they are so wrapped up in their own thing. I would be terrified to take my kids into an art gallery.

Unemployment is an epidemic. We have some friends who have been laid off several times in the last couple months and I feel terrible for them. My mom is taking a pay cut to keep her job and my dad had to cut 10 hours off of his workweek. I know that at any time Jeff's job can be on the chopping block because they start with the ones who make the most. Very scary.