Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's Hitting the Fan

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we follow weather reports for approaching hurricanes and financial reports for approaching economic catastrophes. How convenient when both make the news in the same week!

Mr. Johnson has had several job offers in the past few years. And even though we're constantly under the threat of plant closure here in the Great Blue Northeast, he hasn't changed jobs.

Why? Let's examine the list:

1. One job offer was in his home town, and the prospective boss asked him to take a "hometown discount" on his salary. In other words, can we pay you less because you love Baltimore?

If he'd gone to Baltimore, Mr. Johnson would have taken a pay cut, and he would have been laid off this year.

2. The next job offer was at the most cutting-edge and famous plant in Mr. Johnson's line of work. And Mr. Johnson is eminently qualified to work there. But while he was interviewing down in Washington, DC, I was looking at the real estate listings. A two-bedroom bungalow in Chevy Chase was $450,000 -- and it looked like it hadn't been taken care of since the Eisenhower era. I told Mr. Johnson, "You'll be taking a whopper of a pay cut if we move, because the houses are too expensive in DC."

Mr. Johnson did not get the job. If he had, he would have been laid off last year.

3. Periodically Mr. Johnson hears from a plant in Los Angeles. And he just plainly loves that California weather. But when a job offer came, we looked at the real estate listings and could hardly breathe. A two bedroom bungalow in suburban LA was $750,000!

Mr. Johnson did not take the job. If he had, he would have been laid off this past summer.

We are clinging to the cliff by our fingernails. This latest round of financial ruin on Wall Street may do us in, even though Mr. Johnson is a senior employee in a union plant. But you know what? Shit happens, it doesn't matter what deity you worship.

At times like this it's helpful to remember that your ancestors went through tough times too, and died from them often enough. But somehow they gave birth to another generation, and that generation survived to be mowed down in its hard time, after having birthed another generation.

Somehow you got here, where you are today. I did too. And that's miracle enough for me. Thanks be unto the bored gods!

I'm Anne Johnson, and I approved this message.


THE Michael said...

Mr Bush is really proud of the fact that Americans can have two, even three jobs.

That is, menial jobs that work you to death and STILL will not pay all your bills and you can forget health insurance......what, you think this is FRANCE?

I share the same haunting fear, that the heath care industry will take it's long-overdue meltdown and there goes MY job. Oh, well, lots of bridges to live under........

yellowdog granny said...

ahh jeez sweety..i hope that doesn't can always move to west, texas...get a nice little house for under $90,000...of course you'd have to root for the cowboys...

sageweb said...

wow, job losses everywhere. I hope he can hang on.

Terra said...

I've got more job security than I ever dreamed possible. I work for a bankruptcy attorney. But I'm still making sure that I have plenty of vegetable seeds saved. There are hard times coming for all of us, and we will need to help one another through them.

Hecate said...

U culd stay w me while u house hunt in DC