Thursday, January 15, 2009

At The Moment The Economy Is Not My Friend

Really, he's not. He won't talk to me and on the rare occasion that he does, he's short and detached. I'm not sure what I did to offend him but based on this dose of silent treatment, it was pretty bad and I wonder if he'll ever forgive me.

It's another day in "the office," which means I'm sitting in a local coffee shop using their free wifi (free after I buy coffee) and job searching. I've been temping for several months and initially, there was a decent amount of work. As the last few months have passed, the jobs have become harder and harder to come by. Job searching in our current economic climate is enough to drive a person mad and that is no exaggeration. Jobs are available but it's nothing in comparison to the number of people looking for employment. I've also noticed that companies seem to be offering lower and lower salaries (or hourly rates) and I can only assume they are trying to save money because they can or because they have to in order to survive. Regardless, it makes for a very difficult time to be without steady employment. To complicate my financial matters further, I contacted my temp agency today because I hadn't received a couple paychecks. It turns out I never gave them my new address and now I have to pay bank fees for them to stop payment on the checks they've mailed but haven't been received/returned. They will cut new checks for me and I can pick them up tomorrow when I go in to fill out the paperwork necessary to change my address and pay the appropriate fees. Of course, I have to pay money to get my money. I understand policies and such but considering the pathetic check totals, this is a little hard to swallow.

A couple walked into "my office" a bit ago and practically announced that they were both laid off today. They're sitting behind me and making call after call. Calls to family members, fellow newly jobless colleagues, potential employers and their new landlord. They think they need to move as a result of this development, I understand their predicament. And to top it all off, they just got a parking ticket due to an expired meter. I guess it's one of those days...or weeks...or months...or years...

"My office" is filled with two kinds of people--job seekers and screenplay writers, more of the former. The number of computers with windows open to Craigslist is just another sign that there are many other stories out there like the two above. I'm not unique, the couple that just left to get their computers and begin their search is not unique. That's strangely comforting, unfortunate, and absolutely scary. I know that things will turn around, I'm just not sure when. Until then, I'm doing my best to remain hopeful and focused.

To those of you with jobs, be thankful and may you have continued financial security. To those of you job searching, I feel your pain and wish you unexpected luck. May our friendship with the economy be mended soon.

Edit: Here's a Wall Street Journal article about my late afternoon office. Again, it looks like I'm not unique.


Esennyl said...

Love this refreshing perspective.

Amy said...

Thanks, G.