Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A Sign Of The Times
Years ago when I was in college I remember the recession that happened after the stock market collapse in 1987 (October 1987). The stock collapse of unprecedented size lopped twenty-five percent off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The collapse, larger than that of 1929, was handled well by the economy and the stock market began to quickly recover. However the lumbering savings and loans were beginning to collapse, putting the savings of millions of Americans in jeopardy. Sound familiar?
People often think of DC as almost recession proof yet they were difficult times. I remember a new convention center/upscale hotel was getting ready to open and they were having a job fair. At the time I was a cocktail waitress and going to college. I felt I could make more money working there and it was a lot closer to home than where I was working. The day of the job fair there were lines almost wrapping around the building of people with college degrees applying for jobs like hostess, grounds keeper, etc. I remember feeling so very frightened about the future.
My parents and grandparents had lived through the depression and I was already on welfare trying to work my way off of it. I was going to college for a better life. I didn’t want to be the sixty year old woman waiting tables at Denny’s on the night shift. You might say I was short sighted in this because I honestly didn’t see how we would come out of this.
Now I’m seeing shades of this again. Long lines of people applying for few jobs each desperately wanting a chance to support their families, what jobs would there be now that American’s don’t want to do? In Miami today 750 applicants showed up to apply for a position as a Miami firefighter. There are 35 openings that we have," he said. "We will accept 750 qualified applications who will compete for those 35 positions."
Need more proof about just how bad it is? In Canton, Ohio people came from as far as New York City in hopes of improving their lives by insuring others. Liberty National Insurance began spreading the word last week that it plans to open a new Canton branch with about 100 new jobs. Applicants were told they could make $80,000 per year or more, depending on how motivated they were to sell insurance. They had so many applicants that it ran out of applications just minutes after the job fair began. In Austin, Texas before the city went on a hiring freeze there was a part-time position open for a person to do shelving, and more than 200 people applied.
These are scary times. One of the teachers in my department was told he didn't have enough completers in his program. Remember when I said I felt like I was in the movie the Lottery. I believe he is the first cast drawn. He told me tha the was told that the principals already told him that they are looking at where to make cutbacks and his program doesn't have enough completers.
Today was a red letter mail day. I received the free Valentine Cards I ordered, the free calendar I ordered from Snapfish, and I received the cutest Koala Bear from a contest I won. It even has an autographed card from the race card driver. Very cute.
I also won another blog contest. It turns out I won some doggie Valentine Cards. Speaking of doggies, I won't be getting the puppy I talked about. We decided it would be too traumatic on my dogs to get a new younger dog.