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Friday, March 28, 2008



I’m baffled. Ferklempt. Yes, I like the second word. Why? Even for a verbal (sometimes verbose) person such as myself-I don’t know what to say to this.

What do you say to someone who is going through more than their share of hard times? There are moments where it isn’t good to give a pep talk. They don’t want to hear “buck up, things will turn around” or “don’t worry, things will improve”. Especially when there isn’t some crystal ball that assures you it really will improve.

That’s where I am. Let’s face it-times are tough and the only thing that’s certain is, it’s probably going to get tougher. People who have lost their jobs are simply not finding new ones. Depending on what they used to do for a living, the job market is shrinking or completely disappearing.

Now I don’t know what’s going on outside of Southern California, but here-people are using all their unemployment up and still have no real job prospect in sight. Homes are being abandoned. Families are moving into THEIR family’s homes because they don’t have savings left to live on. It’s scary.

How do you help someone stay afloat when it seems as if there’s a heavy force continually throwing a brick on their head?


Hard to say if they do more harm than good. Especially if the ones you throw out there are so simplistic that they’ve been tried ad nauseum.

What I’m talking about is a relative. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s going from serious to desperate. Let’s just say, due to their chosen field (real estate underwriting), they’ve spent more time out of work than in it for the last two years. Every time they get a job, it dries up almost as fast as it washed over them. They’ve tried other fields, put “spins” on their talents and re-applied to past outfits in hope that this try will be the one to put them back on the right path.

With every “almost”, they seem to get hit with an unforeseen “sorry, we’re going in another direction”.

The question is: How many blows can anyone take?

What’s worse is, it’s not just their employment that has gone “south”. If people aren’t able to buy a home, keep a home or pay for a home-it makes sense that no one needs to “spruce up, furnish or re-model” one either. So it’s the trickle down effect.

And it gets better-raise your hands if any of you out there have seen “cut backs” in your place of employment or, if you’re the business owner, had to deliver the “we wish we could keep you” speech to valued members of your staff, because you can’t afford to pay them?

At my day job-business is down by a whopping 40%! No one has been laid off, but 3 people quit and they sure haven’t been replaced. Just more work for the remaining staff.

Oh and the bosses, they are getting mighty good at sending out what we have termed “nasty grams” to everyone. Mainly it’s their way of screaming in frustration at their own predicament-but it isn’t making any of us recipients feel all warm, cozy and supportive toward them, let me tell you.

So for the time being-I’m baffled as to what to say to those whose unemployment checks are about to run out and still have no job in sight. I’m ferklempt at what to do if I have to find a way to save my own hide at the day job.

I suppose it’s time to use a few clichés-tighten our belts, the sun will shine again soon, and my all time favorite: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

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