Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hammer Fall III

So the devolving economic crisis continues to affect those around me. Today, as the Ravishing Mrs. TB was getting ready to leave for a party, her mother calls. I was out in the garden weeding (truly, that only seems to be what I'm ever doing out there. I'm very good at growing weeds) when she came out talking to her mother and hung up. "My mom just got laid off."

The weeds suddenly lost a great deal of their import.

My Mother in Law (An Mathair Cheile) has worked at one of our local metropolis' papers for 32 years, first as a part-timer and then full time. She started out, and eventually became responsible for, stuffing ads into the papers (yup, if you've ever pulled a supermarket ad out of a paper, you now know someone who did it). "Economic Necessity" was the phrase used as they apparently let her and another lady go tonight.

The good news (if there is such a thing as good news in such situations) is that financially, this may not be a life ending thing due to her age (Social Security), retirement, and the general frugality of their lives (and yes, she did get a severance package, although methinks it is not quite as substantial as 32 years of service should merit). The less good news is that for her, work was her social outlet - which has now been totally removed.

We told Na Clann of course, as we don't like to hide these things from them. Nighean Gheal asked what they would do for money, because "It's not like we can loan them any right now" (her words). I explained the financial situation, so at least that concern was relieved. For prayers, they all asked that Grandma could find a job. Speaking to Nighean Gheal after we prayed, I said "Honey, I'm not sure if Grandma will be able to find a job."

And that is probably the most amazing - and alarming - thing to me: people that want jobs are going to go wanting for a while, maybe forever. I am fortunate: I am in a career field that is still viable and have a particular set of skills which is not typical and is in some demand. Others, like mo Mathair Cheile may not be - my suspicion: paper stuffing is a dying industry.

So spare a prayer for her, if you would be so kind; in fact, spare a prayer for all those who are put into such circumstances at this time where the light may appear very dim indeed.

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