Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Landing, sort of

Exactly a year after the newspapers were closed, I started a new job, at a small local publishing company. I had interviewed there back in July and the position was open again since the person originally hired left to deal with family issues.

It's taken a while to settle in, primarily because I have to get my butt out the door at a specific hour each morning. I really liked working at home. Although I kept busy with a steady stream of freelance jobs, it nowhere near paid was the proverbial Day Job pays. As I have said before, the wages of a writer are abysmal. With the great need for the written word, I will never understand why it is so undervalued and underpaid.

Even though Paul and I have both landed in "respectable" jobs, they pay less than our previous ones and there's less responsibility. It's a theme that's echoing throughout the country. And politicians are only giving lip service to the problem. Why should they? At this point in the political process, only the wealthy can afford to run for office.

But I digress. Two articles in the New York Times really hit home. One discusses the groups of people most affected by unemployment (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/opinion/09herbert.html) and the unwillingness of the government to address the issue. The second focuses on families who have re-entered the work force after long stints of unemployment and how the trauma lingers (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/06/us/06return.html?pagewanted=2&fta=y).

Yes, the trauma lingers. Several points hit home: You don't bond with a job as in the past due to lingering fears; you're still dealing with the debt and playing catchup with bills; you're afraid to spend money. (We needed to replace our stove and dishwasher -- it was necessary, but traumatic and we had only a short window of available cash. That doesn't preclude the need for car repairs and house maintenance -- don't even get me going.)

We came through it better than some I guess. Our credit is trashed, we have no credit cards, and we still owe a bundle, but we've held on to the house, though squeaking by at just under the late fee

The scars from this recession will be deep and long lasting.

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