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Things are supposed to be getting better. Because we only lost about half a million jobs
in one month, instead of 3/4 of a million. The point being, WE ARE STILL LOSING JOBS.

At a pace as fast as a Nascar race.  Millions of jobs lost in the last 2 years. About 2 million
since Obama became President.

So how are things getting better, exactly.  Because Goldman Sachs made a few billion
in the second quarter. Of course they did, after all they got 10 billion for free for about
6 months, shoot I could make money on that deal.

Just stick it in the bank, and the interest alone even at 3% would yeild you something like
300 million. Can you imagine. On the other side of the coin, are the regular folks,
the bottom 97%.  Those of us who don't have multi-million dollar homes, or a
private jet at our disposal.  JUst regular folks like Pandora, a support staff for
a University, who just lost her job of 16 years.

Pandora worked with a staff of 4 other people. In charge of planning special events and
arranging all the details. The space, tables and chairs, the food. She worked hard, and never
thought her job was at risk.

About 3 weeks ago, her boss told her she was being eliminated due to loss of grants and
other financial support.  She was 4 years away from full retirement with a pension.  If she
can get a job with the University with in a year, then she doesn't lose those 16 years of
vestment in the retirement program. It can be in a different department, what ever.

Out of the 4 employees in her department, only the boss kept her job. Pandora is
54 and now unemployed.  She will have to go on Cobra, and is now selling all her collectables
or family heirlooms to be able to keep her health insurance, price at around $800 a month.

Brandon had a nice job working for an electrician. They did mostly commercial, restaurants and
shopping malls.  According to Brandon it all dried up around the 2008 elections.  He just got
let go this Monday.  Lucky for him, the wife is a nurse at a neo-natal unit, in a very
nice hospital, so they are OK for now. Brandon is one of the lucky ones, he is young,
and the wife has a good job. But they can't afford to live on their own now, and have
to live with the in-laws. Less than ideal.

Dave is an architect, been working for the same company for over 14 years.  They let
him know that in a matter of a few weeks, he was probably going to be let go. First
he had to go through 2 pay cuts in the last 18 months.  Each was about 10%, but
Dave knew he had little choice, but to accept the cut each time. Just happy to still
have his job. Now that seems to be going down as well.  Dave is 55 years old.

Jerry is a violinist with the local Symphony, and was given a letter of termination of
his contract. Jerry is 54, and 1 year away from full retirement benefits. They are
union, so he contacted his union rep, and got a lawyer. The union guy never got
back with him, and the lawyer advised him, "nothing they could do until the
symphony fired him. " The reason stated was his bowing sucked. If you heard Jerry
play you know they probably just don't want to honor his retirement package, because he
is totally dedicated, and plays like a dream.

Well, he had an interview with the conductor (his lawyer sitting at his side) and discussed
why they were considering shit canning him.  Several weeks later he received a letter
that he was fine and his job was safe. Hooray for Jerry.

At least we can have one happy story among the few I have shared. These are real people that
I know, these things happened in the last month. It just makes me wonder what does a 50 something
do when they lose their job after 10, 20 or 30 years.  You know it is not possible to just
find a job that pays what you have built up over half your life.  Many businesses won't even
hire a 50 something because they think you are too old.

To old to hire, and to young for Social Security. Also forget getting any health insurance
at the age of 50, even if you have no pre-existing.  Just another reason why we need
health care reform, NOW.   That would at least help, of course if you have to pay for
it, how do you do that on unemployment, it sure doesn't pay enough to live on, let
alone pay some kind of health premium.

I guess all I can sum it up to is this: Fasten your seatbelts because it is going to be
a bumpy ride. And I don't know how long this roller coaster ride is gonna last,
I feel kinda sick.

I know this diary is completely off subject, since Mark Sanford gave his
public confession about God taking care of him, and all that. But for the rest
of us, it is still life as usual ( no secret trips to South America to meet my
lover). All I can say about the whole sordid thing is WHAT A DICK & DOUCHENEZZAL!

This isn't really helping my tummy feel any better, but I think I know something
that might just help. Puff Puff, cough cough.

What a fucking crazy ass world we live in right now.
Catch you all on the flip side.
Hope your Sunday is a Funday.

Originally posted to sharistuff on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 06:33 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yup! My story, briefly is much the same (10+ / 0-)

    Worked for a bank (or really several due to mergers)
    Laid off after 15 years, 2 years from the minimum Social Security retirement age.

    I was in info technology, so I went back to network training courses - $5000 for two courses.

    I'm single, have savings & investments - seriously diminished in the stock market crash.

    I've dyed my hair so there's no grey and doing a Jenny Craig diet (not cheap) so protential employers don't think old/fat/expensive health care.

    This is another major benefit of universal health care - if a potential employee has their own personal health care - via the public option - employers have less of a reason (or excuse) to not hire somebody they think may have health care issues.

    Thanks to the stimulus plan I get $100 more in umeployment benefits.  What really helps is the stimulus paying 65% of my Cobra payments which means I'm paying $175 a month instead of $485.  That really helps on the food & utility bills.

    I have a slightly better chance of getting a job - the training school I'm going to has a good track record of placing graduates - but I know I'll have to take a $20-$30K paycut which means no more saving for retirement & probably taking some money out of what remains of my retirement to cover some basic costs (car insurance, etc.) that I wouldn't be able to meet.

    My employer (EDS) to make ends meet, gave minimal or no raises the past 3 years.  After I was laid off in December, every employee was forced to take a 5% cut in pay.  The next month it was raised to a 10% cut - needless to say, a job making 10% less than before is better than being laid off.

    The other elephant in this room is the employee cost of mergers.  HP bought EDS to strengthen its market share for consulting against IBM.  As soon as the merger was completed, two waves of layoffs happened - I was caught in the second wave.

    "Merging" is supposed to make companies stronger, but inevitably it leads to layoffs which contribute to the downward spiral of unemployment & recession in this country.

    Eventually we will pull out of it, but there are going to plenty of shattered lives that will never completely recover from this recession.

    The land was ours before we were the land's...Robert Frost, The Gift Outright

    by HylasBrook on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:04:01 AM PDT

  •  from what I'm seeing (10+ / 0-)

    forty something is the new 50 something....80 jobs applied for in 3 months, one final interview for a part time paying very little considering the workload, and no benefits for at least 6 months, if they get the grant.

    I was once a treehouse, I lived in a cake, but I never saw the way the orange slayed the rake... The Llama Song.

    by farmerchuck on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:05:06 AM PDT

  •  I'm 58. It doesn't help to have an impressive (10+ / 0-)

    resume.  I've considered significantly reducing my resume and making my senior management positions look more like senior staff positions.  I've had 1 in-person and 1 phone interview in the last 6 months.  In both cases, the company decided to alter the position to make some poor in-house guy work twice as hard and getting no more money.  

    I can't easily retrain and even if I could, I have no idea what I'd retrain to do.  I'm an electronics engineer in Silicon Valley, which in my opinion has become Silicon ghost town.  Driving around the heart of Silicon Valley, once buildings full of employees with parking lots full of cars, now have "for lease" signs everywhere and empty parking lots.  I've never seen it so grim.  Even in the worst recessions companies had robust engineering staff to capitalize on the recovery.  Now that staff is in India.  There are jobs around but mostly for specialized software people, which isn't exactly my expertise.  I'm taking a programming refresher class but mostly for curiosity more than anything because there is no way to get enough experience to get a high paying job here.  I don't know what I'll do now.  

    "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

    by dangoch on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:37:43 AM PDT

    •  Dot Com bust (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Driving around the heart of Silicon Valley, once buildings full of employees with parking lots full of cars, now have "for lease" signs everywhere and empty parking lots.  I've never seen it so grim.

      Worse than after the dot com bust?  That was the worst I had ever seen.  Fortunately, it only lasted about a year or so before things starting going back to normal.

  •  Cobra subsidy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, willb48, Calfacon, sharistuff

    One bright spot for the unemployed is that the Cobra will be subsidized for the first 9 months after lay-off. It's not much, but I can tell you from personal experience that it helps.

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