Friday, May 01, 2009

The Other Foot Finally Falls

Well, I've been called a pessimist in the past for my outlook on the world these days, although I prefer realist, but no matter the label, my worst fears once again came true last Thursday, the 23rd, when the job came to an end and I became another one of the great unwashed and unemployed.
I knew it was a possibilty since the first of the year, but pessimist or not I had a tiny bit of hope I was holding onto until the night of the 22nd when the 6oclock news announced that due to a 47% reduction in auto sales for the 4th month in a row that GM was shutting down the bulk of their operations for the next 2 / 3 months. After hearing that my hopes and stomach sank. It doesn't take an economic genius to figure out the ripple effect on that announcement. The next day, by noon, most of the companies we had orders from had cancelled the orders, by 2 the boss was there to lay me off and by 4 I was home to share the wonderful news with the wife.....for the umpteenth time.
Not sure what's gonna happen, but this time ain't like times in the past....with all the crap that's gone on in the country lately there are millions of people out of work, not just me and with all the automotive problems currently with GM and now Chrysler, (they just filed for bankruptcy and shut down all their plants until it's finalized)......there isn't going to be much demand for CMM programmers let alone anybody else that's tied to automotive.
On top of my situation, for the first time in history, the wife has also had her hours reduced to 32, which is a 20% cut in pay, so in the last couple weeks we've had our income reduced by almost 1,000 bucks a month (assuming I get unemployment). There's no way we can maintain everything with that kind of reduction so it's a matter of importance what gets paid and the rest I guess disappears.........that's easy to say but not very easy to watch happen. It's like a slow motion train wreck.
I won't start a rant about what I think is going on in the world today, but I'm very concerned about this country these days, the direction we're heading and the things that are happening around us. This week alone there's been a Swine flu scare that is so hoeky that it's not funny. With that in mind let me share a quote with you from Fredrick Von Hayek, a famous economist. "Emergencies" have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. Take it for what it's worth I guess, but at the risk of being a pessimist again, I hope the economic base of this country doesn't collapse completely......if that happens jobs aren't the issue, food and shelter will be.
I really don't know if I'll be writing in here much for awhile.....I don't want to document my life going into the toilet. I'm hoping I'm just being melodramatic and life will be good again before long, but being the pessimist I am I'm gonna hope for the best and try to prepare for the worst.
Wish me luck, I do the same for you. It looks like there's some rough road up ahead. How far it goes and how rough it gets is anybody's guess.
I'm scared that my gut feeling may be right and never more in my life would I love to be completely wrong.