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Blog Directory Del's Perspective: Mar 1, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My job's gone, what do I tell my kids?

I met John at bar the other day. He seemed like a regular guy, but I could tell that deep down he was angry about something. After a brief introduction he told me that he had just been laid off after 20 years of dedicated service. "My job's gone, what do I tell my kids?"

What was your job? In our plant, in Arkansas, we make automotive parts such as hoses, gaskets, and other related things for General Motors and I was part of that for twenty years and very proud of it.

Did you have a clear clue about being laid off? It was almost secret-like in the beginning. As much as a18 months ago we saw maybe one or two getting pinked-slipped every month. Management always came up with some vague reason to keep us from getting scared. Then, suddenly, the lay-off notices came out of the blue. I got mine the week before Christmas and not one son of a bitch manager had the balls to look me in the face and express his concern.

How do you feel when people say that that our government shouldn't bailout the auto industry? Get real man. Are you kidding me? It isn't just the auto manufacturers employees who will suffer, it's also the auto
parts stores, tire companies, the essential small product producers (gaskets, hoses, etc) and, even, Serius Radio that will be negatively impacted. So, we're talkin' tens of thousands of jobs. Do we deserve a bailout? Look, if I have a job pay my mortgage. My job pays the bills. My job gives me a sense of dignity. Without my job, I draw unemployment, seek foodstamps, and lose the house with the picket fence (and yes, it has a picket fence). I didn't get a special loan; I didn't curry special favor with the bank, but without a job I lose my home...I lose it all.

He waved me off after that response. He was in no mood to sulk in pity. It was if he were saying that it (this pressing problem) was in his brain every minute of every day, and he just wanted to listen to ole George Jones on the juke box.

John multiplyied by 1000s.
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