Unemployed in a Small Town
I have been looking for work for 10 months. I live in a small town in Texas. When I first became unemployed, in January, the want ads in the local "big" newspaper were plentiful. A whole page of ads. Today it is two columns, if that. Job positions are few and far between. And those that are hiring are, and can be, very picky about there choices. That makes it hard on many people like myself.
I stress to my kids and grandkids, get your education, and I don't mean just finish High School. Go to college while you can, take advantage of your youth, utilize your time so that when you are older you will have a good education under your belt that will carry you through tough times such as these. Some will listen, some won't.
As a girl I just wanted to get married and have my kids, be a good wife and Mom. I had my first son, got married, then finished High School. Kind of backwards, huh? No one ever encouraged me to further my education. I had no Mom around to say, " Honey, you never know what is in store down the road, you need to get a better education". My Dad was often off working and my Grandmother, who lived with us, she was always taking care of us and never worked a day outside of the home. So when my marriage broke up 9 years later I had to go to work. It was tough going, but at least jobs were plentiful then. It is tough working and raising a child as a single parent. I worked though, I worked 12 and 16 hour days sometime, I worked hard, and I kept food on the table and the rent and utilities paid.
That was 30 years ago. Today the economy is so bad that even those with higher education , with degrees are finding it difficult to find a job. A neighbor of mine graduated 2 years ago, her education has made her an architect. She was laid off 2 months ago. People are taking pay cuts just to keep their jobs. So many are getting laid off left and right. Now I hear on the radio , the media is saying that those who are without jobs and depending on the Government for support are happier than those who have jobs. Well they haven't talked to me. I am not happy about this by any means. I don't live off the Government. I scrap by however I can and now even my odd jobs are hard to come by. No one has any money and those that do are hanging on to it. I don't blame them. I want to support myself, take care of my responsibilities, pay my bills. But it is difficult to do when there are no jobs.
Then others will say "take that job" at least you will making minimum wages, it's better than nothing. Is it? Not making ends meet even on minimum wages is just as stressful. I went from making $19.00 per hour to $15 to $12 to $10.Now you want me to take minimum wage. It may be ok for someone that has 2 incomes in the house or people living at home with their parents. I can make more money doing odd jobs than working 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job, and work less hours. Yes, it's tough, but at least I don't have some 'nose in the air' boss breathing down my neck waiting to fire me at the drop of a hat if I screw up. And I make $15 per hour doing odd jobs. Thank God I am pretty resourceful, many are not. Even then it is difficult, it is not steady.
At least I have a bed to sleep in and a home to live in, I can lock my doors at night. What about those who have kids and are sleeping in their cars or, worse still, on the streets, exposed to God knows what? This is America, not some third world country. We have a government that is suppose to take care of it's own. And in my view they are lining their pockets, They don't have to worry how the utilities will be paid or the mortgage or when the next meal will be. And their kids go to college, wear name brand clothes, drive new cars. And they are bailing out these big businesses that are paying huge bonuses out to some employees with the bailout money. Wow!!! People struggling all over this country and they are paying bonuses. And where do you think that bail out money came from. Our tax dollars.
They keep saying the recession will be over soon. Tell that to the guy who is trying to raise his kids and pay a mortgage, keep the house warm, keep groceries on the table. Or the woman who is alone with her little ones and wondering how she is going to get warm clothes for the winter for her growing kids or how she will buy Christmas for children that really don't understand. The government wants to run our financial lives from that big White house but to me they don't really care about what we go through in our day to day lives. The struggles that cause so much stress that some are committing suicide, so much stress that you can hardly think of anything else. I tell myself every night, tomorrow is a new day, something will come along. I can't let myself fall into that pattern of dwelling on the negative.
The one thing that rings strong in me is hope. We must have hope, it is what keeps us alive, keeps us ticking. Without hope we are doomed. So I say, stand tall, keep your head up and push forward, it may look bad now but every cloud has a silver lining and there is so much that each of us have to be thankful for. We must dwell on our blessings, the smiles of our children, that we are breathing, that life is our gift, that maybe just maybe, the next moment will bring good news and we can feel that relief that comes with it.
So no matter how rough each of us have it, I have found that if you do some little random good deed for some one each day, it will bring you a joy inside. It may not earn you an income but it makes you forget for a little while. So in helping others you will help yourself as will. I wish you hope and peace and good news soon. Hang in there, we need to pray for our nation and those in charge of it. Hope and prayer. Hang on to it.