Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sighs of the times

This is an entry about the economy, but it poses as a lapse into what blogging’s detractors call The Cheese Sandwich Syndrome. They bemoan the tendency of many bloggers to recount the mundane aspects of their lives—i.e., “Today I had a cheese sandwich”—in the mistaken belief someone cares. But you might be interested this time if you’re one of the restaurateurs who’ve been contending the economic crisis of the last month has largely been contained to the financial world. “Wait until it hits the general public,” they warn. Based on my experiences of the last few days, we’re already there, folks.

As my bio notes, my wife and I share our house with three greyhounds that were retired from racing. On Monday we were asked to take in a fourth because its adopter had been evicted from her home because of a change in her economic situation. The dog is 12 years old, which means she’d had him for at least seven years, and possibly a decade or longer (greyhounds can only race between ages 2 and 5, and rare is the dog that stays competitive for that long.) Jim B. also has some health issues. The woman had to give up Jim, her lone companion, because she couldn’t afford to keep him.

It’s the sort of story my parents would tell about the Great Depression.

That’s Jim to the right, by the way.

Taking care of him requires a fair amount of time, which has been in particularly short supply since Monday. That’s because much of the last few days has been spent in conversations with friends who’ve lost their jobs or key clients and are looking for leads. Each is a highly qualified individual whom I’d hire in a minute, and unemployment is as novel for them as it is unpleasant. These are victims of the times, not symptoms.

A looming economic crisis? I suggest you look out your door. The crisis is here. The question is, how much worse will it get?

1 comment:

  1. Jim,
    I am in that boat. I can't tell you how crazy it is.... but it is now is getting scary. I am a very respected operator and I wonder if I will make it through this challenge?
    I will search and hunt but I will have to take something soon to keep my family healthy.