Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hard Times

photo by rrogers_vfx

Maybe it's because I work in Waukegan - where the demographics are such that many people are very poor, many unemployed, many living on welfare, food stamps, etc. Or maybe you live in a neighborhood like this too - maybe this is just the way things are these days. Makes me feel like we are characters in a Steinbeck novel only present day. It scares me a bit, to tell you the truth.

Today is the nicest day we've had this year, i think. Sun shining upon us through pure blue skies without fierce winds. Everyone is out.

Today at 9am as i drove the mile stretch between Starbucks and the bank, i saw what this last winter and this unforgiving economy has done to my neighbors. The bus stops were packed and people were walking up and down the edges of the street (we don't really have good public transportation outside of Chicago, but you gotta get somewhere somehow). I saw people leaning over the edges of the dumpsters outside of the local businesses. I saw a poor man with one leg on crutches making his way up the street. I saw a group of 5 men standing in a circle tossing their hands in the air, making gestures and screaming at each other. Every other store is vacant with "For Rent" signs in the windows. I have many customers who have lost their jobs - they tell me, which is why they only come once in awhile instead of every day. A woman today, a dental hygienist told me that she's pretty sure her office will go under, "people just don't have insurance any more," she says.

We receive applications every day for our beginning barista jobs. $7.80/hour or something like that. These applications are from people with masters degrees and families. This is no longer a job for "kids" these days.

Is this what is happening in your community also? Are your neighbors desperate and hungry?

I am so grateful that Landon and I have the opportunity to pay our bills. To buy groceries, to live in a warm home. I am grateful for my 2 jobs - and i feel glutenous being employed by 2 companies while those surrounding me can't seem to find a job anywhere. I am grateful that Landon has the opportunity to go to school and that we have the option of pursuing our dreams. I am just so grateful.


Lindsey said...

I feel the same way you do...grateful!!! I have two great jobs where business is up from last year, which is crazy considering the economy! The restauarant is hopping because people want to still go out and enjoy life as if their wallets are not empty. And REI just hired 6 people starting at over $9 an hour...CRAZY! They chose 6 out of over 300 applicants! People are desperate and, at both jobs, I am finding that the people who are applying are way over-qualifed! I am blessed! I have money to pay my bills (even the $800 it took to fix my car the other day!) and I even am able to save some money to hopefully buy a house at the end of the year!!!!

Anonymous said...

What you express is the same here also. It really is amazing how the Lord will continue to provide for us despite. I somehow just got a job that was in high demand, but it was meant to be and such a blessing and a gift considering the state of our economy. I have so many friends who have graduated and can't find even simple jobs.

oh, and linds is a total job hog. jk. :)