Did anyone else find it ironic that this holiday weekend - Labor Day - was kicked off yesterday with what has become universally known as The Disappointing Jobs Report? ZERO growth? Recovery? What recovery? Them boys who fancy themselves Economists seem to be a little out of touch with the rest of us...but then, I guess they still have jobs.
I don't see how its possible that we could enter a double dip of this recession when to the regular Joe, things feel just as bad as they did when this whole mess started. I don't know about you but this kind of "even Steven" zero growth is just disheartening, even for the most optomisic of us.
Things are tough out there for sure. Have you seen some of the lines for job fairs? Heard some of the stories? And have you taken the time to look at this site? Just heartbreaking. Help is wanted alright - for these folks who are unemployed.
Friend, I'm here to tell you that if you have a good job, or if you know for certain that you can pay your bills so that you can read this, you need to immediately fall to your knees and thank God that the Hand of Provision is on you.
We live in a part of the country that was hit hard by unemployment. We know someone with a small cleaning business who was hard pressed to find anyone willing to work odd hours for just about minimum wage not too long ago. Recently he put an ad in the local paper to hire another worker and no less than 160 people applied. That's one hundred and sixty real people with real stories who have a real need for a job. Somewhere out there 160 families are wondering when they are going to get evicted or are wondering if they have enough spare change to go to The Dollar Store to try and find a meal for that day. More than likely 160 people cried themselves to sleep out of sheer frustration at their situation ...and that crappy job may just change their lives.
I gotta tell you, I've about had it with my friends in "The Bubble" who aren't affected by this economic crisis. All them folks driving to work, talking to their friends on fancy phones, and listening to cruel people on the radio talking about all the lazy no-goodnicks who are sittin' around eating cheetos and scamming unemployment, courtesy of their tax money.
The Bureau of Labor Stats will tell you that we only have about 9.1% unemployment and some folks on the news tries to spin it like its no big deal because there have been jobs added. Until of course they go back and revise those numbers. You know all that 'growth' they've been talking about this summer? Well guess what - most of its just a sham. Turns out that in June and July there were not as many jobs added as they originally advertised. The real numbers are about 58,000 jobs LESS than reported.
And don't get me started on the long term unemployed. Those are the folks who have been off work for more than 6 months. And no one wants to hire them. These are the folks who need jobs the most and there are companies who actually put in their jobs listings "Unemployed need not apply."
Are you kidding? Who does that and how can they live with themselves? It defies all logic and frankly its just cruel. Honestly, who do you think would be more likely to run into work everyday, get there early and stay late - someone who's house/car/life you saved by giving them a break? Or someone who's leaving a good job because they didn't get the best parking spot, or someone they work with farted wrong, or whatever ridiculous excuse that special little snowflake is using that day? It just doens't make sense.
The lack of compassion that I see in these situations is just gutting. I hear that these "we don't want you" companies are afraid that the long term unemployed have "lost their edge" and their skills are gone. Oh no no no, Friend. That just ain't right thinking at all. I think it has more to do with the person hiring being uncomfortable with the person they are interviewing. They don't want to see someone that might look "desperate." Well guess what? They ARE desparate and they need help.
And if you think for a second that those people "deserve" it or there must be something wrong with them? Think on this - if this double dip is coming, look around your cube farm - which one of your colleagues is gonna get that packet from HR? Who do you know that is the only source of income for their family.... and they are the one to get escorted out of the building by security?
What if its you? It won't be so funny when you reach out to your contacts - and no one will call you back. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and then YOU are that long term unemployed person. Bet you wish that someone would give you a break.
One of the things I'm most proud of from back in my corporate days was that I got a lot of people jobs. Life changing jobs. All someone had to do was send me an email or call me and I'd do whatever I could to help them out - I didn't even particularly have to like them but I did it anyway. I don't believe in karma, but I do believe in doing Good Works. Is there an unemployed person out there who is trying to contact you? Are you avoiding them so you don't have to be uncomfortable around them? Now is the time for you to take action.
While you are grilling up big steaks and patting yourself on the back for all your hard work on this Labor Day, take a second to put yourself in the unemployed shoes. Think about these people who just need a chance. Then first thing on Tuesday call that person up - and then invite them to lunch. And for heavens sakes tell you the meal is on you so they don't have to decline because they don't have the money. Work up a little compassion for your fellow man and don't fall for the lie that the long term unemployed or under-employed need not apply. And then pray that you are never on the other side of the table.
Friend, things are tough. That's why we all have to be in this together.
Happy Labor Day? I dunno about that one but I'm hoping for brighter days ahead.