15 March, 2010
To quote a song from Skip James, "Hard times is here people. They're everywhere you go." It's common knowledge that the US economy is in the crapper. Cities have lost jobs due to factory closings and such. The town I live in had a factory close quite awhile ago and most people were expecting something to happen instantly. The first people affected by the closing were, obviously, the factory employees themselves but the town didn't dry up as some people feared. Since the factory closed, the effects have trickled down to a lot of other places in town. The railroad and trucking industries took a big hit because supplies didn't need to be brought in and there were no products to take out. The local stores have suffered a lack of business because people don't have any expendable income. Bars, restaurants, liquor stores, grocery stores and such have reduced operating hours because there's no more need to stay open late. Unless, of course, they haven't gone out of business altogether. With so many people out of work, the types of jobs a person wouldn't even consider before are suddenly taken and work in general can be hard to find. It's general knowledge that the trucking industry is usually the first to suffer from a downturn in the economy, but it also is usually the first to recover from a crappy economy. Being a truck mechanic, I was affected by the local factory closing soon after the truckers. If there's not enough products to haul, they can't work, and if the truckers aren't working they don't need their trucks worked on. Because of this, the amount of hours I put in has gone down and it's hurting me financially. Not that I was a rich man before, I just didn't have to worry about money too much, but lately there's a gloomy feeling over everything. It's difficult some days to remain somewhat happy with life. I keep telling myself that I need to be thankful for what I do have. Still, sometimes it's hard to shake that gloomy feeling. Especially when I walked by a local liquor store yesterday and saw that the product on the shelves was wearing thin and the coolers were empty. I've been watching this particular liquor store slowly die and it saddens me because seeing the place so low on product means there isn't money to buy new product to restock the shelves. Since there's hardly anything to sell... Well, you know what comes next. It's the thought of how, in this current economical situation, I could suddenly find myself out of work. It's this thought that is always in the back of my head and I have to keep making an effort to not let that thought dominate my daily life. If I lost my job I have some reserves to live off of, but it won't support me for long. I also think about where I'd be able to find another job. I probably wouldn't be able to find work as a mechanic too easily. The other shops in the area are just as slow as the one I work at. I told myself years ago when I finally got back into my chosen career that I wouldn't let it slip away again. But if I find myself needing a new job, I'm not going to be very picky. I'll take what I can get and hang on until things get better. It's all we can do really. Just hang on. I've heard many people say that the worst has come and things are starting to get better, but can we believe it? Are the people saying how things are getting better just trying to keep our spirits up? I don't know for sure, nor do I care. What I'm concentrating on is how people are beginning to be upbeat and positive. To me, it's the first sign that we, as a society, are beginning to pick ourselves up and are hoping for a better tomorrow. It's this human spirit that I find myself relying upon more an more. We just have to hang on. We'll make it through this.