How Low Will It Go?

March 1, 2009

The spiraling, sputtering economy is throwing off jobs – and careers – like the hot air balloon pilot cutting loose sandbags in an attempt to gain altitude.

My friend the home salesman was let go a few months ago, ahead of the tidal wave that is rippling through our economy.  The national builder he worked for just pulled up stakes from Colorado and left town. 

A fraternity brother in the home improvement business called with news of a layoff from his Baltimore tool company, after 15 years on the job. 

A woman who graduated from Butler with me (but majored in psychology) spread word of her layoff from an Indianapolis advertising agency through Facebook.  

A groomsman from my wedding can’t find work in Indiana, so the electrician travels to West Virginia to work – coming home on the weekends to be with his girls. 

A friend from the gym thought his job was safe because he was the only IT person at a small insurance firm, but he was laid off. 

Just seven months into the job, an advertising executive lured to Indianapolis by a large electronics firm is sacked as business sours.  His list of local contacts is limited, to say the least.

A relative in the Florida hospitality business worries when word hits the papers that sagging vacation commitments have forced layoffs at his blue-chip company – voluntary layoffs at first, but more pain to come.

The only bright spot – so far — in my circle of laid off friends is the adaptable computer expert who endures the personal pain of a layoff but lands another job before his severance is spent.

Others keep their heads low and nose to the grindstone as contracts expire, new business slows, and companies everywhere look for things to throw overboard.

How low can it go?  Much lower, probably.

Somehow, I don’t think nationalizing the financial networks and health care system is the answer. 

Who’s going to be left to pay the bill?

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2 Responses to “How Low Will It Go?”

  1. Paul Sabbah Says:

    I used to chuckle when I saw how frugal my in-laws used to be; they lived thru the depression and it made an indelible mark on them. Now I find myself examining every expense, each fixed cost, each “luxury,” all to determine if I can somehow reduce the price, push off the expense to another time, stretch our cash. And each time I do that, I somehow contribute to the downward spiral.

    Our long stretch of consumptive excess is at an end….so while the medicine sure tastes bad, I sure hope that the cure will have a lasting, positive effect.

  2. Ed Illig Says:

    That’s quite a litany of casualty. Paul’s note above describes the “downward spiral” dilemma aptly. For more than a few reasons my confidence is all but nadir where our leaders are concerned.

    My heart goes out to your friends and mine, Dave. My contribution: to get out there and do my utmost – to stay off your list.


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