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Hitting Close to Home

So, I've heard all this talk about the economy and how shitty it is. I haven't really been impacted all that much. Sure, my grocery and gas bills are taking a huge chunk of my entry-level salary, but I've been doing OK. We cut back on eating out (well, I did, Travis still eats out for almost every breakfast and lunch), and we are being a lot more conscious of what is going on with our money. But we don't have 401ks yet. My company matches, but I don't really have the extra money to spare right now. I was hoping I could start when I got my raise this year, but it wasn't even "cost-of-living", so there went that idea. (My theory is you miss it less if you do it when you get a raise because you were living on the previous number and you hadn't gotten used to the new amount. My bring home went up less than 100 bucks a month, and I really needed every penny I could get at that point.) But, like I said, we don't have 401ks that took a huge hit, or anything like that. We both have jobs (although I wonder everyday if mine is going to be here when I get here in the morning...). We are really doing OK. We haven't personally been hit by anything extraordinarily horrible during all of this bullshit.

And then I get this email from my dad:

"Well, Lynetta [my step mom] lost her job today. Her boss said that they didn't have enough work, so she didn't need to come back.
"Not sure what we will do about that. Couldn't have happened at a worse time."
Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT!

It's hitting a lot closer to home now. I hadn't really known anyone who had gotten laid off (at least, not anyone very close to me). Until now. And, it's really starting to settle in for me now. And it makes my chest hurt. Like, seriously. As if I needed another reason to be stressed or another reason to keep me up at night--so worried sick that I can't sleep. And, now, I'm even more worried about my job because she had no clue it was coming, and I know our office is having a hard time since of the "change of management" (i.e., the guy who sold his business to our business five years ago opened his business back up this year and took all our clients). Corporate seems committed to getting this office back on its feet, but I can't help but wonder how long that commitment is going to last. It's been almost a year since the guy left. And, we still have no clients of our own--just working for corporate's clients right now.

Fortunately, dad says they can make it at least a few months on what they have put back. It will totally wipe them out, but they won't lose their house or destroy their credit for at least a few months. If my step-mom can get unemployment (yeah, watch her not be able to get it, but some piece of shit who doesn't deserve it--because they QUIT--has no trouble getting it--and, yes, I'm speaking of a specific case, so I know the shit goes on) for a couple months, that will maybe give them a little more time. Then, their credit will take a huge hit when the bills start coming in late, and, eventually, they will lose their house if she can't get another job. Things are tight for them, too.

So, I guess no one cares about my personal stories. I really try to keep it to a minimum at this point. But, I thought this was a very pertinent issue. I hope that everyone can take it to heart. It could be your parents, you, or me next. It's not going to be a very good Christmas this year--and I don't just mean because we won't have any presents.

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