Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blue Collar Tough: Confession Tuesday

It's confession Tuesday but I'm going to start with promotions. Do check out Male Monday at Reading In Color. Ari is a fresh, welcomed voice in the YA book blogosphere. Good reading. This week, Ali, my co-host at Worducopia is hosting CORA Diversity Roll Call, and we're discussing boys and books and book covers. You'll find multiple links to great recommendations, but I want to point out Zetta's article about how male teen characters are sketched and writers' social/cultural responsibility. A thought-provoking piece that asks some serious questions worth discussing.

Okay, now on to the drama. Yesterday, I got my hair done. A sista was looking raggedy because I was way overdue (I love having my hair done and locs must be tightened occasionally but I hate making the trip). While there, a friend from work called me about the current threat of a layoff. In the past, I worried myself sick. We're union and I'm at the bottom of the totem pole. If there's a layoff in my department, I'm gone. This time though, I told my girlfriend, yes I heard the rumors, but I'm not stressing. I'm done worrying about it because stressing doesn't serve me.

We're in Michigan. Our unemployment rate is double-digit. I work for the county, and for the last year I've watched business drop off for all vendors. I live in great suburb where there were lots of small, thriving businesses. I've watched a lot of them close up and those who remain are barely holding on. And let's not talk about family and friends. It's easier to list off who is still working than those who are not. Personally, I've been feeling the weight of the economic downturn for a while. At this point, I've gone into survival mode. I accept these are hard times and for me, getting laid off is just one more episode in an already depressing year.

I am doing what I can with what I have. I have been unemployed before. In fact, I've been fired in the past, and I have lived below the poverty line. I also made it to the other side of those difficult times. I know I can make it again. This is hardly where I expected to be at this stage in my life, but well, I am.

I have other life work that brings me joy and gives me a sense of purpose. I have my family and friends. I know how to hustle. We'll eat and we'll have a place to stay. For now, I'm holding on. As long as I can do that, I am hopeful.

13 comments:

zettaelliott said...

I hope this doesn't sound corny, but THAT is the "American spirit" that conservatives so love to toss into every soapbox speech. We are a resilient people, and I admire your optimism. I have moments of panic around my own joblessness, but most days I feel like you: I've been here before, I have survival skills and enough smart to get by, and trouble don't last always...

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It makes me very very angry that people in our own country have to suffer while we send millions to other countries, and spend millions on weapon systems, etc, etc, etc. I can't get started on this: it upsets my stomach. But I hate hate hate that you or anyone else has to worry about basic livelihood! It's just not right.

Doret said...

I wish I was brave enough to confess.

Color Online said...

Doret,
I'm really not brave. Years of therapy, friend. One of the basics tenets is to not share with others anything that you think they can use against you. When I share, the issue is disarmed. No one can use it against me.

Zetta, might be corny but true. My daughter says I'm optimist. Sometimes I think I am because I simply refuse to give up.

Rhapsody, thanks. I get angry too. Today, I'm resigned but okay.

MissAttitude said...

I agree with Zetta that this is the American Spirit!
You are so brave and strong Susan! The country is gonna get through this, but it makes me so sad that so many, many people will suffer before the economy gets better.
Thank you for this confession.

Chris said...

I'm a lurker, but I think I may start commenting over here :) Kudos to you for keeping such a positive outlook during these difficult times. It's a ruly hard thing to do, but it sure does make all the difference in the world!

susan said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for delurking. :-) I love to chat. Would love to hear from you. Thanks.

Shalonda said...

I too must note your optimistic point of view. These are hard times, and it is great to see your positive spirit.

Ali said...

Oh, no! Portland's unemployment rate stinks right now, too, and I know too many who've been laid off in the past few weeks. Positive attitude or not--here's hoping you won't be one of them, Susan.

susan said...

Thanks, Ali and Shalonda. After all this time, I'm still surprised how many read my confessions. Thanks again.

January said...

Stay strong and hopeful, my dear. If a storm is coming, you know you have to prepare for it. So do what you can to brace for it but try not to stress about something that hasn't happened yet.

You're so busy I don't know how you do it. But Yea for you.

(Totally understand the need to get your hair did. It's necessary maintainance.)

susan said...

Thanks January.

Lenore said...

I'm freelance and I've been noticing a sharp downturn in jobs offered to me. And for the first time, I don't get jobs because I'm considered too expensive and a competitor will work for less. I'm optimistic though. I have savings and less work means more reading time.