Karen came home from work today upset that her boss wants to cut her hours from full time to only two days a week. How does an employee respond to that? We just had a baby. Our expenses are increasing, not decreasing. She’s a damned good graphic designer (and marketing coordinator) and she gets asked to go to part time overnight? I’m sure everything will be alright, but for the time being, this is really bad news for us.
Neither of us could raise our spirits enough to cook dinner, so we walked to Main and Meadow to get some carry out. While we waited for our food at European Market, Rob Cardwell* from Channel 6 was filming a news piece comparing the uncertainty on Wall Street to “Main Street” (literally, West Main Street in Richmond – probably a knock-off of this morning’s NPR story with the same concept). So, wouldn’t you know that I had to vent about Karen’s potential layoff? On camera… wearing a mic. Please don’t call me a media whore, since I’m in print this month too. But that was food stuff. This is serious.
So, I get in front of the camera and start going off about the economy. Tell me if I went too far. Here’s my loose paraphrase:
It’s not the businesses we need to be worried about. It’s the people who work for them. My wife has a full time job, five days a week – she works as a professional and her boss just asked her to go to two days a week. I mean, is that ridiculous or what? Can anyone watching this imagine paying your bills on only two days pay? I don’t know if there is a financial crisis, but all of the media hysteria is making small businesses freak out and downsize, making shortsighted decisions that don’t take into consideration the real consequences for their employees and their families.
After that, Karen and I went home to commiserate. At the time of this writing, I haven’t seen the 11 o’clock news yet. My bit didn’t make for good soundbites. I hope I didn’t get Karen fired. Not that it would be significantly worse news. But seriously, if there’s a news crew looking for the truth on how economic issues affect regular people, wouldn’t you stop and tell them if you were me? Or maybe my outburst was likewise shortsighted? Well, I was defending my wife, anyhow. Regardless, now we’ve got to figure out how to piece together enough income to keep our family afloat. Any suggestions? Anyone need a graphic designer?
*Rob Cardwell was appropriately compassionate and I think his piece turned out to be fairly informative, in an ADHD sorta way. Nice guy.
Well, I saw it and they cut it down to a snippet. Just the part that goes “my wife works full time and her boss pulled her aside to ask her if she would reduce her time to two days per week. That’s a ridiculous question.” I guess that reinforces their point that the sky is falling. Thanks, media. Actually, my larger point was mostly reflected in Rob Cardwell’s epilogue that people are also affected by economic matters. Wonder who else saw it. Maybe my bit will prevent further layoffs by employers. Better check Buttermilk and Molasses to see if John is liveblogging the tirade. Then, to the classifieds I guess.