Saturday, February 21, 2009

Survival in this economy

Well, it's the weekend, and today I want to shed some "lyte" on the economy.  We were out last night with some friends and most of us had all worked in the sector that has flat-lined the most in the downturn, the construction industry.
Now for the sake of full disclosure, I didn't work in construction, I was married to it.  But for the last 3 years, my family has been an economic pinata.  My husband is unemployed right now and it is scary.  But we are both smart and resourceful people, so we'll work it out.
Anyway, one of our friends reinvented herself as a Barbie broker when she left the industry.  I am not kidding, she makes a nice living buying selling mostly Barbie accessories over the internet.  She was telling us that her business her in the US is practically nonexistent.  Most of her customers were now from the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. I guess those folks are taking advantage of the weak dollar.  But her sales have dropped considerably and she is contemplating looking for an outside job.
Another friend has opened a short-order grill at the bar we were all at.  He had worked in food service in college.  Now that his career in construction was temporarily derailed, he decided that people have to eat, he likes to cook, and this kitchen was available.
While we were there, my friend's husband got an alert on his phone that another bank had failed.  We all ganged up on him, asking why would anyone want to be alerted any time something bad happens?  I mean it is hard enough to keep your spirits up these days and wouldn't he be better off getting alerted when a cute kitten was born, or when a child laughed?
I guess it is all about adapting and coping.  Some of us will reinvent ourselves, some of us will rediscover ourselves.  Some will need to know what is happening, for others ignorance will be bliss.  The great part was we were all together and were able for a few hours to laugh, to tease, and to love.  And that's where our true riches lie.

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