One of the millions…

31 Aug

It’s hard to stay upbeat and positive today when so many Americans – and especially Floridians – are losing their homes, are unemployed (including highly qualified professionals), foraging for work, and finding that the sense of belonging (along the lines of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) is no longer important.Maslow Hierarchy of Needs More and more people are on the bottom rung of the Maslow’s pyramid (at left) – barely able to support the basic essentials of life for themselves and their families.

At this point in my life (over 40), I never thought I’d be where I am today – nor have many of my friends.  In today’s economic downturned times, it seems that single females over 40 are “foraging” more and more to find bits of work, pay their bills, find “decent” supportive friends, and survive!  Hardly the future we had envisioned as youngsters…

I don’t know about you, but when millions of people are struggling to make ends meet with the basic physiological needs in life (food, shelter, clothing) – being nice seems to come second.  It is rare these days to meet friendly salespeople, courteous drivers, happy shoppers, upbeat friends – and I believe that when people are scrambling to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage – people are no longer nice.

I’ve written here in the past about friends, family, colleagues, etc. who say things that are downright ugly and insensitive… and the trend seems to be increasing!  And it doesn’t seem to matter how nice I am – it has little relationship with the behavior that emanates from others.

Have you noticed this too or is it just me?

I feel fortunate to have friends and colleagues around the world who I can turn to using the internet/instant messaging – and who are supportive and genuine.  In Tampa, this doesn’t seem to be the case as people say whatever enters their head first and foremost, and seldom apologize for their verbal diarhhea.  Let me give you a few examples – and then please (PLEASE!) let me know if you’ve found any of the same these days:

– a friend of mine is in a relationship with a male from another country who she met in Florida 6 months ago.  They frequently text each other or talk on the phone and both have a positive outlook on what the future might bring.  Unfortunately for my friend, her closest family member (a married sister) chides her daily and forewarns her (the sister’s words) that a long-distance relationship is unlikely to work out.  There is no science or proof behind the statement, but that never stops the sister from spouting.  Aside from not sharing anything with her sister, do you have any advice?

– my home is in a short sale position (not a positive experience – this will be the subject of a future blog and potentially an ABC news story to expose the shoddy treatment by Bank of America over the past 7 months!) — and someone I considered a friend belabored me on Sunday that I should expect a visit from a sheriff to evict me in a one-hour timeframe when my short sale goes through based on a national scare tactics news story.  My realtor and my lawyers tell me that such an assertion is untrue – which leaves me to wonder, why use “warmongering type tactics” to scare me during an already stressful situation?  What would you say?

– other friends are desperately seeking jobs (anything!) to make ends meet and are told that they are too old for waitressing or bartending jobs (in their 40’s) and cannot land decent work. As formerly self-employed people, they are not eligible for unemployment payments and are having a difficult time finding even menial labor positions.  Invariably, these friends are lectured by other friends and family members (who are employed) that they are simply not trying hard enough to find work.  It is amazing to me how others can cast judgment when their situation is secure.

I guess that “we” are simply one of the millions these days in America – land of opportunity – who are foraging to find a financially sound foundation on which to build our futures.  Some of us had our finances stolen or taken from us through divorce or other mishap, while others have had stretches of lean times (with more to come).  It is a travesty to meet wonderful, energy filled women who have been beaten down by the economy and by societal rejection (not finding a job@) or by so-called friends and partners – to the point that they are barely surviving.

Welcome to being one of the millions – whatever happened to being one in a million (not in this economy!)

Wishing you a good week!


p.s., Time to say thank you again to the wonderful people in my life who truly make a difference:  Dan (my brother), Gerald, Kim, Janet, Alicia, Narmila, Darja, Marion, Mary, Bill, Steve, Bruce (all colleagues and friends) and so many others (sorry if I missed singling you out!)  You all make life worthwhile – thank you for being you!  In this day of unkept promises, self-centeredness and pontification – you all are wonderful exceptions!  You are perfect examples of the friend I hope I am to you.

2 Responses to “One of the millions…”

  1. Hollis Monday, September 5, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    From among the thousands of articles being floated on the topic of unemployment, here are a couple of snippets from the Business Insider as reprinted in the NY Post:

    There has been zero job growth in the past decade. Adding underemployment and
    discouraged workers to the main stat, only 47% of the work force is fully employed. (I have heard elsewhere that the “participation rate” of eligible workers is 65%, suggesting a 35% effective unemployment rate. Whichever stat is closet to being correct, they are both appalling)

    If you have been unemployed fr a day, there is a 70% chance you won’t find a job in the next month. If you have been unemployed for a year, there’s a 91% chance you won’t find a job in the next month. More than one in four jobs created last year were temporary. And the stats go on…

    Although women may (or may not) be affected disproportionately more than men, the problem is so massive and pervasive that it seems to overshadow almost everything else our country is worrying about. Soon we may ALL be foraging….


    • Carol Dekkers Monday, September 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm #


      Thank you for your insightful comments. I think it is despicable that our congress and state leaders don’t focus on jobs because THEY HAVE ONE FOR THEIR ELECTED TERMS!

      Amazing that we keep electing rich people and those who put their own interests before the majority of working class Americans.

      Hope you are doing well!


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