Geez, this economy is sucking! As of late, there doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by when I don’t hear of layoffs, either from mass media or from my Twitter stream.
It is in times like these when we should take time to appreciate what we have. I feel very fortunate to be gainfully and happily employed at Widgetbox. Will and Giles and our Board of Directors have done a great job of managing our funding, so much so that I know I have job for at least two more years. I daily experience a bit of cognitive dissonance when I realize that my position in a startup is more secure than many people in established companies.
I have been running around wrapped in my cozy little security blanket of a job. Sure, I’ve acknowledged that the economy is tough for a lot of people. I’ve even been trying to do my part by spending in local businesses. But the severity of the economic situation didn’t really rock me to my core until last night.
I was having a drink with a friend who does fine finish carpentry, and we started discussing how difficult things are out there. It turns out he is actively thinking about re-enlisting in the Navy after nigh 20 years away. He feels this is one of the few choices left to him to support his family. This really shook me up. Tonight, I called some of my best friends to quiz them on how they are set for maintaining their mortgage over the coming shaky financial times, because I needed to know that they are likely to be alright.
But, this is not just a time to buckle down, count my pennies, and continue living in the relative comfort that I have achieved. It is a time for action.
"No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manner of thine own Or of thine friend’s were. Each man’s death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee." – John Donne
I feel a need to bring my blessings to bear on this economic crisis. I look about me to take stock of what I have. Whereas I am financially stable, I don’t have the financial wherewithal to employ anyone else, nor to pay for their housing. But, I do have quite a bit of space in this great apartment of mine, and I know that my privacy needs are flexible enough to deal with a shared-living-space arrangement…
Here is my proposal: If you are in my extended circle of community (Burners, techies, Twitterati, etc.) and you have suffered a financial setback (such as a layoff) and you could use some rent-relief to get back on your feet, you should get in touch with me. I am open to the opportunity of sharing my space with a fellow community member for low (or maybe even no) rent.
I don’t know what’s going to happen from this. Maybe no one wants to share a space with me? Maybe the economy makes a sharp upswing? Maybe, maybe, maybe… This is what I have to offer, and I’ll be glad if I can help someone out.
PS. I gotta give a shout-out to Toyota in this economic climate. If I were buying a vehicle, I’d prefer to support a company that operates in accordance with the very American ideals of education and recognition of service, rather than American-based companies that wallow in mismanagement and short-sightedness.