In My Own Words - Ron Centeno

a collection of thoughts and my own words

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How Low Can You Go?

Written by Ron Centeno

Nothing can be more of a detailed description how economic downturn in the U. S. is best exemplified by the story published on 28 February 2009 by the New York Times. The title of the article is aptly called, “After Being Laid Off, an Unexpected Career Change.”

According to the article, nine months ago, Mark Cooper lost his job as the security manager for the western United States for a Fortune 500 company that oversaw a budget of $1.2 million and earning about $70,000 a year. That was then. Now, Mr. Cooper makes $12 an hour as a janitor.

The likes of Mr. Cooper, however, is not unique. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that “about 1.7 million people were working part-time in January because they could not find full-time work.” The article added that “architects, former sales managers and executives who have taken on lower-paying, stop-gap jobs to help make ends meet, found that they were working for places like U.P.S., a Verizon Wireless call center and a liquor store.”

The article gave more stunning accounts of laid-off executives whose once lucrative income vanished into thin air when the companies they have been working suffered economic setbacks since the onset of recession in 2007.

In the case of Mr. Cooper and his wife who own a comfortable four-bedroom home in Glendale, Arizona, the $240 a week unemployment benefit would not be enough to cover their monthly mortgage.

Left without a choice, “Mr. Cooper rises every day at 4 a.m. and, after a time of prayer, devotes two hours to his job hunt on the computer.” He makes phone contacts during breaks from his pickup truck which he calls his “office.”

Indeed, life has gone from bad to worse in most cases. As another former executive who used to earn $165,000 a year and now gets $10 - $15 an hour as a data entry mournfully admits “It has been the hardest thing in my life. It has been harder than my divorce from my husband. It has really been even worse than the death of my mother.”

I’m sure many of us are profoundly affected by the recession and hope that it would end in the soonest possible time. For all of us who may or may not share the same personal crisis as Mr. Cooper, his heartbreaking courage to “vigorously shake out a rug at a back entrance and pushing a dust mop down a long hallway” should humble us to boldly face what life there is at times like this.

May God help us all!

14 Your Thoughts/Comments Here::

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

May God help us all is right Ron!!

Steady On
Reggie Girl

David Funk said...

Tough times indeed. And unfortunately, I don't think we've seen the worst of yet.

It really does reflect how bad it has gotten when you read about Mark Cooper's story.

This was very well-written and presented for what we're enduring now.

Take care buddy!


P.S. Thanks for the very kind words on my blog yesterday, too.

Shinade said...

Hi Ron,
First I wanted to srop by and say thank you for all of your wonderful visits to my blogs.

Then I want to add this. I am forever the eternal optimistic idealist.

Just as the earth has to experience different seasons to fully bring forth her strength and the same for us and life.

Hard times come for a reason. We have been an over-privileged, greedy, spoiled, and selfish society for a long time now.

When we get through this, and we will. Perhaps we will learn to appreciate our blessings a little more.


Shei says: said...

hi ron.. magandang umaga sau kablogger..salamat sa always!!

gillboard said...

I'm grateful eventhough I'm still here in the Philippines, I'm still receiving a steady income and working for a great company. I love my job!!!

Even if I'm not earning as much as before...

Mokong™ said...

Pareng Ron...thanks sa comment mo...medyo ok n ko...recovering na lang from surgery.

Dinah said...

Us Filipinos are known for our resiliency, willingness and ability to adapt to any situations. And sanay tayong magtiis. Thats the problem din with pampered societies eh, hirap sila mag-cope. But still, I wouldnt wish any of these things to happen even to my worst enemy.

Nice post!

You may want to check out this forum thread at PMT on Bakit Mahirap ang Pinoy

shydub said...

You are right america's economy is getting worse.
Hard to get a decent job around here. I'm glad hubby's job is safe from any recession.

Ron Centeno said...

Reggie girl, may God help us indeed.

David, i believe you, we have not seen the worst yet.

Jackie, you are always full of hope. We need more like you.

Shei, thanks for dropping by!

Gilbert pare , you are blessd to have a steady job and more because you love it.

Sherwin, I'm glad to hear from you. Fast recovery pare!

Dinah,tama ka. Thanks!

Shydub, I'm happy for you.

john said...

I hope and pray that all goes well with you and your family there Pareng Ron. That is one reason why I chose to stay and work here in the Philippines at least I have a stable job and a security of tenure here being in the civil service. The U.S. economic slump really scares me not only because of its effect in the worlds economies including the Philippines but also because if the United states falls it could be the end of Democracy and Peace in the International Community. It is an undeniable fact that if the U.S. falls, the power vacuum that it would create will cause chaos and there would be unimaginable power struggle in the international community and the consequences of this can be terrifying. I hope that the U.S. economy would be able to recover soon.

Shinade said...

I pray daily that soon America will once again be the loving and giving country that we once were.

It is going to take us years to get this mess sorted out over here left behind Bush's disastrous 8 years as president.

But, I have faith that if our other leaders will listen to the millions that cried out and demanded change this past November....will listen and co-operate with our wonderful new President.

We are working very hard over here to root out all of the crooks that have destroyed us as a nation both morally, ethically, and financially.

The road is long ahead of us. But, we are a nation made from descendants of immigrants from all over the globe. We are a strong people and we will endure this long road.

When the sun does shine down on us again then we will once again reach our hands out to help less fortunate countries that are suffering more than we have ever known.

This is my prayer and the prayer of millions of Americans.

Also I think your quiz was right on.


ck_leick said...

we can go higher

maxiVelasco said...

it's true. everyone's affected i guess with the economic crisis.

but somehow, with much discipline and hardwork, we manage to survive. with simple pleasures, we can stay happy though it's difficult to say... contented.

nice post!

anyway, i decided to post the first four featured followers (including you) on the follower spot of my blog. hope it can make you happy somehow.

thanks again for the support.

Lanie, said...

Hi Ron, thanks for following My Kitchen, I will add you blog too for me to follow. I was touch your post here. A lot of people got affected of this economy crises. My dh also been let go before the economy get worse and his been working in the company called Wyeth for almost 21 years, but we are doing well, just need to tight the budget and still have our own shelter. Thanks God

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