By the recession lately I mean. A couple of weeks back I was logged into Gtalk as I flitted between making lunch and catching up on news one weekday morning. Hearing the familiar ping of an incoming IM, I switched windows to be pleasantly surprised by a friend from my undergrad. Career and motherhood had all but ensured that she had disappeared from my life. As we exchanged pleasantries, she queried “Has the recession affected you?”
I struggled to put in words what I thought. No. I have not been personally affected but yet I have been touched by it. Friends and loved ones have lost jobs. I have seen pay freezes and seen people I know take pay cuts. I have seen people put spending on the back burner as they reevaluated their now diminished 401K values.
I felt the 2001 recession affected me much more than the current one. Images of applying and waiting to hear from recruiters still haunt me. That phase affected me more than anything else. So much so that I have taken it as a mission to help as many people as I can if I know we have job openings at work or if I know of some place that is hiring. Sometimes I wonder if I put people off by appearing too eager to help them. How do I explain that feeling of “I have been in your shoes and I know the helplessness…”
Anyways, back to what has been affecting me for a few days now. The media has been rife with images of people losing homes, losing jobs, struggling to make payments. Have any of you seen any upside to this whole economic phenomenon? Like people spending more time with family, planning vacations that are big on together time rather than places seen. Or an opportunity to change careers or start a business. Has the ‘desi’ mentality of saving paid off?
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.