Saturday, October 11, 2008

Woke up early this morning and thought about our friend Ira. Ira owns a personnel agency and places people in temporary positions and finds other people permanent jobs, as well. Yesterday, a woman from his Temple called and asked if he would find her a job. She's 80 years old.

Seems she and her husband, who is not well, have a annuity that now has become worthless or at least is no longer paying out. So she needs a job to support her sick husband and asked Ira to help her find one.

We have a guy at work who came to us this time last year. He was on his wife's medical plan and decided to keep it. He developed a medical issue this spring that allows him to still work, with interludes off for surgery, but he has handsful and handsful and handsful of unpaid medical invoices at the moment. Their family, two children, is really struggling and he is desperate for more hours or any other consideration I could give him. I told him he didn't need more hours or another raise, but rather a loan. Or a gift of cash. He said he couldn't take that from me. I groaned and sighed and now watch him work all kinds of hours he is not physically up to and do work that he is far over-trained and over-experienced for. He never, ever complains about physical pain or humiliation. I do not know how to help him. How to make his burden less or his life easier. When school started, I gave him a Costco gift card. He was aghast. He said, This is 3 months of Costco shopping for us. Thank you. I was afraid he was starting to cry, so I dipped back out of his doorway and zipped up the hall. Physical pain I can endure. Emotional pain in someone else I am utterly no good at.

I finished a tax return this week that I have been working on since May. It was difficult, complex, with several interwoven transactions that leave room for contradictory interpretations of the law that have great propensity for pinning my ears back. But I don't think we'll get an audit notice. I'm confident I nailed it. All of it. It was very hard and when it was signed and the interview was over, I sat back in my chair, with my door shut, and listened to the quiet. It was like a long term house guest had left. The return was 151 pages. I was not relieved, but rather happy. I worked in depth in areas that I practice to extent I never have before. The laws have changed and there are new laws. This was very, very tough. I was happy to get and mount a new mega-challenge. I do not dislike things that are hard.

But I think what is coming up in our society is going to be so hard; so really hard and I am afraid I will not be able to cope with the pain out there that people are having and will have. I see and hear so many startling things everyday now. There's the obvious financial pain but as well, people are so mean to each other. They say incredibly mean things about other people in making political points and there is bona fide enjoyment at others' misfortunes. I know they are suffering on some level and that it's the pain that talks. I know that.

But I don't know how to help. And that for me, is really hard. And I am afraid.


JBelle
Bellemaison
The 'Kan EWA

8 comments:

Carla said...

These are hard times we're in. Scary times. I hope we'll all be okay, but so many aren't.

MarmiteToasty said...

There has never been a week since being on me own completely with me lads when I have not been scared, scared if I would be able to keep a roof over their heads, feed them, grow them, and do everything that I possibly could for everyone...... dont think there has even been a day when I have not worried about what will become of us...... BUT.... it takes a lot of planning and grafting and hoping and juggling and KNOWING and believing in oneself..... scared, I know scared every day... especially now with being such a crimple....cant do me job proper, cant get something else .... but, I would give my last penny to someone if they needed it more then we did.... and often Ive given to someone when I didnt even have it myself.....

I love you JBelle......

x

The Fool said...

Well said, Cheechako. That pain - so often expressed now - is at the root. And not a candidate addresses it.

JBelle said...

Carla, IF there was ever a time for some political leadership, this would be the time. I have a better understanding of why FDR was so beloved to the people of this country. He was a leader of the finest sorts and I wish his reincarnation would surface right this minute!

JBelle said...

I love you back, Mel. It does take a lot of believing in one's self. But the vast majority of the people in this country work for and are wholly dependent upon someone else for their livelihood. I don't know what it's like there but at the moment, here we are all knee deep in fear.

JBelle said...

Homer, I think the GOP wanted this to be an election about foreign policy and service and honor to and of one's country. I think the Demos wanted it to be about President George Bush. That's all changed now; we are in deep, muddy water of a kind neither candidate has much expertise in--the collape of the financial markets is the October surprise that seemed so apparent back in February and March to me. I just never believed the election could really be about what the GOP and the Dems wanted it to be and son of a gun, wasn't I just right.Whoever wins will lose because this is a mess of epic proportions, the biggest of our life, and it ain't gonna be an easy, quick or pretty fix.

MarmiteToasty said...

ps.....my fear is only for my lads.... if it was just me, I wouldnt have fear.... its just fear mainly that Im doing this right and doing right by them...that is my main fear.... and now just typing that has bought me to tears.....

nite you.....xxx

Inland Empire Girl said...

...and I am afraid also. I had a deep feeling in my gut this was coming. For me, I can do those smaller things with the students I work with. We try to make sure their basic needs we can support are met. It may just be a bar of soap or a sweatshirt.