Saturday, 4 April 2009

Funky days

Spring is finally creeping in. I've spent the past couple of weeks whining about how shitty the weather is, now that the sun has finally begun to grace us here in lovely Windsor, I thought for sure I'd be happy about it. Then I looked outside. The grim task of reassembling my yard is inching ever closer. Yuck. Tomorrow we're going out there, yard waste bags in hand to start the inevitable task.

Or maybe we won't. We'll see.

On to business.

The economy sucks everywhere; that's not exactly news these days. It seems to be a hot topic of conversation around kitchen tables, between hockey games. Obviously people are scared, some with more reason than others. Some are not affected at all in any direct way, their jobs are safe for one reason or another. Thankfully, there are still people out there who maintain optimism. Hell, someone has to. Around coffee with friends tonight the topic of optimism came up. One overwhelming conclusion is that there isn't enough of it. There isn't enough positive news anywhere. The mainstream media is constantly blabbling on about how bad it is and how bad it will get before it gets better. My advise to CNN, CBS, CBC, NBC and the rest is simply to have a big bowl of shut the fuck up.

Here's the problem in a nutshell - economy goes south, news stations report it, people get nervous and start turning inwards to defend what they have, the news gets worse again, people stop spending based on this bad news, economy gets worse, media reports how bad it's getting, people get scared and stop spending, yadda yadda yadda. There is no good news to report, or at least very little, but nobody reports the good news. Nobody tells the general public that there are companies out there making a difference, they instead concentrate on the news that brings ratings - bad shit. People are sensationalist hens. They follow any train wreck or ambulance they see, and then freak out about the reporting. Y2K ring a bell?

How about a news story that buoys up people's optimism and spirits. How about some fucking hope?

A certain company I know of is just as scared. They aren't making money hand over fist, but there are aspects of the operation that are profitable. The problem is that because of the fear factor, everything is frozen. All spending, hiring, renumeration, expenses, everything. Only the most essential costs may be covered. This company needs a new piece of kit in the profitable operation, in order to make even more money. It can't buy it because of the cuts. Why?

Why does corporate fear ripple down throughout all aspects of the company, even parts that make money? Why not encourage that company to make more, thus increasing confidence in shareholders, increasing confidence from the public, and the debt holders. Make people optimistic again. Make money, make jobs, make the public happy again.

If more companies did this, and the media reported it, what would the result be? Maybe the recession will be in site of ending. Maybe it will put people back to work. Maybe it will at the very least, change perceptions and lead to new hope.

Obviously, many are in no position to even think positive. People are still losing their homes and their lives are in ruin. It's too late for many. The unemployment rate in Windsor is hovering at around 13 percent. It's much higher when you account for those on temporary layoff, social services, or completely unaccounted for by any sort of social net. People are leaving this city in droves, which scares the hell out of the rest of us. Admittedly we have been affected by the downturn; it hasn't been easy, but luckily our situation was of another cause. We can be dropped into the basket with the rest of those affected simply by statistics; we are just one more one-income household. The prospect of job hunting in this economy is a scary thought for our family, just as it is for thousands of other around here. But we'll persevere and move forward. We'll be optimistic, and we'll move forward. We have to be in that mindset, if we don't, fear will take over and we're sunk.

The sun will rise again on Windsor and on our home. It will also rise on the world economy. It isn't the first time we've gone through this, I just think it's the first time that the world has been as closely connected, such that the awareness of every aspect of the situation is under a collective global microscope.

Maybe that connectivity is what can help us all recover. Maybe everyone will band together and see that there is truly hope, and that we can all start enjoying life again.


1 comment:

  1. That's exactly what I've been saying for many months now. Fear is permeating corporations, and it's trickle down effect is crippling the morale of every employee in those organizations. You might enjoy a book I recently had published, "Life Under the Corporate Microscope"---my irreverent perspective of a small and fun-loving company called Enterprise Rent-a-Car, which grew into a humorless bureaucracy.


Yell at me...