Monday, March 22, 2010

100 lbs of Weed & A Dad We Laid Off a Year Ago

I have a blog post today, not about health “care” reform, but about the impact of recession on one dude I know. I’m running payroll today, and I just came across his name. This 30ish guy has worked with us off and on for almost a decade. He has a common law wife and five kids of his own and a nephew living with them as well. He’s a good worker, not the brightest of the bunch, but overall responsible, generally level headed and does a good job in the shop.

He looks like a cholo, like any one of these guys, a bit scary if you don’t know him, you might not want to meet up with him in a dark alley. We’ve had quite a few guys like these working with us over the years, shop workers generally aren’t the same guys you find working in offices, and sometimes they look a bit rough around the edges.

Two years ago we had fifty people on payroll, today we have five full time and two part time workers. This dude is one of the part timers. When it first became obvious about a year ago, that something was drastically wrong and we needed to radically reorganize to keep from losing everything, laying off people was very hard. I would hear platitudes like, “folks will bounce back, and there are other options out there.” But where I live there aren’t other options out there, for anyone, not just for cholitos.

So when we read about this dude last Friday being busted for moving 100 pounds of weed from Texas, my husband took it kinda hard. We know we had no choice but to lay him off, and when we brought him back it was very part time, and we know that he didn’t have to choose to move weed between Texas and Michigan, but we also know that truly there are no options for work in our county. Mr. Cholo had the dream of becoming a General Contractor, but with the crash that dream died too. No one is building, period. No one is hiring, period. Businesses are running over our southern boarder to Ohio as fast as they can. Thanks Jenny, I thought DC was going to call you up. Excuse me Mr. President, don’t you need another dream killer in DC? Don’t over look us in Michigan, Jennifer Granholm is available to kill dreams too, don’t pass this opportunity by. Don’t you see what wonderful work she has done?


We must or our nation is toast. I’ve had it with the BS that business owners are money grubbing, self centered a-holes. We are the people who provide the opportunity for families to live a stable life. We offer people the opportunity to earn a living, working hard yes, but keeping a roof over their head. When decent, hard working people have to turn to a life of crime to keep their family fed we are coming unglued as a society. I’ve known this man for a decade. He’s not a criminal. I know because we’ve employed criminals, including ex-felons. He’s not a criminal, what he did was criminal, but he did it because he’s a dude between a rock and seven mouths to feed, and now they won’t have him for a long time. That sucks, end of rant.

St. Joseph the Worker, Pray for Us.


Thou Art Jules said...

This is so sad and a testament to what is happening all around the nation right now. We have a police scanner at home and some of the desperate things people are doing is heartbreaking.

Anne Marie said...

Truly I was in tears cutting his check. I opened the envelop and wrote a note to him and his wife that I would pray to Our Lady for him and his family, and that Our Lady of Guadalupe would intercede for us all.

My husband reminded me that he has three nephews not one in his home, kids that he was caring for to keep them out of the foster system.

He also reminded me that the dude doesn’t even partake of the product; so he wasn’t moving any of the weed for personal use, or because of any particular association with the lifestyle. It was only for the money, and then as I was thinking about him I recalled how much he hated being away from home when the guys had to travel to job sites and he couldn’t be away from home for very long before he started going stir crazy and then I though how hard it must be for his wife with all those little kids when he was away for just a short time and then I was thinking about him going up the river, on Federal charges and how freaked out he and his wife must be.

I know he broke the law, I recognize that what he did was a crime, but I know this guy. He’s not made it a habit of running around breaking the law. He’s not a troublemaker; he’s a family guy, although not going about it in traditional way.

Ranting again, I’m beside myself.

Please pray for him and his family.

Katie said...

That's sad :(

Ranee @ Arabian Knits said...

That is sad. I agree with your conclusion, too.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've never gotten a job from a poor person. We do need to help the poor, but not by demonizing and attacking businesses and the so-called wealthy.