Monday, January 24, 2011

Hard Times

The song, "Don't Give Up" above is about 5 years old.
Yet it's still so relevant today, it's like time's stood still.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, like everywhere across the U.S. and planet earth,  the unemployment rate is growing exponentially.
The fires, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides, tanking real estate and job market combined with the global economic meltdown hadn't helped  any.

Because part of my job involves doing my investigations/interviews/getting statements in subjects'  homes, I see what's happening to people's lives in a dramatic, physical, emotional and financial sense.
I ask if they are working or not.
I find out if they have lost wages, are on unemployment, disability, Worker's Comp or welfare.
I find out how much they are paid per hour or what their salary is.
So I get it when someone says they're broke.
They're really broke.

Yesterday someone asked me to photograph their empty refrigerator to prove they were so poor they could not afford food.

A few weeks ago, I watched while Rent-A-Center came and hauled out a living room of furniture while we sat on the floor and discussed what the family of a  sole provider on life support intends to do next.

Last week, I saw two little kids cry when the cable man came and took away their black
cable box... the one escape pod in an overcrowded apartment.
I dress in extra layers these days, because  many people have turned off their heat to save money.
Still others have had their heat and electricity cut off by the power company.
I have clients, now homeless, call me from the streets on stormy  Friday and Saturday nights talking about their misfortune or the possibility of suicide like others talk about the weather.
The shelters are overcrowded.
The food banks are almost empty.

The other day a client told me his  22 year old brother got out of jail for a" possession with intent to sell marijuana" charge and he can't even get a job interview. I didn't have the heart to say I suspect he'll go back into his prior line of work because there's no work now for kids with college degrees and/or high school diplomas with no prior criminal charges.

So this morning, when  I  came across the Willie Nelson/Sinead O'Conner duet  above on a friend's Facebook wall, I knew I had to post it here.
I'd never heard it before.... and I think it speaks to the displaced, the disenchanted and especially to those who feel discarded.

Good P.I.'s have empathy and can establish a rapport with just about anyone.
I think this song says what I wish I could put into words  in this blog.

Sometimes, all it takes to help another person through hard times is just "being there."
it's a cold cruel world indeed.

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