I have been on a much needed and much enjoyed vacation for the last couple of weeks. Well, it look me a week to catch up on my time off. It's nice to be back in the groove.
This trip took something out of me. While I was traveling up north, I met a number of people who are in job transition - some unemployed, some under-employed, some on the edge, others having given up. They don't know me. They don't read blogs. A few know Facebook. Twitter is a noise the morning birds make. Foursquare sounds like something on Mars. How many followers I have or number of blog hits is more than immaterial and sounds like Greek. This cloud is irrelevant to many of them.
It puts a lump in my throat listening to these stories.
A few stories in particular stayed with me. One story of a single mom with her children struggling. Her ex-husband has been unemployed for the last two years and doesn't help. She is working three part time jobs trying to stay ahead of the bills and keep a roof over their heads. She doesn't want pity or welfare or handouts; she would love a good job with benefits so she can take care of her family. She talks about moving but needs a job to go to, a car that could reliably get her there and a place to stay when starting over.
Another person works part time and suffers with medical issues. He would work more if he didn't lose Medicaid insurance.
There are others. You know some of these stories too. What is WRONG WITH THIS SCENARIO?
I listen to more stories of people who can't sell their homes and can't find jobs. With all my knowledge, my experience and my electronic presence, I can't do a damn thing for them. I can't create jobs. I know great people in the state of Michigan who are ready, willing and able to work. My words feel hollow but I wish I could do more, to bring jobs here. I know that I am not the only one wishing this.