Encouraging Read: Laid Off & Loving It

February 23, 2009

Laid Off & Loving It via Boston Globe.


  • Reply bkp February 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    It seems like the NYT, Boston Globe, and Washington Post are obsessed with how this recession has affected only one group of citizens: middle-to-upper-middle class white Americans. As touching as this article is, and really, how nice for these families, this is not the reality faced by the majority of Americans around the country. Their reality is not a question of cutting back on Whole Foods, or eliminating the nanny, or using their “time off” to enjoy a cooking class–instead, it is one of foreclosure, no severance packages, the lack of healthcare, and trying to make unemployment benefits stretch a whole lot farther than before.

    I don’t begrudge this family, or others like them, their newfound joy in the everyday. But after reading so many of these “lifestyle human interest” features, it’s near impossible to realize how dire the situation is for people who aren’t so privileged.

    • Reply decor8 February 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm

      Great point, BKP. But some of the points are timely and encouraging — Pursue hobbies, spend more time with family, try to find enjoyment in the down time esp if you cannot control the situation, etc. I just extracted those points from it and found some good advice there. I never take ski trips nor do I shop at Whole Foods on a weekly basis so some of it wasn’t helpful to me either!

  • Reply Anna @ D16 February 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I’m afraid I had the same reaction to this article as bkp did. I understand the author’s intent, but it’s just not reality for people who are finding themselves suddenly thrust into a life of true poverty. If you’re worried about how you’re going to pay for medication for your sick child or are losing your home, finding anything positive about unemployment is extremely difficult.

    This is an article about the upper middle class, not about the people who have been hurt the most by the recession and job loss.

    Again, I understand the intent, and I think it’s great for these families (and, if I were to lose my job, I would certainly try to make the most of the situation) in the article, but it just rubs me the wrong way…big time.

    Anna @ D16s last blog post: Matte ebony floors.

  • Reply heather{dot}com February 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I see where the other comments are coming from, but…it’s kind of nice to see a positive spin on the economy – not all doom and gloom. The thing I got from this – and something I’ve been thinking about lately – is that sometimes we need to reprioritize .

  • Reply Lolly February 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I don’t understand. Should stories about the economy focus only on those hardest hit? This is a story about people who are trying to find the positive in the face of being unemployed. Should they apologize for being better off before they lost their jobs?
    My adjusted gross income for 2008 was about $10,000. I borrowed an additional $15,000 from my parents. I haven’t had a steady job since 2007, and I am not eligible for unemployment. But I have only $1500 in credit card debt and I paid for my car with cash. The fact that I’m not struggling as much as so many other people doesn’t diminish my struggling, nor does the fact that others are struggling less.
    I agree with heather{dot}com — it’s nice to see some positive stories about the economy.

  • Reply Sasha February 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    It is nice to see the media look at unemployment from a variety of perspectives. Too much of news coverage focuses on negative aspects of our economic climate. While no one wants to find themselves laid off, why shouldn’t people make the best of their situation? As someone who was recently laid off, time is my most abundant resource, and I am making the most of it while I search of a job.

  • Reply bkp February 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Re: heather{dot}com’s & Lolly’s comments — My point was not that these articles shouldn’t be published or that we shouldn’t read them. My point was that these articles aren’t the ONLY ones that should be published in these papers. The Times especially has a pretty good track record of being willfully ignorant of lower-income issues (esp. with respect to this recession), probably because lower-income people aren’t reading their paper, unlike the people who ARE featured in these human interest stories. It’s just another instance of class marginalization and privilege rearing its ugly head.

    I realize this is a decorating blog and probably not the best venue for this type of discussion, but it’s frustrating to see the disparity in news coverate in some of the most mainstream, widely read papers. It’s like acknowledging the recession is trendy now, but only if the recession isn’t actually touching you too badly that you can’t afford to take that cooking class you’ve always wanted to take.

    • Reply decor8 February 23, 2009 at 6:32 pm

      BKP – A discussion on this topic is absolutely fine with me, no worries at all.

  • Reply { kattyface } February 24, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Yikes, I am almost afraid to add fuel to the fire here!

    Firstly, as someone who is newly laid off from a design job and thrust into some very real hardships, I will admit being flustered by this article. I have always been a conservative spender and a strict saver, but I have two loans, a chronic health condition, NO severance package and now no health insurance.

    Being laid of is hardly a walk in the park, and I was not provided with some of the cushy benefits these families were given, such as severance. Unlike Mr. Dwyer, I can’t afford my medical bills, let alone a class at the Harvard Extension School.

    However, that all out of my system, I think that this is a good example of of families that showed excellent survival skills by aptly saving for unknown future circumstances. They obviously earnestly made and saved enough money to pay rent/mortgage, pay the bills, buy groceries, etc., which is something that I wish I could boast for many other families in America.

    The housing crisis proves that too many people bit off more than they could chew, which rather unfortunately barreled into the rest of us, even those who lived and worked within their means. Granted, the families in this article may be well outside the average family income bracket, but they didn’t spend lavishly either. They planned, and saved.

    I am glad this was posted – great discussion!

    { kattyface }s last blog post: { job loss }

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