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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Panic and Reprieve

First day back and the rumors are flying: 25% cut in instruction costs. A leaner and meaner school.

After a day of panic and trying to figure out who will be in the 25%, a new figure emerges: 10%. Less scary, unless you are among the unhappy few.

As always, the only thing one can do for definite sure is to be frugal. So, in that spirit, I went to the new Winn-Dixie, which was offering a $25.00 gift card with a transferred prescription.

I bought 11 pounds of cheese, which was on a killer sale. In times of stress, what could be better than a grilled cheese sandwich?

I guess the financial meltdown is not over. Are you still dealing with stress along those lines?


Duchesse said...

Isn't grilled cheese the most comforting thing? I have a number of friends in the US who lost their jobs in 08 and are still unemployed. Those over 55 have quietly told me that they think employment (full time with benefits) will not happen.

It's a worrying time for you- if not affected yourself, your colleagues will be. Please keep us posted.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--I don't want to jinx us, but I think we're pretty safe. The most vulnerable people are the most vulnerable in many ways, sadly.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Unemployment can happen at any time. I have done my best to prepare and just stop worrying about it. I do my best and try to move forward. And grill cheese sandwiches are the best.

Chance said...

There are waves of panic so high in Vermont that they are tsunamis...many of my unemployed friends, professionals, the over-educated, have become so discouraged that they have given up looking and at this point are just this side of homelessness. I'm not seeing the signs of economic recovery they keep talking about.

Funny about Money said...

The meltdown is far from over. Layoffs continue here, and the state continues to shut down or cut back service after service after service. We're told that unless voters approve the proposed tax hikes (historically impossible here in Arizona: this is a Kill-the-Beast state), education will be the next target to be devastate; now, though, we're talking Draconian.

If you're tenured, you're probably OK. At ASU, the cuts have targeted classified staff (especially IT people) and nontenure-track full-time faculty -- service professionals, lecturers, and instructors.

But if you're canned, there are worse things than to be shown the exit door from academe. Are you on the CELJ listserv? The current flap they're going on about is enough to give you a clue why faculty go insane and start shooting. What a bunch!

simple in France said...

I was a teacher in California for 5 whole years. I worked in 4 different schools. Three times I moved because I was either laid off or warned of a lay off and found another job in the meantime. I finally found secure work in a private school which seemed to be showing signs of loosing students . . .DH and I packed it up and moved to France.

I visited CA in November and can safely say that people are freaking out in a way I've never seen before. People bring up stuff they're mad about to complete strangers in the airport. . .or just rant about it for long periods of time.

It's weird, because the French are in trouble too. High unemployment, factories closing, government debt. But you don't quite get the sense that people are running scared. Possibly because there is more of a social safety net (your health care doesn't disappear with your job, for one!). AND this safety net remains untouched . . .so far.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Cubicle--The teacher's mindset is--we don't make much money, but we're safe if we have seniority. That's being tested all over the place now, sadly.

@Chance--This is the first time I'm feeling the panic here.

@Funny--Scary all over. I will probably be OK. It's sad, as I said before, that the most vulnerable are the most vulnerable in other ways too. No to the CLEJ question. My department head was pres of that org a few years back. Can't ask him because he's too stressed!

Frugal Scholar said...

@simple--I felt the panic very clearly during my recent trip to CA. As I also wrote, there's a lot of hostility to public employees of all stripes.

Revanche said...

Yes and no, I still know a number of people in the unemployed boat but I don't see that changing very quickly in the near future. Then again I never let down my guard so much to hope for the promised recovery so early this year.

I'm keeping Over the Cubicle Wall's comment as my mantra: Unemployment can happen at any time. And for any reason.

My good friend, the teacher, gets to find out starting on Monday whether or not to look forward to having a job next year.