Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tis the Season...

...to be jolly. Fa la la, la la la

Or so it should be. Unfortunately it's not jolly time for everyone. Last night I was watching the news and they announced over 400 jobs that were being cut in my area. 400 jobs in ONE DAY. It's shocking and sad to know these people and so many more will be without an income soon.

When economics take a turn for the worse and people are worried about Christmas and providing for their families, sometimes it brings out the worst in people.

I'm sure you've heard about the Walmart employee being trampled to death. I was at Walmart on Black Friday so I can assure you there was NOTHING in that store worth a man's life.

There is an email making it's way around town about an almost mugging incident at a local mall. The local news wasn't able to verify the details but it still gives you pause about how dangerous it is to be alone and vulnerable in ANY isolated place.

One of our employees had his car broken into and his wife's purse with all her credit cards, debit card, checks, etc was stolen on Friday. In UNDER AN HOUR the thief had wiped them clean with trips to Toys R Us and various other stores. He filed a police report so he won't be held liable for any of the charges but it was still very upsetting.

On the radio this morning I heard there is a new trend of "tip jacking". Basically you hand over your card at a restaurant and the server takes the liberty of adding a little extra on your bill. If you are not careful to keep receipts and check charges then you may never notice the extra .50 or $1. I actually had a $3 overcharge two months ago. I chalked it up to a mistake and my bank refunded the $3 to me, but now it makes me wonder.

I don't live in a bad area but people are desperate right now.

This isn't meant to bring you down but I want to make you aware of a few things.

First, I realize how blessed I am. S and I are both employed and able to live a very comfortable middle class life. For the most part our family is healthy and everyone is together.

Do your part. Whether it's donating to a worthy cause, buying a toy for a needy child, or just taking an extra second to thank a cashier - we all need a little extra cheer this year.

Be realistic. While I prefer to see the good in everyone there are bad people in the world. Or people that make bad decisions. Either way it's more important than ever to be aware of your surroundings and be cautious.

And more than anything pray for the people that are struggling and just trying to keep afloat right now. In October the unemployment rate rose to 6.5%. Job losses over the last 3 months totaled 651,000 and if there is one thing I'm certain about it's that this number is getting higher by the day.

Now that I've made you think I'm going to make you cry. Pop over to Kori's and read about her good news. Blessings come in many forms; hers came as an unexpected call.

Tomorrow I'll be back and promise no more PSA's.

105 comments:

Deborah said...

First comment! I enjoyed your blog although I agree this one is sad. The Walmart thing is so horrific. I'm behind on comment love because my 2 year old decided he would only sleep on me Tuesday night so I was up from 3 AM on! Merry very late SITSmas!

Denise said...

Thanks for the link to Kori's blog. Incredible!!! See after all the bad stuff you listed in your post, Kori's just shows us there ARE still good people.

Oh, my latest post is about Build-a-Bear stalking me. Couldn't resist!

Wolf said...

you know, i agree a lot with what you said. when i heard about the people getting trampled in walmart...the people being shot other places...i couldn't believe it. a lot of people are scared right now. we are looking toward our government to help...but...i could write a whole other post about that...

people need to remember that even in bad times, all we have is each other...and we are all struggling one way or another. it is so easy to forget that.

Brandy said...

Deborah: I know it's not my funniest post but I needed to get it off my chest. Hope I don't scare you off!

Denise: OMG! Not the build a bear...

Wolf: Your last sentence says a mouthful.

Jessica said...

It's true. We live in a world where people are too caught up in themselves and what they want, or think they need, for anyone to step back a pace and really look at the situation head on.

I'm like you, we aren't suffering right now. Not that it couldn't change, but our lives continue on in a merry sort of way, but I still see everyone around me. I still see that not everyone can be filled with good tidings and Christmas joy when they aren't sure how to get food on the table and gas in the car.

I'm off to check out Kori's blog. Have a great day!

90210 Organics said...

Thanks for "keeping it real". I have stopped watching the news because it seems no news is good news lately! We had a tough year with the loss of my grandmother but were blessed with some extra money. We decided to sponsor a child through World Help to show our children (and ourselves) that making a sacrifice for someone in need has its reward.
Even in the toughest times, someone has it tougher so you can count your blessings(:

Melissa B. said...

Hey there, SITSta! Thanks so much for coming by on Tuesday and leaving Seasonal Best Wishes. Those SITS Gals really know how to throw a Holiday Party, don't they? BTW, I've been nominated for a Pretty Neat Blog Award. If you have a chance, please come by my place and vote. Pretty Please?

Carrie said...

I pray for people's hearts to open up to giving and to close off to greed and deceit.

Great post Brandy!

Lula! said...

Brandy, this is SO good. Probably my fave from you so far. Wow...

~Trish~ said...

I agree, there are always those stupid people out there that ruin it for everyone. Also it is so sad about the layoffs. My work has so much going on, we cant hire people because of budget cuts! Crazy!!

Shannon said...

This is why I hardly watch the nightly news... it's too damn depressing.


BUT... I'm blessed with a happy healthy family. Shane's job is a stable one and we're fortunate that it is one that pays well enough for me to stay home with our girls. I pray for those who aren't as fortunate. This weekend I'm taking the girls to the mall to pick a child from the Angel Tree so maybe we can make a child's Christmas a little brighter.

And wasn't Kori's post amazing? Just as she is...

Veggie Mom said...

Hey, I'm returning visits from the FanTAbulous Merry SITSmas Event the other day. Thanks so much for visiting, and please...come by my place to see how to Pay It Forward during this Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

devilishsouthernbelle.net said...

News like this just tears me up. I can't imagine even being able to enjoy the holidays after that sort of loss. I consider myself very very lucky, too. I will definitely keep these people in my prayers!

What is this SITS I keep seeing you and your readers talking about? Is it an exclusive, private, cool kids club?

Lynette said...

Excellent post! We do need to think of all of those that are effected by the job cuts and such:(

Sissy said...

I'm all with you on the Wal-Mart trample fiasco. Seriously, are you kidding me? I knew I stayed away from Black Friday for a good reason.
Love your blog!

Kat said...

What happened to Kori and her family is nothing short of amazing. And with all the bad stuff in the world...it's so nice to read about the kindess of others.

WhiteSockGirl said...

Great post,... bad times indeed,.. Living in a third world country like I do, I always thought it can't get worse. But oh yeah, I was so wrong...

Rbarakat said...

bad stuff indeed but yay! thanks for the link to Lori's post!

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Yeah, it's pretty scary out there, for sure. And the worse the economy gets, the higher the crime rate goes. I, too, am feeling pretty blessed that we haven't personally been hit too badly. Yet.

Jeannie Finelli, RN said...

A sad fact that trust in people often makes you prey.

cat said...

Off course, we have been living with this kind of thing for years. Greetings from South Africa.

JamieH said...

It's sad that the world is kinda going down the crapper right now. I hope things start turning around soon that's for sure.

Yaya said...

Yes, this down economy is depressing. But it has made me appreciate my job. I used to complain about work, and now I feel shallow complaining because some people would just be happy to have a job.

Mimi said...

Great reminder!

K said...

The economy is more than a little depressing right now.

I'm so thankful my husband has a government job.

Thanks for the reminder.

carma said...

all good points to remember

Becky said...

I am in the Detroit area and this economy does make you thankful for the "little" things. I find myself thankful after a routine grocery trip! I know that there are others unable to do that, therefore we try and give to our food bank! Great post!

Jennifer Juniper said...

Scary stuff, thanks for calling it to light. happy sits!

Tiffany said...

That's an excellent post for any time of the year!

Jessica - This Is Worthwhile said...

Great reminder to be wise, thankful, and open to good things.

Lanie said...

Yep, sad. We are greedy Americans sometimes and don't realize how well we have it.

sandy said...

Very good post Brandy!

Happy SITSday:0)

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

The bad economy is definitely bringing out the worst in a lot of people...

Happy SITS Day! :)

James' Mommy said...

Hopefully things start turning around soon.

natalie said...

I am so grateful for all the little things. Just that we can pay our bills and buy food and share with those who need it is such a blessing.

Denise said...

This post is even more appropriate today than it was when you originally posted it. Thanks for the reminder.

Rachel said...

It's so sad the way things are right now. Those of us who are doing okay should remember to thank our lucky stars!

Bre said...

Great reminder to stay grateful for the little things and not let them get overrun with all the rest.

Little Miss Baker said...

wow what a story... :( Happy SITS Day though!!

glenna said...

Glad I found you thru SITS. The story you wrote is worth reading.

Laura said...

Great post. Happy SITS!!

Jessica said...

Thank you for your post today.... we all need to think about what's important

Sugar Mommy said...

Makes me thankful for what we have.

Happy SITS Day!

Rachel said...

What a very insightful post! Happy SITS Day!

2 Little Irish Boys said...

Thankful from Music City--Happy SITS Day!

Ali said...

Your message still holds true 5 months later.

Ronnica said...

These stressful times sure don't bring out the best of us, do they? I'm very forunate to have been blessed in this season, and I've been seeking to bless others as well.

Industrioushead said...

I feel the economic strain everyday, although I have a secure job. The cost of daily living has risen way beyond my earnings, it's unbelievable sometimes. Thank you for keeping it real and reminding us what is really very important.

StampinMom said...

Scary times girlfriend!

Jamie :)

Tonya said...

It is scary now...and I'm thankful that me and my fiance are both employed. I do pray for the people that are struggling. It has to be tough! Great post!

mommy4life said...

I do what I can to pay it forward and wish others would do the same. I try not to listen to the doom and gloom news.

Charmaine said...

Wow! Thanks for this post! This is a lot of good information!

Ashley said...

Thanks for a great post! We all need to be a little more thankful each day.

Reluctant Housewife said...

Good points well made.

Bottles Barbies And Boys said...

SO...Let me see if I got this straight.
What your saying is; life as we knew it will soon be over, so don't forget to be nice to the guy who's going to stab you, the minute you turn your back. ;)

Jodi said...

Very good view of things. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for what I have!

Happy SITS!

Amy said...

Comin over from SITS-

Such a crazy world we live in! I guess that's why we all have to do our best to keep smiling and help each other out!

meghanwelch said...

Great post.

ann ominous said...

great post!

Christine aka Mistress of Cakes said...

Luckily my husband is a Sheriff otherwise we might be a in that percentage...18 years thank God.

Robbie S. Redmon, LPC said...

Yes, you are blessed!

Zeemaid said...

A lot of great points!

I like that your blog refers back to other interesting reads you found on other sites.

Happy Sits day to you. :)

Amy said...

I've heard about that tipping things, so I've been extra careful with that. What people won't think of next.

Amy said...

That is crazy stuff. It really is sad when people think they have to resort to being dishonest to make ends meet. Happy SITS day!

Dianna said...

I thank God every day that I have a solid job in healthcare! Excellent post.

Chandy said...

Thanks! It helps to remind each other to be safe...

Katie said...

Thanks for this reminder to be thankful for what I have!!

Ashley said...

HAPPY SITS DAY!
You are so very right about being thankful. Great post!
Have a great day.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

This post was a great reminder!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Sarah said...

Happy SITS Day. Interesting post!

Cammie said...

awesome post! Good job

Michele said...

Happy SITS Day!! Loving you honesty, it made me think!
~Michele from "It's in the Bag!"

Sapphire said...

Great post! My hubby's job fell victim to this crappy economy, but thank God, he got an even better job a few months later.
We struggle, but we find the silver lining and keep it moving!!!
Funny you mention that Wal-Mart Black Friday trampling, because it's in the news again today. They settled for 2m.

Melissa said...

So well said. I had the tip thing done to me while I was waiting out labor. While waiting for contractions to get close enough to go to the hospital...we went for pancakes...when we got our statement...they had added $5. We went to the restaurant...showed our slip and they gave us our money back...the owner's face was very red...

Mandy said...

Man, I count my blessings that my husband and I are still employed. I can't believe how low some people will stoop to get money. We are just praying for the recession to end soon.

Hillori said...

so smartely stated. thank you....

Tara said...

Great post!!! thanks for keeping it real...

What A Card said...

Great post! Though I must admit you sparked my curiosity to check out the linked blog (it's private now :( I'm so nosy!)

hellosweetworld said...

Great post. I sure hope this economy does get better soon. And now that i've lost my job, i know how it is. But i know it could always get worse and am still thankful for the opportunities and support i do have.

Brooke said...

visiting from sits - and I try to count my blessings every day, although its hard.

imagine being in such a bad circumstance where stealing $0.50 or $1 made a noticible difference in your life??

Joy said...

I can't wrap my head around that trampling death.

piecemeal people said...

You know what I always think about at Christmas? The kids whose parents can't afford to get them anything. I wonder what they must think - wondering why Santa came to all of their friends' houses, but not theirs. It just breaks my heart. I decided last year that we'll be adopting a family at Christmas this year.

Safire said...

Great post. It's something to think about, even now. It is the time to start saving for Christmas so this doesn't happen. Happy SITS Day!

gretsky22 said...

Isn't it crazy what people are capable of doing when in a big mob? How sad.

I, like you, am definitely thankful for my job right now. We haven't had to lay anyone off yet, but we're cutting costs in every area to try and avoid doing so. I hope that we can keep everyone working!

Mandy said...

Crazy. I am also very thankful for the things we have...including jobs.

Susan said...

Here's to hoping that things are going to start looking up soon. I am so thankful for all that we have even though times are tough, they could be alot tougher.

Great post!

AP said...

great post!! HAPPY SITS DAY

Sarah said...

Let's hope start turning around by holiday time this year!
VISITING from SITS

Pricilla said...

Very true..and still timely.
Happy SITS day

meandtheblueskies.com said...

That's good advice in these tough times. And I did a post dedicated to the poor guy who was trampled to death at Walmart. It's scary. (in case you are wondering who this is, it's Preston. I've moved my blog from blogger to a wordpress blog that's hosted on my own domain name.)

Anita said...

Stopping by from SITS again Brandy........its' been a crazy day.
Our national economy hasn't really improved much since Dec, sadly. I think keeping it in perspective and doing the best you can with what you have, and being generous,is very helpful.

Kristi_runwatch said...

SITS hopping again - I agree, the economy is tough and people are getting desperate. Thanks for a great challenge to do what we can to help!

Tanielle said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I feel very blessed, even though I don't have much!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I'm trying to think good thoughts about the economy. Did you know that the stock market has risen 22% over the last two months? Believe it or not, my 401K is back to its pre-recession level. It was kind of a lucky fluke as our stock price rose by about $5 in a week, but it's good news anyway. Hopefully companies will start hiring again soon.

delilah said...

If the economy were a sandwich, I would step on it, and then burn it, and then flush the ashes down the toilet, because i'm just *done*.

delilah at www.unrulyhelpmeet.com

Lizgizzy said...

I have so many wishes, but one of them would be to not have bad things happen to people on Christmas. I really hope the economy turns around soon. Sigh!

Leslie said...

Amen, sista!

Rejoice in hope.
Endure in affliction.
Persevere in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Mama Nut said...

You're totally right! This economy really stinks, but there are so many happy things too. We are super poor right now, my husband is a college student and works part time at Walmart (he actually had to work on black Friday) and I stay at home with our 2 kids, one of which is special needs. but for some reason we have been able to make it! We are happy and we laugh a lot!!

Happy SITs!!

Amy said...

I hope things get better for everyone right now. I am so sad when people lose their jobs.

Kim said...

Great post! Really makes me appreciate our job and things we are able to do because of them.

Happy SITS Day!

Mommy of Many said...

thanks for sharing

Happy sits day!

christy rose said...

Looking to the hope for all of us is remembering that we are not going to die in this storm. This too shall pass. Hold on! It might be a wild ride, but we will make it!

Rachael said...

Logicallly I know that I'm blessed too, but I was laid off last September and we were struggling even before that. Thank you for this post.

Michelle said...

I couldnt click on Kori's blog it was password protected.

Yes, I love to count my blessings too.

Michelle said...

And sadly, the unemployment rate is now 8.9%... but 15.8% if you go for the total unemployment rate that includes the discouraged and the underemployed. *sigh* I've read that the REAL unemployment rate (shadow rate) is 22% that encompasses even more than the total by the BLS.

And yeah, people are really starting to disappoint me. In many ways... I just need to make sure it doesn't affect me. And that I do what I can to make life better for those around me.