This week alone, two people I am on a first-name basis with lost their jobs. Both were with relatively small companies; in one case I'm fairly positive it was a case of belt-tightening that got dropped on his head an unexpectedly as it did anyone else's. The other one, I'm not so sure of, but I had the feeling the handwriting on that particular wall was not so illegible that he couldn't have made it out without some squinting. I don't think either of them were at fault for anything; everything I see tells me this is just another symptom of the lousy-and-getting-lousier economy and nothing more than that.
The last time I talked to either of these folks face-to-face was earlier in the year, when the economy looked shaky but $50-a-barrel oil and the implosion of the Rust Belt would have been seen as irresponsible doomsaying. And now I can only imagine what will happen in the next six months, although I try not to let such things preoccupy my thoughts — there's so much to do right in front of me that getting mired down in a general sense of catastrophe isn't going to help.
I hate saying anything as trite as "we'll get by", but that's the only thing I can come back to that feels remotely honest. Somehow, we muddle through — although I'd rather we be in a position where we didn't have to.
The last word I'll leave to my old friends Front 242:
We will stagger Lose out bearings On and on Yes, there can be no Obvious answers As we move on, and on and on, We must tremble Lame and humble On and on ... [*]