Unemployment again


By Eleanor Arnason | June 2, 2009 • I was in my favorite coffee shop on Sunday, ran into a guy I know and told him I’d been laid off.

He said, “I’m hearing that everywhere. Everyone is getting laid off.”

Facts and Fictions – Eleanor Arnason writes science fiction and fantasy. Occasional posts are republished with permission from her blog.

Yesterday, Patrick and I went to the grocery store, the Byerly’s closest to us. Byerly’s is a full service grocery with people who bag and carry out the groceries for the customers; and — like most local chains, though not the chains coming in from out of the state — it is union, which means better pay and more benefits for the workers.

The bagger in our lane was gone, taking out groceries for the person ahead of us. Patrick bagged our groceries himself and said he had been thinking of applying for a job as a bagger.

The clerk said, “We aren’t hiring now. In fact, we are laying off.”

As we were walking out, Pat said, “That really was my backup plan. I’ve been watching the baggers, to see what they do. I could do that job.”

A new, cheap grocery store has opened next to our Byerly’s, a non-union, out-of-state chain. I assume it’s hurting business, though Pat says the chain has a very poor selection. If people don’t have money, I don’t suppose that makes a difference.

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