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recession hits home
monday, may 4, 2009


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it really was bound to happen eventually; we're just lucky it didn't hit the job that's actually paying the bills. this recession has been hitting the restaurant business pretty hard, especially out here where multicultural seems to be the thing and there are half a dozen on almost every corner. one of our favorite high ends places (we liked going when at dragon*con) closed out all its locations across the nation plus the locations of two other restaurants that were run by the same company. our favorite chinese place went out of business last month and we've seen more and more empty restaurant type buildings on the one main street where most of them are...and no one has been trying to open anything new in them. business where kitten has been working has been slow for months now, and last night the owner finally decided to let it go. he's been losing money since before she started there and finally reached the end of his ability to keep it up. he paid her her last check in cash, she got a few tips, and we got to walk out with some free food.

kitten is devastated. i've tried to tell her she's been laid off and can qualify for unemployment, but she's in that state right now where everything is lost. i explained, as did several of her coworkers, that this is the first in a long journey of jobs and career moves on her part, but she's in that bad head space where life has completely fallen apart, so isn't listening too well. this is to be expected. losing a job is a hard thing.

what is not helpful is the husband's total tank in mood. he's freaking out over the loss of income, and it's just not doing any good right now. i've got my hands full with her, i don't need to juggle his emotional meltdown as well. especially since we always make it and, while it will require a little belt tightening to make up for some extra expenses she brought into the house (baby!), we'll find ways through this time as well. and i know that fitts will step in when she needs it. he knows we've been strapped and struggling to make ends meet before this, so i seriously doubt he's going to bail on her now. hell, the guy is putting his tax return in to pay for the divorce attorney and bought just about everything she has for baby cat—the bed, the gate for the doorways, a ton of clothes, and so on and so forth. he's not going to step back now when serious things like food and diapers are at stake. i can understand it bothering her, but she'll be covered. so the husband? he needs to chill.

the one i'm most sad for is taz. he LIKED working there and was finally focusing on kitchen/cook work. and finding an opportunity like this for him again is going to be difficult, especially if kitten avoids restaurant work in the future. i tried explaining that the restaurant is closed to him this morning, but i'm not quite sure he gets it. he asked about going in this week and i told him he wouldn't be going there again. then he asked about the specific days this week, and i had to repeat that, no, he would not be going in, but i don't know if he understands that means he won't go in next week either. i put a note down to his teacher in his communication book explaining the situation, and hopefully she'll help with that. besides, she needed a warning in case his behavior is off. he was off one day last week and it really upset him. hopefully we have enough warning and will get enough reinforcement that it won't be as bad this week.

the other thing this has put a damper on is taz's cooking classes. with the extra coming in for food, i figured we could find a way to swing the $133 for the flex-pass until we could find funding for the yearly fee, but now that might not be possible until she does find something else to help cover at least a portion of the food and the baby care and personal items she needs. he really enjoyed his "try out" class and wants to go back, so i hope we can find a grant for him soon.

the one good thing is that kitten isn't letting any moss grow under her feet. she's not doing what a lot of people do when they sudddenly become unemployed and wallowing in the misery. she's already putting in apps online and we're discussing schools and filling out her fasfa. she's going to need to finalize her education to move into a career and really should have had this started back in january for a fall college entry. saxy isn't so thrilled with this, but she will get aide both from the military and will qualify for a pell grant if nothing else. she's looking into programs that will allow her to do the work/lectures online so we don't have to put more strain on the car and take her back and forth to schools that are down in atlanta, which is about 30-40 minutes away without traffic. unlike california, there aren't 2 year colleges in the outlying areas; almost all the colleges are in bigger cities, and atlanta is the closest, as far as i know. the point is, she's not just sitting around. she's already moving forward. so the recession may have finally hit home for us, but she's not letting it stick around if she can help it. and that's a very good thing.

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