Snowflake Challenge Day 9: Commit an Act of Kindness. In your own space, share what you’ve done, talk about what you’ve done.
I remember a get-together back in 2008 with eight friends. Four of them, myself included, had lost their jobs during the Great Recession.
I was the only one who ever worked permanently again.
Back then, none of us could have imagined how radically and permanently the world had changed for us, how disposable 50-something women were, how much our lives would change. We weren’t yet aware of the little tricks companies had to weed out employment applications for people of our age. Can’t legally ask your birthdate? Ask for the date you graduated from high school . (Since I graduated from high school when I was 16, that effectively made me two years older than I actually was.) None of us knew about the online algorithms that hid employment offers from unwanted age groups. None of us knew we’d be sending hundreds of resumes out to the winds and never, or almost never, hearing anything back. I was one of the lucky ones. Networking worked for me; I first found part-time, then full time work. I also sold a lot of my belongings to pay for private health insurance.
In the years since then, particularly in the last few, I’ve been seeing more and more GoFundMe requests from women I’ve known for years. Car repairs. Medical bills. House payments. There’s so much need out there.
I’ve donated to those campaigns as I am able, two in the last month alone. And, because of my lifelong obsession with politics, about issues of injustice and inequality – including income inequality - I’ve done everything I can to point out all the structural reasons why the economy went off the cliff then, such as when the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999. I had a feeling then that action would lead to bad consequences, and, indeed, it has been singled out as one of the major contributors to the Great Recession.
Posted to LJ and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you prefer. :-)