Redline Doc

Jul 8, 2009 - 2 minute read - Commentary of the times

Its Monday -- everybody works on Monday

That line from the movie “Dave” would be poignant if it were not so sad here . Most of the people I see want to work – but there is no work. “Work was something that used to exist” – Jean Sheppard – and he was talking about the “Great Depression”. Alas it was neither great nor did we learn from it. But I digress.

Yesterday one of my patients arrived all smiles and cheery; yes.. he just got a job. A real job in a field (food service) he wanted to work in. There’s something radiant about someone who just got a job, a glow and an aura about them. He had been jobless for nearly 1 12 years, looking looking but not finding much of anything. A sniff a lead and he was overjoyed.

I hear much talk about how the poor make themselves that way. I see something quite different. I go to the stores in the neighborhood where change is made poorly and incorrectly. At first I thought this an oversight but it happens so frequently that I realized that this is a way of doing business to increase profits, since many don’t check the change. There is loansharking for food, an egregious plot on the poor where 30$ in groceries on Thursday becomes 60$ (or more) on Monday. It doesn’t need much enforcement since there really isn’t much alternative place to go. Additionally the stores carry such small cans of items (2 ravioli in a can), that the prices end up enormous for minimal nutritional value.

Work is hard to find in this poor urban area. Transportation is available but not always convenient. There are dangers, the indolent prey on the poor. There aren’t many but ripoffs and knockdowns occur regularly. Most people travel with one hand free.

My guy. All smiles. He’s looking forward to work. I think most are. Its depressing being marked “poor” and then no places to work. Poor areas become poorer. Business shys away from the area. Poor areas become poorer yet. The spiral continues.

I wish that all the folks here could feel the joy – pleasure – of work, of a job.

Its Monday. Everyone SHOULD work on Monday