Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nancy Hubbard: How this is not just my problem

How this is not just my problem ... Everyone else who is affected by my unemployment

By Nancy Hubbard (laid off seven weeks and counting)

As we notice the ripple effect of high unemployment (I live in Oregon, which is second highest in the nation in unemployment), I thought I would create a list of all the people whose income was reduced by my unemployment. 

This is a micro-example of what happens to our economy when industries fail.

  • The local newspaper (cancelled daily delivery)
  • Housekeeping service (cancelled)
  • Weekly landscaping service (cancelled)
  • My horse trainer/coach (cancelled lessons, increased trail riding)
  • My health club (cancelled – I can run outside anytime I want)
  • The high-end grocery store (I now shop at a bargain grocery store)
  • My horseshoer (I pulled the shoes off my horses and moved their trims to seven weeks instead of five or six)
  • Doggy daycare provider (they go less often … but need to go still because I can’t work with them at home!)
  • My hair stylist (still go, but stretch out the intervals)
  • The nail salon (paint my own toenails)
  • The tree trimmer (a friend is going to take down all those branches hanging on by a thread)
  • The equipment rental store (borrowed a power washer from a friend)
  • Local restaurant (we used to go once a week)
  • Movie theater (we go less and try to get the lower daytime rates when we go)
  • Pole barn supplier/builder (I was just about to add on to my barn when I got laid off)
  • Various clothing stores, both online and local (I still look, but don’t do much buying)
  • Cell phone provider (I reduced my service package)
  • Home telephone provider (reduced service package)
  • Feed store (I buy essentials, not extras)
  • Dentist (not doing the cleaning that isn’t covered by my insurance)
  • Furniture store (I made a simple credenza instead of buying one)
  • Airlines (we cancelled our plans for short getaway trips)
  • Equine veterinarian (I’m administering my own vaccinations)
  • Local nursery (buying seeds instead of starter plants for my garden)
  • Local utility provider (lowered temperature on thermostat)

This might be why I have guilt with me all of the time. Sometimes I can stuff guilt deep into my back pocket, but most of the time guilt rides up front on my shoulders. I hope no one got laid off because of me.

Nancy Hubbard is guest blogging on Laid Off Loser April 30 and May 1 as part of her project offering to work any job for free for two days. Hubbard, who recently was laid off from her job as a development and construction manager in the health service industry, lives in Wilsonville, Oregon. She can be reached by e-mailing


  1. Why would you feel such guilt? Was this your fault in any way? Probably not, and you're having to make tough decisions in an incredibly challenging economic environment.

    Think of the flip side - soon you'll be able to help all of these business' by re-hiring them.

  2. A good example of how we're all impacted by what's going on economically! Bet we've all made changes like that, whether we've lost a job or not. I know I have.

  3. Nancy, you forgot to add the dry cleaner!
    One business that should be doing great now is the chocolate related one!! We have to compensate the lost job satisfaction with something else!

  4. Thanks Silvia, I'm sure I missed some others as well. My husband says that he should be on the list since his income, lifestyle and eating habits have all been effected. Nice that there is such a fancy name for potato, leek, onion and broth soup (Vichyssoise)....but I guess he wasn't fooled!