The first economic casualty of this election found me yesterday. My favorite staff member in my apartment building told me that my landlord is outsourcing the staffing of the building in preparation for a recession that they think will hit in the coming months. The staff is being offered the chance to interview for the outsourced company, though there is no guarantee of a job and even if they do get a job, their pay will be cut and their housing subsidy will be taken away.
“Even if I get the job, they’re going to cut my pay by $3.50/hour,” he said to me. “And that’s going to hurt a lot. My last day could be November 30th if I don’t get this job. I was wondering if you could do me a favor, Christa. Would you write a recommendation letter for me that I could bring to the interview?”
My eyes teared up. This man has been a good friend to me, and really makes my building feel like home. He’s professional, kind, and caring. He loves his job and the people who live in my building. I’d pay double my rent to help him and the rest of the staff who do such a wonderful job helping all of us. I was prepared to take out my checkbook right there, and instead what he asked for was a letter. $3.50/hour is a lot to him; it makes the difference between being able to pay his bills and not being able to pay his bills. Let that sink in. He lives in D.C., a very expensive city, and makes less than $35,000/year before taxes, and that could drop to $27,000/year. That’s what he’s fighting for. That’s what he’d be grateful to get. This is the working poor. Right. Next. Door.
The President-elect, ensconced in his 3-story, 24K gold penthouse on Fifth Avenue, doesn’t care a lick about people like my friend. But you know what? I care. I can do something, and I will. I wrote my heart out in that reference letter for my friend. I’ll be writing a lot of letters in the coming days, weeks, and months. I’m not going to standby and watch our economy and our country go to hell in a hand-basket at the hands of an inexperienced madman and his cabinet of ignorants. Deplorable? Yes. Unstoppable? No.