Some people are more privileged than others. Talking about class is even more taboo than talking about race.
One American Dream used to be owning your own business and working for yourself. It wasn’t having some jerk with an MBA and efficiency studies ride your ass, while you stand for hours on the concrete floor of a big box store.
But the elites of degree bearing privileged folks have turned that one into hell.
Welcome to the nightmare you folks created. Bet y’all thought it could never happen to you.
Two years, almost 750 job applications. Not one viable offer. This is what the American Dream has been reduced to
Sunday, Mar 15, 2015
Ron Dziuda’s family calls it “the black cloud.’’
Sue shakes her head and tries to explain this concept at her dining room table.
“There’s that black cloud again.’’
The black cloud – this nagging sense that things will go wrong and never get quite right again – appeared over the Dziudas’ life in July 2009 when he lost his sales and marketing job at industrial components-maker Misumi USA. At first, it didn’t seem that bad. This father of four had lost jobs before. His experience, smarts and can-do attitude always helped him bounce back.
But this was in the depths of America’s most punishing economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment was rising fast and job-seekers of any age were having the toughest times of their lives finding work. And Ron wasn’t just any age – at 54, he started finding his gray hair and crow’s feet overshadowed his expertise and energy.
So the black cloud moved in to stay. For three years – 33 months, to be exact – Ron endured a drumbeat of humiliations: he lost his job, his savings, his confidence. He and Sue burned down their retirement accounts one by one; they borrowed from their own son to pay the mortgage; they racked up credit card debt to put food on the table. Ron applied for 800 jobs. One night he turned to Sue and confessed he didn’t think he’d ever get back on his feet.
He finally emerged in the spring of 2012 with a position selling sandblasters for Pangborn Group. At last he was out of the woods. But the black cloud barely budged. They shake their heads when I ask if they’ll ever feel secure again.
“Now to rebuild everything I had, and build from there and even try to build for retirement? It’s going to be incredible,’’ Ron says. “I mean all the credit cards are maxed out, so those got to be paid off, and there’s no equity in the house …’’
Sue is blunter.
“I’ll still live in fear,’’ she says. “I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable.’’