If So Many Have Gone, Who Is Left?

Aug 9, 2009

I was talking to my brother a couple days ago and we were talking about the economy.

It’s bad. That’s spelled B-A-D,” he moaned.

“No, it’s spelled V-E-R-Y B-A-D,” I corrected, a habit of mine he doesn’t like me for. “Let’s hope the stock market gets back to 10,000. That seems, to me, to be a psychological barrier to hiring,” He interrupted: “I don’t care about the stock market anymore, I don’t care about real estate. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all about jobs,” he said heatedly before addressing the latest impact on his veterinary business — the closing of the overnight-shipping business DHL about 30 miles north of his Southern Ohio practice that employed 8,000 and provided incomes to some of his patients.

“Layoffs started coming by the hundreds.”

Now that those 8,000 have lost their jobs and their unemployment is now running out, those people are not taking their kitties to the vet for neutering; they’re choosing instead to keep their children’s inoculations current. They’re not taking on new dogs to their households that need feeding; they’re putting food on the table. If a decision needs to be made to provide an animal with life-extending medication or treatment that is often-times expensive, it is often made in the negative or delayed. “They’re choosing the bare minimum that keeps the animal alive. Who knows: maybe somewhere they’re thinking they may have to eat them,” he said, half jokingly. The stark and grim reality shone through in the statement.

Things are picking up around here, though, and sourcers are on the front line. I’m seeing the glimmer of recovery in some of the work that’s coming in. But it has a long way to go to reach 2007 levels. A long, long way, I know, but I still believe that 10,000 marker (it closed at 9,370 on Friday, Aug 7) is a psychological barrier to hiring: above it our phones are ringing off the hook; below it all goes quiet. It’s been like that for a long time. I hope, this time back, though, those in the CFO offices all across America aren’t so traumatized by losses that they’ve ratcheted that number up. They well could, taking a lesson from this travesty delivered to us by another SEC oversight. Time, will tell.

But, I ask the question again that brought you here; if so many have gone, who is left? Who is left in our profession that will be able to answer the call back to hiring? WHO has been able to weather this atomic blast to our economy all these many months and who has kept themselves ready to address the recovery after the nuclear winter? You?

How have you done that? I’m curious.

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