Friday, February 27, 2009

Tales from the recession

I had this computer fix-it guy come back by the house today. He had helped me out back in November, I can't recall if I commented on it. Suffice it to say that he is not an exemplar of advanced computer knowledge, I was mildly surprised that they could charge a hundred bucks an hour for him but, I figure, this is what the market will bear. I've seen sys admin guys in a corporate setting who were also not great talents, so this is just how it goes, I figure. And he was an Obama supporter too, which you can't assume in a New Jersey "legacy" demographic (Italian, Jewish, Polish).

Anyway, he got all the data I considered critical, but he missed some stuff I thought I'd never need. Turned out, I needed it for work. So he comes back by the house and extracts the hard drive and connects it to this thingamajiggy and I'll moving data to my laptop, and we start talking. "How's business?" I ask. "Slow, he says. You would think people would be fixing computers rather than buying new ones, but I'm getting like three calls a week." "You got another job?" "Yeah, I work at a WaWa's (a convenience store) on Sunday, just for the extra 60-70 bucks. And I'm living with my invalid 79 year old mother, my family's paying me for that. My brothers have run off to Florida, North Carolina, somebody's gotta take care of mom. And my wife's over at our house taking care of that, so we're separated."

Anyhow, it's hard to convey it within the bounds of a wise-assed blog, but you've got this semi-skilled guy, a tech minor leaguer, kind of a sad sack but fundamentally a really decent human being, trying to retool for the new economy. All good.

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