I sent this letter to anyone I thought would listen
To My President
TO: Current politicians, Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign, Congresspersons Dean Heller, Dina Titus, and Shelly Berkley, and Governor Gibbons. TO: Want-to-be politicians Sharon Angle, Brian Sandoval and Rory Reid.
This is an open letter to any politician that cares enough to do something about those they profess to want to help.
I worry a lot about my family. I’m 56 years old and at this time unemployed. I spend countless hours looking for work. Much of my resumes go unanswered. I realized that my resumes bragged about the fact that in the last 32 years I worked for three employers, 4 years in the Navy, 16 years with a plastic container company, and then 12 years for a cabletray/comdata company. I didn’t rest on my laurels either. In 1992 after another downturn in the economy I returned to school.
When I started back to school I had taken and passed the high school equivalency. From the early nineties I’ve worked full time and attended school par time. In 1992 I was hoping to better my place at company number one. My hope was to get a welding certificate. After attending community college for a couple of years, I wondered about how many credits I needed to get a high school diploma. The conditions at work were okay, but it seemed no matter how hard I worked I wasn’t being advanced. The only thing different about me and those being advanced was they had a high school diploma. After checking with the local adult education department with the school district I found that all I needed to graduate 1 ½ credits to get my high school diploma. At the same time I was near to completing my associate’s degree in welding technology.
So, let’s take stock of what has happened so far:
• 4 years in the Navy
• 16 years working for company number one
• returning to school in 1992 ( welding technology )
• in 1995 I obtain my high school degree
• in 1996 company number one closed shop and moved to Texas
The closure and move caused my progress to slow a little. However, by 1999 I earned my first post high school degree (welding technology). I chose the next company because it seemed to be people oriented. Within a couple of years the company asked employees if they would like to tutor in math and English at a local elementary school, I didn’t hesitate. At this time I was very close to getting my welding degree. Once I started tutoring I realized what I really wanted to do with my life. Tutoring in the special education resource-room gave me a connection to the students that needed my help. I have always enjoyed helping others find answers to questions they had. There is no feeling like seeing a student “get it” after struggling for such a long time.
The direction that I was heading in changed at that time. As I finished my technical degree, my new goal was to work towards a transfer degree to the University, and in 2003 that became a reality.
I survived the Dot-com bubble in the early 2000’s by accepting a demotion and reduction in pay. This lead me to the realization that the focus companies were beginning to take was away from people orientation and moving towards cost reduction. In this climate companies with a good name were being swallowed up by mega corporations. Guess what? This animal came to visit the company I was working for. First, it reduced overhead by chewing through temps by the hundreds. Then, they increased production by holding peoples jobs over their heads. As people retired they wouldn’t fill the positions. Finally, the ones that were left had to become adept at multi-tasking. I lived in this climate of ever increasing pressure, and continued to attend school.
In 2009 due to the recession (in my eyes depression), the company, knowing that I was close to my bachelor’s degree, found it easy to let me go. In my opinion, they most likely thought that I would be leaving anyways. Since 2009 I’ve completed my Bachelor’s degree in Special education. Now we come to the climate of reducing education costs along with others like police, and fire costs. At this time there are very little openings and there are 10 to 12 people lining up for each job. There are little or no openings for those new teachers coming into the system. This is where I stand today. I don’t expect people to give me anything, but because of the way the world is today, there is no safety net. Some people have fallen through the cracks.
So, let’s take stock of what has happened so far:
• obtained first associate’s degree 1999
• working for a new company, they seem to be people orientated
• company sold to mega corporation
• Dot-com bubble, reduced in position and pay
• obtained second associate’s degree 2003
• started University of Nevada, Reno
• 2007 economic downturn
• 2009 Laid-off
• 2010 obtained Bachelor’s degree
This is the point of this letter; the person I am concerned about is my wife of thirty years. She has a progressive condition, rheumatoid arthritis, which is slowly crippling her. We went to Social Security and Medicaid for a short period. However, because of a small disability and unemployment check, this stopped us in our tracks. She is now one of those masses of uninsured that can’t get help. Until recently I was able to provide for my family. What I’ve learned is that for us to get help there is one of two choices: one get a job, or two drop off of unemployment loss the house and become a homeless family. Getting a job in this climate hinges on a persons age and abilities. Today’s job market is like an alternative universe; being a long time employee and striving to educate ones self is seen as a deterrent. It’s like once you have reached an age where your skills are at their best, you’re tossed aside for younger and cheaper labor. Companies are all about the bottom line.
The alternative for me to get help is to become destitute, separate with my wife, or watch my wife die slowly in severe pain. There have been some god-sent people. Her specialist, when we weren’t able to pay his going price, reduced the cost of his appointments to thirty dollars. At thirty dollars a visit he is losing money; he can’t do this for long, if he did he would go out of business. This continues like a cascade, if he closes it puts those working for him out on the street and so on.
I can end this letter by throwing out lame clichés like, the darkest hour comes just before the dawn, or there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Neither of these statements gives me any solos. Looking to God seems to be a dark rabbit hole where Tea-baggers, Ayn Randers, and Neo-Cons live. The last church I attended only wanted those of the right-wing persuasion. What really scares me is a United States that is under the corporate boot. There really isn’t any freedom in the land of the free.
Robert R. Blalock
349 Shadow Lane
Fernley, NV 89408
Home # (775) 575-4231, Cell # (775) 980-9111
P.S. Act fast because my family and I may be living under a bridge somewhere, soon!
P.P.S If we are living under a bridge we will surely fade away quickly.