Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Close to Home

Last night I stumbled upon a PBS Frontline documentary called, "Close to Home." It's a look into how the economy has hit the clientele and the owner of a hair salon on the Upper East side of Manhattan.
Complains one patron, "It's the Upper East Side.... This isn't supposed to happen here."

Sure, comments like this are enough to make anybody with some clue of what's going on roll their eyes in disgust and possibly turn off the TV. Thankfully, that particular patron is shown to highlight just how ridiculously unaware some folks are. However, most of the show provides insight into how it isn't just this company or that, it isn't just happening here or there, nor is it even just happening to me.

By following the stories of several people, the documentary does a great job of sharing from different angles: how the economy has affected families, how an older workforce is coping with unemployment, and how some have had to simply start over. One person's story, which particularly hit home, was Rob's. He had been a highly-paid HR exec for a large marketing firm and now finds himself on the other side of the desk. Someone who had once been responsible for hundreds of people now spends endless hours submitting applications, tweaking copies of his resume, and networking with others in the job hunt. His recounting of the day he was laid off was eerily familiar.

One thought I did have while watching, as the tales of unemployment rolled on, was... "I wonder how much that haircut is costing that guy." Ironically, I got my hair cut yesterday, and no - I didn't go to a discount chain, so I, too, had to spend money I don't have on something so simple.

Below is a clip from the documentary. For the full-length version, click HERE.

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