Are You Okay?


Not long ago, I was a depressed grad student, unlucky in love (still smarting after a few years even, from an engagement gone horribly wrong, and rebounding like a fool since then). I was working on a project which, due to my advisor’s rather cavalier misdirection, I had gotten thoroughly scooped on despite the insanely brutal amount of time and work I put into it. I was broke, and tired of that, and really a bit disenchanted with academia, which I had come to recognize was far from the pristine meritocracy I once thought it was. I also was facing the fat that I, though not entirely mediocre, was far from the highest echelon, and my chances of landing a good position in the Boston area that would last more than a few years at best (during which I would scrape by trying to pay skyrocketing Boston rents while earning under $35K a year) were not good enough to feel confident about it.

I talked to a friend, who invited me to come over to the dark side: Biotech. Ugh, I thought; repetative QC/QA assays you could train a monkey to do for the rest of my life, never to publish, never to speak, all my education (which I regretted bothering with more than a few times, since I figured it had cost me personally) an utter waste of time while I plod brainlessly through batch preps of restriction enzymes, or whatever those morons in industry do.

Boy was I wrong. I got a job at a great place that values basic research and discovery, working beside excellent scientists (some of them quite literally world-renowned in their field and many of them more than peers of my dreaded advisor), who are almost absurdly supportive of me and my career. I do interesting, original research, much of which has gotten published in high-impact journals with me as first or second author, and I have a lot of autonomy, plus the freedom to investigate some things just because they’re interesting (freedom I never expected, due to the denigrating comments of my erstwhile academic peers about industry science). I get to publish, travel, and present my work at good biomed meetings. I make a decent living for a change, and own my own place, despite the absolutely obscene housing market in Boston (which has made me house-poor, but happy not to be renting). I have weekends, real vacations, and was actually able to pay for a month-long trip to New Zealand with my own money. Oh, and I went to NZ on my honeymoon with a wonderful woman who is fun, lovely, smart, artistic, and nothing like any of the other women I ever was with, thank the luv gods.

If you asked me six or seven years ago if I would be OK, I’m not sure how I would answer. I’d probably say “I honestly don’t know; I’m afraid maybe not.” One good thing about having your life suck for a while: You really appreciate when it doesn’t. Mine doesn’t, and, if I’m fortunate, I don’t think it will change dramatically in the future, so long as I keep working hard and playing fair. Well, one change, maybe: My wife and I want a kid or two, so we’ll see how that goes. All in all, things are quite OK, and only getting OK’er. I hope to be able to continue saying that as long as I have breath to do so. We’ll see.

Am I okay? No. I’m not suicidal, but I’m not so good.

I’m retired. I have a pension, until my company figures out how to shut it off.

My wife lost her job, and two days later she had emergency colon cancer surgery. She’s doing okay, and she’s 3 weeks into her 6 months of chemotherapy. So far, so good. Her father died this summer, and she’s almost finished dealing with his estate.

My life is dull as a cheap shag carpet, and nothing much amuses me anymore.

When my wife was admitted to the hospital, somebody somewhere entered the wrong group number in the insurance forms. I make a weekly visit to my union benefits rep, but I keep getting statements that tell me I owe $24,000. The benefits rep says not to worry, but…I worry.

My favorite baseball team is in the playoffs, and I pretend to be excited.

I have always felt that “I can get through this, and I’ll come out all right.” Sometimes I wonder what the point of merely surviving is.

Ah, hell. What do you care?

Are you okay?
Better than, actually. :slight_smile:

Are the people important in your life okay?
Yep; most of them are better than, as well, but I think even the “worst” would say that they’re ok.

Got a job? A job you think you’ll have in a year? In six months?
I have an awesome job, and unless I screw up big-time I will quit long before I ever wouldn’t have a job with this company (but I have no plans to leave any time soon). I just had my 3-year anniversary, which means a bump in how much leave I earn every month, plus I had my annual review last month and got a 7.5% raise. I just received my first check at the new pay rate, and I finally have some financial breathing room for the first time in the 11 years that I’ve been working!

Do your friends?

Your spouse/S.O.?

Family members?
Well, my brother’s job is kind of crappy, but I think he has job security. Everyone else is good.

Do you have health insurance?
Yep. It’s an HMO, but I’m pretty healthy so it works for me. It’s a pretty good HMO, though, so I’m not afraid to go to the doctor if I need to. :wink:

How’s the quality of your life? Enough down time? Stress levels?
I feel that life is pretty good.

I’m very content with the townhouse I’ve been renting for the past 1.5 years, which I appreciate greatly because I still vividly remember the hell that was life in my last apartment.

My car is nothing fancy, but it’s an '02 that I bought in January with very low mileage: I like it and it’s in pretty good shape, which are two things that are rarely true at the same time for me. {grin}

I love my job and I work hard at it, but I still have time for grad school, friends, a little volunteer work now and then, etc. And I have enough down-time, which I need more of than some folks.

My stress is a little high at the moment, but it’s just because of work: we have a major software release at this time every year, and it’s serious crunch-time right about now. I’ll be fine in a few weeks. :smiley:

Got a job?
Yes, but not the one I want. Right now, I’m substitute teaching at $72 a day, when I’m used to earning $185 a day as a fulltime teacher.

A job you think you’ll have in a year? In six months?
The subbing will be there, but I desperately hope that something full time will turn up by then.

Do your friends? Your spouse/S.O.?
My friends are doing pretty well. My mom is underemployed and underpaid, though she loves her job. My older brother is starting a clerkship in a city far, far away. He’s a very introverted guy, and I worry about him being lonely. No spouse or SO.

Do you have health insurance?
Not anymore. My old job’s ran out the end of August. COBRA is $400 a month, and since I’ve taken about a 2/3rds paycut, I can’t afford that. What sucks is that with PCOS, depression, and hyperinsulemia, I really do need to see a doc fairly often, and there are some meds I really have to stay on. We’ll find out if I can afford it.
** How’s the quality of your life? Enough down time? Stress levels?**
With the exception of a messy breakup nearly five years ago, this is pretty much the most stressful extended time I’ve ever had. I’m broke. I probably won’t be able to pay all my bills this month. I moved (the cause of my financial problems) so that I could have a better social life, more opportunities at work, be closer to universities, and some day afford a house. Without an exception, I’m worse off in every single category. My friends from when I moved away are still my friends, but most of them don’t have much time for me. I don’t have the job I want, and I’ve no idea when I’ll get it, with my money problems, I can’t even think of starting a Master’s program, and with the debt I’m in right now, buying a house is three or four more years off. If I don’t completely fuck over my credit record.

So, yeah, I’m pretty down right now.

Got a job? Yes, and it’s a very interesting and challenging job. I love my work.

A job you think you’ll have in a year? In six months? I think so. Our Pres. loves our department, my boss love me, and we all do good work. I feel as secure as anyone can feel these days.

Do your friends? Your spouse/S.O.? My SO is self-employed and hating his work more and more every day. We’re trying to figure out some alternatives. The problem is, his work pays very well but it’s also very stressful. He’s just plain sick of it but he hates to give up the money. My friends all have good jobs, but some are happier than others.

**Family members? ** They’re doing pretty good. My mother just retired and she is loving life. My dad started his own business and is doing well.

Do you have health insurance? Yes, thank god.

How’s the quality of your life? Enough down time? Stress levels? Eh, OK. As much as I love my job, it doesn’t pay shit. I work long and variable hours that seem to preclude a second job. I get raises every year, but my cost of living seems to go up even more, so I find myself getting in a hole. I’m the queen of budgets, but it doesn’t seem to work when my health insurance costs, rent, and student loan payments rise every year. I’ve been seriously contemplating the crappy dilemma of staying with a job I love and being perpetually broke, or finding a mediocre job that pays the bills. Even though I enjoy my work, it’s highly stressful. I’m frequently physically and mentally exhausted. I drink too much and sleep too little. On top of everything, my SO is 1000 miles away and I’ve been doing the long distance thing for nearly three years. Something has got to change and soon.

I probably shouldn’t spill so much, but I’ve had the month from hell and this ranting feels good. Thank you.

Got a job? Yes.

** A job you think you’ll have in a year?** Nope. It’s over when I graduate.

** Your spouse/S.O.? Family members?** My husband does, and it’s fairly secure. He doesn’t make a great deal of money–we scrape by now between the two of us. If we had kids, we’d be fucked. I’m not worried about him losing his job at all. However, we’re moving next summer because I’m going to grad school and I’m fucking terrified. There are people with far more experience and education than us who are unemployed. But living in So Cal is just too damned expensive, and the cost of living is going up, but not our paychecks.

As for my family? My grandmother broke all her ribs, but she’s recuperating nicely. My grandfather who turned 75 this July was forced to take on a full time job this fall at a ski resort working as maintenance because otherwise, my grandparents would starve. The stock market crash a few years ago hit them very, very hard and they’ve never recovered financially. I imagine once my grandma is on her feet, she’ll go back to work. She’s been working in the laundry room of the same resort for the past year. It makes me fucking furious. They worked hard, saved, invested wisely. They should be traveling the country, they should be relaxing, they should be enjoying each other and their grandchildren…I wish I could help them.

My dad works seven days a week, often 12 hours days. he says he’s barely making ends meet. He’s renting a house in the bay area right now, which would explain why he’s having such a hard time. His girlfriend works full time as well.

My mother was fired from her job this spring and barely managed to feed and clothe my sister until she found a new one. Right now she’s working full time, in a job she seems to enjoy, and she just moved into a new house. She applied to one of those programs where the government pays her downpayment and gives her a mortgage at low interest rate, but she has to put in 30 hours a week every week for something like 6 months or a year to build the entire subdivision. her house was fiished first because she worked the longest and the hardest. She moved in last weekend, after a year. She’s 42, and this is her first home.

** Do you have health insurance?** I have a small plan through the University. It covers things like my annual OB/GYN visit, and ingrown toenails. Anything beyond that though, and I’m screwed. My husband has full coverage through his job, but we can’t afford it for both of us. Mainly because car insurance is so freaking high.

** How’s the quality of your life?** I’m really busy right now. I work 20-25 hours a week and I have 6 courses. Three lit courses, two Honors seminars, and 1 class that requires 25 hours of volunteer work. I spend Mon-Thurs on Campus from 8:30-10:00. I rarely see my husband–just a few hours at night when I’m too tired to do anything but watch TV–and though my problems are nothing compared to some people’s, I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now.

Enough down time? Stress levels? No. I’d we’re both stressed out right now. We aren’t going to lose our apartment or have our electricity shut off, but we’re going farther and farther into debt just to make ends meet. And of course, I’m freaking out because not only do I feel the pressure to get another 4.0 semester for grad school applications, but I can’t forget that we’re going to move. That terrifies the hell out of me. I know we have to get otu of So Cal if we’re going to survive, but at least here he has a job. Not a great one, but there’s security there, with benefits and paid vacation.

I’m sure we’ll be fine, but…

And wow, this is longer than I meant it to be.

Are you okay? Yeah, I’m all right now. Considering that 7 years ago I was single, on welfare and living in a little room in the basement of a house in Canada, and now I’m married and living in a nice house in Florida, I’d say that was definitely okay.

Got a job? Yes.

A job you think you’ll have in six months? In a year? I work in a hostile environment populated and staffed by office politickers, liars, backstabbers and incompetents. I have no job security, no benefits, no vacation, no allies and no recognition for my contributions. Due to the above, all my important duties have been revoked and my hours have been cut in half. But they haven’t told me not to come in tomorrow - because nobody else there knows how to do the stuff I do. If it doesn’t start getting better, I’m going to have to learn how to do something else. At 46. And try to get someone to hire me.

Do your friends? I have one friend here. He’s working. Everybody else I knew is 1200 miles away.

** Your spouse?** Yes, two.

Family members? I have no living family outside my two brothers in Canada. They are both working. One brother is a musician, full-time now, because none of the places he’s been able to find a regular job in the last 20 years will keep anybody longer than 89 days. The other has a cushy government job and has money up the wazoo, a new house, paid for, a new car, plasma TV, all that stuff. My father in law is retired, mother in law works to get herself out of the house.

Do you have health insurance? Yes, through my wife’s main job.

How’s the quality of your life? Compared to the decade and a half I spent homeless, this is paradise.

Enough down time? Yes, especially since they cut my hours in half.

Stress levels? If not for the crappy job environment and the sense of doom I have about my future there, I wouldn’t have any stress at all. I wish I could have a vacation, though.

We are not having any children. Our debt is from the kind of things you have to buy in order to have the basic stuff of life and some toys. Fortunately, we realize that we can’t have expensive stuff, so we make do with what we’ve got. We’re paying off the debt, as much as we can afford each month. We’ve never made a late payment on anything, so we have stellar credit. Eventually we’ll be in the clear. But we’re not suffering. We have a nice, stable, calm life together. This is so much better than anything I’d ever hoped I could accomplish.

I can’t complain but sometimes I still do, married life’s been good to me so far.

A general no, I’m not okay. Details in email since I had little desire to air it out here. Anyone who is deeply deeply concerned is hereby invited to email me at my gmail account (sadpunk).

**Are you okay? **

I have some health problems but hey, who’s life is perfect

**Are the people important in your life okay? **

Mrs Geek has some health problems too, but again, who’s life is perfect

**Got a job? **

Yes, a very good one

**A job you think you’ll have in a year? In six months? **

I took this job thinking I’d have it for maybe a year, get some bills paid off, then I’d go find a better job, a better place to live, etc. Eight years later, I’m still here. A year from now I’ll probably still be here.

**Do your friends? Family members? **

Friends and family are all employed (those who want to be)

**Your spouse/S.O.? **

Mrs Geek is a stay at home mom.

**Do you have health insurance? **


**How’s the quality of your life? Enough down time? Stress levels? **

Nowhere near enough down time, too long of a drive to work, stress level is way too high

I’m so glad to read about all the people that are doing well. That warms my heart and makes me think there might be a chance for us others. Then to the sad folks, who like me, aren’t doing so hot, I so feel your pain. So, for once, I’m gonna try to be brief. Here goes nothing…

Got a job? No, unfortunately. That whole reoccurring agoraphobia thing. I’m hoping that I’ll have all my disability papers filled out and receiving aid by the middle-ish part of next year. Then when I have a little money to support myself and enough coping mechanisms back under my belt, I can become financially self-sufficient again. ::: prays hard :::

A job you think you’ll have in six months? A year? See above explanation. I’m hoping I’ll be back to functioning completely before 2006. Surely that isn’t too much to hope for. I don’t mind slinging fries or changing bed pans. Anything to feel normal and useful again. :frowning:

Do your friends? Your spouse/S.O.? Lost all my friends voluntarily after the break-down. The ones I’ve acquired since then have been decidedly unhealthy, so I’m mostly going it alone now. My soon-to-be ex-husband has a really good career though and I’m thrilled he loves it and does it well. Fortunately, he’s only occasionally overwhelmed by it.

Family members? Ah, what little I have would go on and on about how blessed they are from above. I, personally, think it has more to do with manipulation, greed, sleeziness and using people, but that’s just me. And as one point for them, they DO sleep well at night, so who knows what the true answer is? I couldn’t do what they do and look myself in the mirror daily. Go figure.

Do you have health insurance? I do as of now, but once the divorce goes through, I won’t. Unless I end up with something like Medicare in the interim until I can permanently hold down a job (hopefully with benefits) again.

How’s the quality of your life? Sucky. After a huge break-up where I sold everything I owned and moved off for someone who I thought was the love of my life, I’ve tried to kill myself. I suppose it’s positive that I’m inept at that at least. We’re broke and I’ll be even moreso soon. I’m still not even remotely stable and, obviously, I’m not leaving the house unless it’s an enforced doctor’s visit of some kind. I have no one in my life, nothing that is worth living for (unless this and the infrequent movie or two counts) right now and all my hopes/dreams have been dashed or discarded. Other than that, things might be looking up. I am in regular therapy and my medications seem to be improving. One of these days, I could be optimistic again. I so hope to count on that, then use the momentum to regain the ‘old, but new and improved,’ me.

Enough down time? Since I’m barely responsible for doing more than breathing, yes. More than enough. I long to do anything normal so that “down time” will have a realistic context rather than the parameters of a vegetable.

Stress levels? Amazingly, given my state of inactivity, through the friggin’ roof. 'Course, anxiety disorder is also on my alphabet soup list of things wrong too. My panic attacks have definitely increased in the past 2 months and overall, I’m a basket case. However, something, somehow, someday, has to get better. Right? Please. That’s got to be the case, although in my heart of heart’s, I DO know it can get worse instead. Have I sighed already?

Anyway, that’s depressing as hell. Sorry. So now, Cartooniverse, let’s have some more about you. Let us know what all’s going on so we can properly empathize and help to share the wealth. What else are we good for? :slight_smile:

Job: Not at the moment. I’m just finishing uni, so I’m beginning to apply for entry-level positions. I’m in the top 5% of students in my course but there isn’t exactly overwhelming demand for media graduates. I wish I’d done a combined Media/Commerce degree just so I had something to fall back on.

My friends are all still completing uni, so there isn’t much to report. The ones studying education and biochemistry have pretty much guaranteed jobs. Another one of my friends finished her computer science honours degree a couple of years ago, picked up a Microsoft graduate position, and is now working for eBay for nearly double her graduate salary. She’s definitely the biggest success story I’ve heard.

My boyfriend has also begun to look for graduate positions, and his prospects are quite high too. He’s in the top 1% of his computer science course, and has great work experience, so even if he doesn’t get his dream job (game programming) he should be able to pick up a nice job.

So overall there’s nothing to complain about. It could take me awhile to find work, but I plan to fill it up with relevant volunteer work to pad up my resume.

Heath insurance: I’m covered under my parents’ private health insurance.

Quality of life: The only stress in my life is my thesis, and hopefully that’s manageable. I take more down time than I should, probably.

**Are you okay? **

I’m as Okay as I’ve ever been. Things could certainly be better, but I’ve been worse off most of my life.

**Got a job? **

I have a great job, for this town. That said, I’m sick of it and can’t wait to not have this job. However, if I want to be “okay” this is what I’ve got to do, at least for now.

**A job you think you’ll have in a year? In six months? **

Maybe. I daydream about quitting, and have nightmares about getting fired. The boss doesn’t like me, but he respects me and the job I do, so it’d take something major (like breaking the law) for me to get fired. I don’t like or respect the boss, and fully intend to quit as soon as I’ve saved the cash to leave town.

**Do your friends? **

Most of my friends work with me, and are in the same boat as I am (not to shabby). The rest are all gainfully employed, making the rent, getting by one way or another. None of us are making millions, but I suppose we’re okay.

**Your spouse/S.O.? **

I date a guy (casually, not a SO) who has some financial problems due to his mother’s failing health. His siblings don’t help out, she gets sicker by the day and he pays for it all. He’s self employed, so just taking her to a doctors appointment costs him time, and therefore money. She’s on Medicare, but co-pays and everything else come out of his pocket. If his siblings would help, or she was well or (as bad as this sounds) dead, he’d be better than okay, he’d be doing very well.

**Family members? **

My Dad was forced into early retirement several years back when the bottom fell out of the copper industry. He’s never had more work in his life, and he’s never done better. He’s self employed now, making great money and can take whatever time he wants to enjoy his life, which, for whatever reason, means driving to Iowa twice a year.

My Mom however, is in bad shape. She has a great job that she loves, pays pretty well, insurance etc. But. . . Dad did a number on her during the divorce, so she has incredible debt due to that. She’s the sole provider for her mother, who is aging gracefully enough, but is still in pretty bad shape. On top of that, she essentially supports my sister and her family.

My sister refuses to work. Her husband works as much as he can, but has no education and generally finds jobs that make him $6 or so per hour. They live in my Mom’s house. They have 3 kids. They abuse the welfare system. They own at least 200 DVD’s, but haven’t paid rent to my Mom in 4 months. They are not okay, but it’s because they’re lazy.

My Brother and his SO are doing very well. They have good jobs and a good life. She graduated college 3 years ago and is doing what she’s always wanted to. He works and go to school. Wedding bells are pending.

**Do you have health insurance? **

Not anymore. Until February 04 the company paid half of my insurance premium, I paid the other half. In February we were informed that insurance was “no longer in the budget.” I keep thinking of getting some of my own, but haven’t yet.

How’s the quality of your life? Enough down time? Stress levels?

Nowhere near enough down time, and incredibly high stress levels. . .as far as work goes. Outside of work and worrying about my sister’s kids, I’m stress free.

I’d say I’m at least mostly okay.

Nyeh, I get by.

Got a job Yeah, but I’m beginning to realize that I’m never going to be happy working for someone else as stylistic differences frustrate me. I’m exploring striking out on my own.

So I’m utterly uncertain whether I’ll have this job in 6 months or a year but that could be either their or my decision.

Most of my friends have jobs. Many of them were hit by the Northern Virginia collapse (including me) but have found others. Only one is actively unemployed right now and he’s interviewing steadily. There are two teachers who couldn’t get full-time assignments this year and are doing the part-time or substitute thing this year.

Lady Chance has the same insecure job as always. She’s in software development for a big defense contractor so they’re always year-to-year. You get used to it.

Stress levels are still high what with all the change lately but they’re lower (and more resolvable) than they were a year ago.

Down time is always problematic for me. Even with the shorter commute and new job I still ahve two seperate side businesses and am exploring a third that keep me hopping during my ‘down time’. Toss in the new baby and I’m kept fairly busy.

Qaulity of life is way higher than a year ago. But that’s due to pulling the plug on NoVa and moving to a small town/small commute/quiet neighborhood lifestyle. I did that…not government or society or anything else. I am master of my domain on this subject.

Are you okay?

Yes. Not great but okay.

Got a job?

I’m deployed with the National Guard so yes.

A job you think you’ll have in a year? In six months?

I’ll be back home in less than six months. My job back home is safe and waiting for me.

Do your friends?

I don’t have many close friends but I don’t personally know anyone who is unemployed (except for below). Thats not counting those I meet in my regular job but there are usually good reasons why they don’t have a job that have nothing to do with the economy.

Your spouse/S.O.?

My wife is a full-time mom. When I get back she is planning to go back to school full-time to complete her nursing degree. I’m probably going to move to the night shift so she can.

Family members?

Everyone but one nephew is employed and in good shape. My nephew has always had severe behavioral issues and mental health problems and it continues.

Do you have health insurance?

I have a decent PPO at home and of course all my health care is free for now.

How’s the quality of your life? Enough down time? Stress levels?

Most of my stress is from not being able to see my family.

Yeah, better than I expected, security/finance wise. Got a job (at a Boston biotech, hi Loopydude) doing something that involves a lot more math-type logic than I’m wired for, and has absolutely nothing to do with my degree (it’s paperwork, essentially.) But it pays decently, my career is progressing a bit, I never thought I’d HAVE a career, both my parents were patchily employed and I had no model for adult life with a career. So that’s good. Insurance is good. Husband is self-employed and on my insurance.

Self-employed husband works 30 hour weeks and has a lot of down-time. I could use a lot more. I could use more vacation, I think vacation here in the US is far too skimpy. I worry that I am wasting my life building a career in the area that I struggle most in (math related) rather than using my language and creative talents to better gain, but I can’t see giving up financial security and the ability for us to afford to have one partner working part-time, given the cost of living here.

My friends are all online- but no, they’re not OK. Mostly in the IT industry, mostly suffering from long term unemployment or unskilled IT employment (network and db admins working helpdesk.)

My family seem to be OK. Mum is employed steadily and feels financially stable. Dad, I never frickin’ ask because he’s never been financially stable, just lurching from one thing to another. That one I can’t put down to the economy or the state of the world. My brother and his family are scraping by but both he and his partner seem to be picking up creative work, and managing to keep food on the table for their three kids, so they’re doing OK I guess. Probably not too secure.

Yeah, I’m okay. I have a job I really like, and I think I could hang on to it as long as I wanted to. We’ll be moving next summer, though, so I won’t have this job in year. Given the difficulties I had finding this one, I can’t really say for sure that I’ll have any job in a year. Fortunately, our overall household income should be increasing regardless, while our cost of living will be decreasing, so it won’t make such a difference if it takes me ages to find something. We’re both healthy and insured. While our schedules aren’t all that compatible, he’s gotten through the bulk of the really obnoxious rotations, so we get to spend more time together than we have in the past two years, and we can reasonably expect this to improve further after he starts his new job. I’m ten hours away from my family, which is hard, but we keep in pretty close contact, and this time next year we’ll be living substantially closer. I seem to have plenty of time to sit around posting here, so I must have enough downtime. :wink: Overall, I’m much better than I have any right to expect, and I’m predicting a continued upswing.

My family appears to be mostly okay, although I worry about some of them in various aspects of their lives. My dad’s a vascular event waiting to happen and he’s potentially looking at getting laid off again soon, but overall my parents are doing all right. Daddy’s like a Timex watch, taking a licking and keeping on ticking, and they’ve weathered plenty of layoffs before when their overall financial stability was a lot worse. All of our family is employed and AFAIK insured. They all seem to be making ends meet, although the ends are fairly tatty in some cases. I have one uncle dying of lung cancer (while the state is getting ready to fuck them royally on their health insurance, which is going to put them under a considerable financial strain), and one of my aunts just seems…off. I worry about both of them quite a bit, as well as Dr.J’s grandmother. That woman hasn’t been “all right” in the ten years I’ve known her, and she seems worse with all the family deaths and other changes in the last few years. Overall, though, everyone seems to be in decent shape and to be fairly happy.

Our friends are something of a mixed bag. Most of them are either employed or in school. They seem happy, healthy, and financially stable. There are a few exceptions, though. One of my friends has a metric assload of emotional problems, and while she’s employed, insured, physically healthy, and happier than I’ve ever seen her, I don’t know as I would really call her okay. One of my buddies at work is having some financial difficulties after his girlfriend cleaned out his bank account and split. He’s uninsured and having some health issues, which certainly isn’t helping the financial problems, poor guy. The woman who introduced us…she’s about as far from okay as anybody I know, really. She’s unemployed and has been for about a year. She’s not happy, and she’s not healthy, although she and I disagree about whether her health issues are physical or psychological. If it weren’t for her fiance, she’d have been on the street or living with her parents long since.

**Are you okay? ** Financially, yeah, I suppose.

Are the people important in your life okay? Yes, we’re all doing fine.

Got a job? Yes, the same job I got right out of college. I’ve been there for four and a half years now.

A job you think you’ll have in a year? If the company has its way, yes. If I have my way, no - I’ll have moved onto a higher paying, more respected position.

In six months? Do your friends? Same as above. My friends are all gainfully employed, but I should mention that I got to know most of my friends through my job, so we all still work there.

Your spouse/S.O.? Family members? No spouse/SO, but family is fine. My older brother just got a great paying job doing what he wants to do. Hopefully I’ll be able to follow suit.

Do you have health insurance? Yes, we all have it.

How’s the quality of your life? Technically I should be doing fine - I have a job, decent enough money (nothing fancy), health insurance, etc. However, I feel that I’m highly undervalued in my company and not given what I’ve earned. Example, I worked in a multimillion dollar division that went belly up a couple of years back. Now there is great interest in bringing it back and they’re relying on me with a couple of other coworkers/friends (one is a level higher than me, one is the same) to build it back from the ground up, including redefining the work and basically coming up with the ideas. This type of job would normally done by a president, vice president, or the like. We’re the low-level rabble. And yet they have no plans to reward any of us for the work. I think that’s my cue to exit.

Enough down time? Yes, I don’t work much overtime these days. Screw that.

Stress levels? As for work, I get stressed about how I keep getting screwed. It’s like a cloud over my head most days. At home, I’m still working on trying to get myself together mentally and stave off minor depression, which has dogged me my entire adult life. I could stand to be a lot happier, but that generally isn’t due to economical issues. It couldn’t hurt, though!

**Are you okay? ** No. Just graduated with a BS in accounting (and $30k in student loans) and I cannot find a job in this area for anyone with my qualifications and experience.
Are the people important in your life okay? Some yes, some no. My mom is making 1/3 what she was 5 years ago. She’s a manufacturing accountant, and manufacturing activities are down across the board. Her last two employers have downsized her and her current isn’t doing great either. However, my brother’s doing OK and so’re my closest friends.
**Got a job? A job you think you’ll have in a year? In six months? ** I have a job. It’s the same shitty retail job I’ve had for 5 years. Only $9 / hour, but excellent medical and a decent work environment. God help me if I have this job for another year – I’ll start shooting the customers.
**Do your friends? Your spouse/S.O.? Family members? ** All employed, but like mom, many underemployed.
**Do you have health insurance? ** Yes. BCBS PPO, for which I pay only $14 / week.
**How’s the quality of your life? ** Fine. Thanks to my mom and brother, I’m able to put together a middle-class existence out of my $12k / year income. However, every month, my bank account is smaller and my credit card balance is larger. I can’t get ahead for anything, and I can’t find anything better to work.
**Enough down time? ** Too much. I end up thinking about how deeply in debt and behind I am – how far in the hole I am starting.
Stress levels? Fine, until I consider the stuff in the above question. I’m 26 years old, just graduated, owe ~$30k in personal and student debt, and I have only a 6-year-old car and a (so far worthless) degree to show for it. No one around here is hiring entry-level grads; in addition, it seems most employers do not consider retail experience to be at all comparable to experience in a “real” job. Never mind the fact that I’ve spent 5 years pleasing 100 - 200 customers a day and have never had a customer complaint. If I can do that, I can do anything, but it doesn’t matter. All they say is “but you have no experience.” So yeah, my stress levels are kinda high.

Thanks for the inquiries. :slight_smile: Feel kinda foolish that I didn’t answer my own OP.

Are you okay?

To a large degree no. SAMe doesn’t help but I’m hesitant to move on to more rigorous anti-depressants. Chronic pain when awake ( and, inability to sleep more than a few hours without awakening out of pain ) makes for draining days. Adore my kids, but detest my marriage.

Are the people important in your life okay?

Not really. Let’s see. Many have divorced in the last few years. Very close friend is separating from her life partner after 10 years, she’s bereft and frightened at being alone with a special needs adopted son. Brother divorced recently as well. That entire picture seems to be highly unstable. Kids basically healthy, and I am lucky for that. Both parents alive.

Got a job?

No, but I never have. I’ve been a freelancer for 24 years. Got my first paying gig as a cameraman at 18, and have never looked back. Well, almost never. Work has always been either dry and scarily scarce, or so packed that I don’t sleep and move from one gig to the next. Those times used to be exhilarating. Since around 2000, work has slowed drastically. Many of my colleagues have left the business entirely. For what? Who knows. As hinted in my OP, most friends and family are either unemployed or not in a job that can be relied upon at all.

Spouse is a teacher, and that is a stable position unless they eliminate music. Then, she and we all would be in a pickle, since her job provides health insurance AND stable income base.

Quality of my life? We eat, we have a roof over our heads. We went away this summer for the first time in a few years. My kids get the clothing they need. I believe that puts us in the rare minority in this country.

I have down time a few days a week, and during my work day I have some down time in spurts and fits and starts. I read magazines. Used to surf the Net some, not as much now. ( I am at work right now :smiley: ) Difficult to self-motivate at home with the classic adult A.D.D. writhing around my head.

Stress levels? Not very good. Worried about children, their future, career and financial stability. And, fairly depressed over lack of working marriage. Married? Yes. In a real partnership? Nope. :frowning:

Next to a lot of what I am reading here, I kind of feel as though I’ve not much to bitch about. It was much more the cumulative situation- look at all of the posts. Read through them. I do hope folks keep posting, not so it can hit two pages but so that we can all gain a sense of how we’re doing.

Or not doing…

Are you okay? - Bleah.

Are the people important in your life okay? - They seem to be doing okay.

Got a job? - Yeppers…haven’t had a pay raise in about two years, though.

Do your friends? - No

Your spouse/S.O.? - No. He’s been looking for a few months now, but either they’re not hiring, or they’re not hiring him.

Family members? - I believe we are all employed that need to be at the moment.
My mother’s not working, but she’s okay for right now. My husband’s father is worried that they might be trying to retire him before he’s ready, though, and considering he’s been helping us out with the rent since my husband has been out of work…well, I don’t even want to think about it.

Do you have health insurance? - No. Can’t afford it on our own and my company does’t offer it.

How’s the quality of your life? - Okay, I guess. I have my husband and I have my kitties. Our apartment is nice enough, even if we’re paying more rent than we can afford right now. The car’s a POS, but it get’s me back and forth. We don’t go out much any more because we can’t afford to. We see a movie about once every three months.

Enough down time? - Doesn’t feel like it.

Stress levels? - Egads! :frowning: We were just talking this morning about how I need a vacation after my crying fit the other day and don’t get me started about this morning! :mad: