Friday, 9 December 2016
An Economic Report
Took the new guy on sales calls up to Grande Prairie earlier in the week and it seems that things might be picking up a bit in spite of all the doom and gloom. No - Alberta's economy is still suffering... but there are rays of hope here and there.
One of my favourite customers had his doors locked and signs up - SALES BY APPT ONLY!!!
Of course they always had time for us - and maybe a bit of non-work related gossip too!
It was the typical Alberta story. When the oil and gas sector collapsed, the layoffs and cutbacks started. Used to be there were 10 guys in that shop... now there's two. They let all the mechanics go, the clerical and receptionist... and now any time the front door bell goes off, the boys have to climb out from under vehicles they're working on to answer it. Ditto when the phones go. Their workload increased, the stress increased, and now with things picking up it's even worse. They wanted to bring back a receptionist/clerical gal but the one they let go has found another job and won't come back. So - if they hire a newbie, not only do they have all their old headaches - they have to train the new gal too. The boys said they are strongly considering employment elsewhere, given the circumstances.
When I was a kid in the 80's corporations and execs prided themselves on "being lean and tough." Those dumb-asses didn't understand that being smart and fast beat being big and dumb any day of the week. So it was that the kind of people they wanted stopped working for them. There's always work around for people that want it and there's good work too for those who are patient and willing to dig.
There's gonna be some tough Christmases out there for some folks and if you're one of 'em - keep your chin up. Christmas is just another day, and those that insist that it is about lavish gifts and the debt, stress and hangover that go along with it... well they can damned well have it!
Christians admonish us from time to time to keep Christ in Christmas and they know of what they speak. When they talk about lean Christmases from times past - they always say 'WE had a lean Christmas that year...." They never say "Christmas was the shits becauase mom/pop got laid off and couldn't afford anything...". Often they remember those lean Christmases with fondness. If you are in the midst of one yourself...you will probably look back on this some day and smile. Your loved ones probably will too.
Tough times are gonna happen and if all Christmas is for you this year is a hot coffee and a quick prayer fired off while you struggle with unemployment and worry - that's alright. There's better men and women than you in that boat, and many of us have been there too. Treat the family if ya can, and try to take care of yourself too.
Things WILL get better.