KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, October 13, 2008


It has become painfully clear that the sudden gut-wrenching drop of the economy is making it impossible for my husband, Ed, to get work. He was laid off, after 14 years with the same company, in October 2007 from his cabinetmaking job. He started up his own company, without any financial cushion, thanks to that layoff. Despite that, his business has done very well for the last 9 months. His clients are the usually-recession-proof wealthy of the Hamptons on Long Island.

But now that the bottom has suddenly dropped out of the stock market and many large banks and investment firms are failing, none of those people are clamoring to have custom work (new furniture or cabinetry, new kitchens, refurbishing of existing kitchens, etc.) done, or if they are wanting anything done, they want it done at half price, which Ed can't make any money on. We suspect some of them are now losing their high-paying jobs. It is now likely that we won't be able to make our November 1 mortgage payment, November 1 health insurance policy payment (through his company), his business loan payments, or several other payments.

I'm not a person to panic easily, but I'm fairly panicked now. I spent the weekend scrambling, with Ed, to find ways out of this problem. One thing we do know: Though my business is doing very well, it won't support a family of 4, plus his parents (who live in our house, have a fixed income, and pay us a small rent) and Ed's business expenses. He is out now looking for jobs, but no one's hiring in his field at the income level he needs to make. He'll likely end up with a Home Depot–type job, which won't begin to pay things off.

We'll talk to our accountant tomorrow (we hope; we've left a phone message for him) and to our banks (personal and business). We may end up pulling all of our funds out of our IRAs to give ourselves a temporary cushion.

I suspect that there aren't enough antidepressants in the world to ease the anxiety of everyone in the same position as Ed and me.


libhom said...

I wish you the best under these terrible circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Oh Katherine, I'm thinking of you and Ed, and know that you all will find your way through this time. Keep hope!

Debby said...

I'm very very sorry. My thoughts are with you and I really hope things will change soon

Mary Beth said...

The ugh-est of ughs. I'll be praying for you all.

Unknown said...

I wondered what impact this might be having on your family. Let's hope things lift soon.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Thanks so much, all of you. Kind words from friends and new-to-me folks alike feel good.

And Mary Beth and Songbird, knowing that you're RevGals and praying for us makes me feel so much better, as if folks with a direct pipeline to the Big Kahuna are on our side, even though I know that everyone's prayers are equal in the BK's eyes. While you've got the BK's ear, can you put in a word about helping everyone around the world feel economically safer? I don't want anyone, anywhere feeling like this.

Caryn said...

Katharine, you have our prayers from here, too. This economic mess is going to change all our lives. My husband had to stop in mid-transition from his lifetime paramedic career to his new pedorthist career several months ago, when NYS Medicaid gutted reimbursements just as he started up his business. We are grateful he still has his job, for the time being. If I hear of anyone up here with any money left, I will not forget Ed.

Anonymous said...

Katharine, I've lived on the financial edge for so many years. The scholarly reference work I love and am established in pays peanuts. I struggle and struggle. I haven't exactly gone outright hungry, but there sure have been times of macaroni and cheese, sardines, and beans.

But God stays with me through the sleepless nights. And my experience is that God provides. There was even once when God provided a twenty-dollar bill in the middle of Third Avenue on the way to the grocery store.

I, too, am nervous. I have jobs lined up through January 15, then?

My hunch is that your husband's clients are frozen in shock and that it's going to get better in a month or so as they sort themselves out and find out where they are financially.

That doesn't help you this month, but, God willing, it means that things will pick up.

Finally, here's verse 17 from Psalm 119. It helps me:

Deal bountifully with your servant, so that I may live and observe your word.

Anonymous said...

Having been laid off myself in July, I know exactly the fear of which you speak. Right in this time of financial concern I know God is calling me to give up fear. I keep praying and asking God, "But how can I? I am so afraid!" And then I realize that it is in this very moment of great fear I am learning to trust God anew. I do not believe God caused this financial upheaval--evil selfishness did on the part of many human beings. But I also believe God wants to be with us IN this time of fear and uncertainty.

Know I am praying for you and with you for a changing tide. This beautiful planet is full of enough for everyone. I pray this crisis ushers in a time of greater justice, which then can lead to her sister peace.

Mary Beth said...

Checking back in. Thinking of you often.

Praying that God shows your family the way to thrive through this very hard time.

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