Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bargain travel destination?

According to The New York Times, "Sin City's lucky streak, it seems, has gone sour."

Unemployment in Las Vegas has reached 7.9 percent and bargains are everywhere, but who cares about bargain hotel rates when people are losing their jobs by the thousands? Layoffs are imminent or already underway at most of the hotels, including the one where J works. If she's lucky, she'll be up high enough on the extra board to continue working, but will have to call in every day to see if they need her. She could be called to work any of the three shifts, which means she'll never be on any specific sleep schedule. How can people be expected to do that?!!

January 2008 served up the fire that laid everyone off for over a month at the Monte Carlo, and before that it was the devastating 9/11 layoffs. What ever happened to the certainty of our parents' generation when they knew they would have a job for life if they wanted it, even when there were economic downturns? Or maybe that's just a figment of my imagination. Maybe people have never had any job certainty. . .

All of this job uncertainty is making 2009 seem pretty dismal already. On top of that, I'm sure the crime rate is going up. Thieves targeted T's "vintage" Camaro Thursday night--incompetent car thieves who only managed to steal the T-top sunroof and car cover, and tear out some wiring under the dashboard. It was the night of his birthday. Totally bummed him out. He filed a police report and posted notices around the neighborhood about the crime, but within hours all the notices had been torn down. No doubt the thieves live right here, and probably drive by our house a few times a day. Nice.

(Their truck had already been burglarized, and the built-in TV stolen a couple of years ago, and then since I've been here, someone did another moronic attempt at stealing it but only managed to mutilate the lock on the driver's side. This is why auto insurance in Las Vegas is among the most expensive anywhere in the U.S.)

Things with my job haven't been going so great either. When our academic director left a couple of months ago, I applied and was selected to be the acting AD until a decision could be made. After six weeks of teaching full time and doing the AD job half time--but not getting the AD pay or knowing when, if ever, they would actually hire me permanently for the job--I withdrew my application. Things have been deteriorating rapidly since then, but only in the past week did I find out they had no intention of hiring anyone because our student numbers have been falling. Our students come from all over the world, and the entire world is experiencing a dramatic economic downturn. While I think the school will probably survive, it's not going to be easy. I'm the most senior teacher, so if I get laid off, that means the school closes completely.

I hope, for everyone's sake, that things turn around quickly once Obama takes office, but I don't see how they could. We should all be asking how this mess happened in the first place! Why was there so much unaccountability within the financial sector ? Why was the SEC asleep on the job? For a lot more info about how this happened and what's ahead, check out The Big Picture.

For now, however, the world is focused on Gaza, and rightfully so, but it seems that every time congress starts turning up the heat and asking questions about how this meltdown took place, some other world event intervenes. We may never get any real answers, and in the meantime millions, maybe hundreds of millions, of people around the world are losing their jobs, their homes, and any hope for the future.

1 comment:

JoeinVegas said...

Our car insurance doubled moving here from San Diego, where I thought we paid a lot.

Our convention center is busy, still lots of shows lined up but attendence at some of them is down, and when we walk through the big hotel casino resort next door quite often it is fairly empty.