Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Ten years ago if you had predicted that today we'd be using the Internet to track (to varyingly obsessive degrees) our friends' every movement and life development, people would have thought you were crazy, yet here we are. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, we're now all privy to everyone's changes in fortune live as they happen. I'm still trying to adjust to it, to be honest. (Hey, give me a break -- I'm 40. It's hard for people my age to get used to anything new.)

Thus I have learned that several good friends, veteran news reporters and photographers I’ve worked or gone to school with, are enduring unpaid furloughs in order to keep their jobs. In one case, a friend is on furlough from a part-time news reporting job. Meanwhile my formerly hellish metro-Boston commute has suddenly gotten a lot…lighter. Way fewer cars on the road in the overall Route 128 area, the last few months. Just as many of the major corporate layoffs kicked in.

While I’m amazingly thankful that my job, which is dependent on government contracts, is safe so far, the last few months I’ve felt like a hamster running on a tiny wheel. I’m really tired but not quite getting anywhere. Such is the nature of this place, and obviously being gainfully employed in this atmosphere, I have no right to complain. But right now what I would love is a furlough to someplace where I could park my ass on a beach chair for a week or so and read “In-Style” magazine while sipping a brightly-colored drink with an umbrella in it.

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