Monday, March 23, 2009

Some thoughts about now

With the news a couple of weeks ago that the Sears Tower will be renamed the Willis Tower (groan) came the realization that every place I've ever worked has either been renamed or simply does not exist anymore. How sad. It seems like my work history doesn't exist. When asked where or for whom I have worked, most responses get blank stares or remarks of "Are they even in business anymore?" (No, they aren't - is usually my response). There are two that are still around, Culp and Covington, but the locations and the divisions in which I worked are distant memories (as are the people I worked with).

Textiles used to be a very stable, exciting and vibrant industry. I have heard stories of the lavish parties and trips people used to take - when times were good. Unfortunately for the Textile industry, times haven't been "good" for the past 10 years (or more) - basically my entire working career. When my husband graduated from college he missed his graduation because he was already working, people were fighting for textile graduates. That was a while ago. Since then, I have watched mounds of people lose their jobs, little towns die (or at least scramble to reinvent themselves as something other than a "mill town") and old manufacturing facilities turn into condos or just left to waste away. How sad. The saddest part is not many made a fuss, there were no bailouts or lifelines for them. I watch the news these days and I sigh because the way most people are feeling now is the way I have felt for most of my career. It's tough walking into work each day not knowing when the hammer will fall. I got laid off from two different companies in the course of a year - yeah, I used to joke I was a walking country song waiting to be written. I just picked up, moved on and prayed, a lot.

The industry is a completely different animal now, mostly overseas. There are a few manufacturers here that hang on, and I hope they do well. I hope people start to realize more and more how important it is to support them. But what I want you to take away from reading this is that you have to evolve too. I have learned this the hard way. Get up, dust yourself off and plow on. I'm having to look at my future career path in a completely different and creative way, because what I used to do, in the capacity I did it in, is slowly dying out. Maybe this economic downturn will force more people to be creative, entrepreneurial, and use outside-the-box thinking. I sure hope so, I am looking forward to a very bright future, and that this hard time will soon pass.

3 comments:

  1. I keep telling myself it's a good time to be staying home with the kids. Just hoping there's a job out there for me in a few years. Ugh.

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  2. I should clarify that I actually did work in the Sears Tower, when my Dad worked there. Before the renovation. I hold that building very dear...

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  3. I really appreciated your blog today..What a straight forward way of putting out there what most people have tiptoed around. Having a husband in textiles too ~ I completely understand...

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