If it can happen to my friend…
I am reeling from the news that one of my best friends is moving to the East Coast in January. I am envious (because I thought I would move before her) and stunned (because she had no intention of moving until her hours got cut).
Here are some of her circumstances. She got her JD last winter, but failed the bar in July, as did 2/3 of the people who took it, including all but one of the six people who sat for it where she works. She has worked with all of her creditors to be on payment plans. She has cut back in every way imaginable. She gets her eggs from having her own chickens. Who has their own chickens? She heats her house with firewood. She has no cable or even internet. I gave her gas money to spend Christmas in Jackson with her daughter. She owes 200k+ in student loans. There can be no more economizing. She can cut back no further. She has been just barely scraping by.
Her qualifications are amazing. She types close to 100 wpm. She can whip out divorce judgments and hearing decrees faster than anyone else at her office. Her bosses love her. She can handle the most difficult of clients (due to her years as a welfare worker), tell when someone is lying, and come up with the best possible strategy. She was working 40 hours a week at $10/hr.
Then her hours got cut, along with everyone else’s. OMG.
There is little keeping her here. She has no TV or internet. She’s broke. Her bar fees are coming due. She can just as easily go to another state and make 15 or 20 dollars an hour doing over-qualified secretarial work while she studies for that state’s bar exam. Her children are grown, with families of their own.
I am so angry. Particularly at companies that didn’t give her a chance. And now Michigan is losing a hard worker and future attorney. This is another thread in Michigan’s social and economic fabric that is unraveling, one less reason for the people who love her to stay.
If it can happen to her, I may be next. I’ve watched so many people be forced out of Michigan. Things can change frighteningly quickly. We all live like things will continue as we have become accustomed to. We are so kidding ourselves. Never underestimate the power of denial. La la la la la la.