This economic depression that some still insist is not a depression has led to a number of really crummy fads.

The face of the economy/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

The face of the economy/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

We’ll call them fads since that sounds a lot nicer than “necessary tactics to stay alive.”

We love euphemisms. We can say “laid off” instead of axed, “furlough” instead of “mandated time off with no pay, ” and “dearly departed” rather than “dropped dead.”

My furlough kicks off Monday. At least it only lasts a week and I have some other backup fads in place to replace the lost pay.

Yes, I know, I was supposed to prepare and save money for this week, but you know how life likes to throw us car repairs and forgotten bills that are suddenly due last Wednesday.

Furloughs are a trend all over the place, especially within the City of Tucson. My water bill just informed me I better not need any water office employees during their upcoming slate of furlough days.

Another non-depression depression fad is switching careers. This is not necessarily a bad one. Former Tucson Citizen newspaper reporter and current God blogger Renee Schafer-Horton is going into teaching. The classroom is blessed to have her.

Former City Editor Diane Luber added her incredible skills to the staff of the non-profit Interfaith Community Services. An awesome organization for an awesome woman. I can tell by her zealous news releases she’s doing a great job.

Others have left Tucson, or even Arizona, to find work. Some are going back to school. Still others are still searching through the decimated job market.

Odd jobs and freelance work are two more fads. These, too, are not necessarily bad, just none too feasible for putting more than Ramen noodles on the table. Most do not provide health insurance. Dog walkers, weed pullers and house cleaners have cropped up by the dozens.

Selling “gently used” clothes, the long-untouched fondue set that seemed cool at the time and all kinds of other goodies on Craigslist is another way to nab extra cash. This week definitely includes cleaning out my closet.

It used to be folks got a job, lived well. Now many of us need at least two jobs and are just barely making it. In addition to TC.com, my sideline gigs include freelance writing and my art businesses, RYNdustries. I am incredibly grateful for all three.

At least furloughs are better than layoffs. And layoffs are still better than dropping dead.

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What do you think?

Have you had to engage in any economic “fads” to stay afloat? What are they?

Is your company participating in furloughs?

What advice do you have for others who may be struggling?

Do you want to buy any “gently used” clothes? Haha.

See you next week.

Please note: I am not allowed to visit the site during my furlough. But please feel free to leave any comments, which I will respond to upon my return.

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