Thursday, November 12, 2009

We Are The Working Poor

A New York woman who worked three jobs to pay for her kids' education was found dead on the job - where she'd been sleeping.

48 year old Anna May Harting of Wappingers Falls had been warned before about sleeping in the closet at her janitorial office at SUNY Purchase. But a friend said he'd helped her bring a mattress to the office because she said the long commute and the cost of gas made it worth the risk. Harting had been supervising the custodial staff at the Performing Arts Center for 13 years, and a housemate said she was working extra jobs to pay for her daughter's college and to support her son. Her children lived about an hour away.

Friends said she'd sounded sick when they'd last spoken with her. Her daughter said her mother had been recovering from bronchitis, but was getting better.

The Westchester County Medical Examiners office said the death was not suspicious.

Bringing a mattress to your job so you can sleep in the closet. What else are people doing to try to make ends meet?


pinkpackrat said...

All I can think about when I read stories like this is the multi- million dollar bonuses that are still being handed out by banks and big corporations. Something is really really wrong here

Pauline said...

Makes me wonder how far things will go and how bad they will get before we, the working poor, revolt. I believe as long as we're just comfortable enough (a place that changes constantly as we incrementally give up more and more),we won't rise up.

Susan said...

Pink, the fact that "something is wrong" is probably the one thing that the vast majority agree on.
What we can't agree on is what should happen instead.
I'm beginning to believe that rather than wait for consensus, we should just all rise up and start yelling - the loudest and most persistent gets to shape that reform.

I think the nation thought the election of Barack Obama was a peaceful revolution. It's disappointing to discover that things haven't changed in many of the most important ways. I personally was hoping for an FDR.

Marches on Washington are beginning to seem very important, as are daily calls and emails to the White House and legislators.

And what if a web savvy national candidate with ties to neither party managed to run a campaign that reached people like Obama's did without requiring the huge advertising dollars mainstream candidates spend?

What if we used the Internet to stage a peaceful revolution?

2010 is a big election year, and 2012 isn't far away.