Monday, October 6, 2008

View from Downtown Chicago.....

And no, I'm not talking about the river, unfortunately. Hi everyone, it's Alecia- My Dad invited me to contribute to his blog, and well, I'm not exactly busy at work right now... :(

I work in a Commercial Real Estate Investment Brokerage Company, and as most would expect, the general mood is a little....shall we say depressing??

It's easy to look at the agents here and think "poor babies, not making their millions this month, boo hoo!". I know that's how I felt up until I moved into the Chicago office last month from Phoenix. Problem is, looking around I am seeing young people, mostly all my age, that just graduated college a few years ago and decided that real estate was a good idea (can you really blame them?). These guys don't get a paycheck until they sell a deal. Some of these guys have not sold a deal yet- and many have been here since 2005. I watch these guys bring in cheap frozen dinners (the kind that don't even fill ME up) from home for lunch every single day- and they aren't doing it by choice. These guys are losing money by coming here everyday. They look at me and say "man, I would love to trade you jobs....". And they are dead serious.

It's easy to be naive and overly optimistic when all you have ever experienced is excess. Even I, who grew up in small town Michigan, have only seen good times. Sure, I have made my fair share of stupid decisions, but I have always had food in my stomach, and I have always known that no matter how stupid my decision was, I would have help if I needed it. It's really hard to wrap your head around a looming crisis when all you have ever known is peace. It was really hard for me at first to truly realize that the world won't always be the way that I know it- and It's even harder knowing that some of the people I love will never realize this until it's too late.

I found in the beginning of the year and well, freaked a little at first. Realizing something like Peak Oil truly exists and is imminent is not easy. Most people that hear about PO immediately shut their brains down and stick their heads in the sand because it just doesn't "fit" with their expectations of the world. And then there are the people like my Dads co-worker that fall off the deep end and freak out a little too much. I tried to stay right in the center- prepared, but still living in the "real world".

I am lucky, my Dad (obviously) understands, and my Husband plays along and lets me do my thing, even though I am pretty sure he thinks I am at least a tiny bit crazy ;). Also, I am fortunate enough to have an ex-Ranger Father that lives in a paid off house in a small, agricultural town to fall back on if (when?) my company finally folds, my hubbys company folds (he thinks it will never happen, I hope he is right...), and we run out of $$ (won't be long!!). Most people are not this lucky. Most people I know keep less than a weeks worth of food on hand and would just simply sit down and cry if the lights went out. I hope these people can get a grip before it's too late....

Well, the DOW is down 761 (OMG!) points at the moment and I should really go back to pretending to work now (yea right, I will be on LATOC in five minutes guaranteed, LOL).

Till next time,

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