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A Hidden Toll on Employment - Cut to Part Time -


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A Hidden Toll on Employment - Cut to Part Time -
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:07 pm EDT, Aug  1, 2008

For the last decade, Ron Temple has loaded and unloaded bags for United Airlines in Denver, earning more than $20 an hour, plus generous health and flight benefits. On July 6, as management grappled with the rising cost of fuel, Mr. Temple and 150 other people in Denver were offered an unpalatable set of options: they could transfer to another city, go on furlough without pay and hope to be rehired, or stay on at reduced hours.

Mr. Temple and his wife say they cannot envision living outside Colorado, and they probably could not sell their house. Similar homes are now selling for about $180,000, while they owe the bank $203,000.

So Mr. Temple took the third option. He reluctantly traded in his old shift — 3 p.m. to midnight — for a shorter stint from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. He gave up benefits like paid lunches and overtime. His take-home pay shrunk to $570 every two weeks from about $1,350, he said.

Mr. Temple’s wife, Ali, works as an aide at a cancer clinic, bringing home nearly $1,000 every two weeks, he said. But collectively, they earn less than half of what they did.

Suddenly, they are having trouble making their $1,753 monthly mortgage payment, he said. They are relying on credit cards to pay the bills, running up balances of $2,700 so far. Gone are their dinners at the Outback Steakhouse. Mr. Temple recently bought cheap, generic groceries from a church that sells them to people in need.

The problem is that their debt-to-income ratio before the cutback was already nearly 40% on just their mortgage alone. It should be 40% for all monthly "debts", including other debts, groceries, utilities, eating out, car payments, etc, making their financial situation precarious even before the cutback.

-janelane, homeowner

I see your story, and raise you a:

I think the best quote is "They also cut monthly expenses by pawning a diamond ring and selling camera equipment he owed money on. And he's looking for someone to take over his $550 monthly payment on a gray BMW 335i he leased last April."

This is all so silly. These people lived WAY beyond their means, and now that everything isn't ideal, they're totally fucked. Honestly, the only thing I spend more money on than I should is bar tabs. I think people need to think a bit more before they rationalize buying their new car, house, etc, etc,etc.

A Hidden Toll on Employment - Cut to Part Time -

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