I've noticed the economic problems in the store. Sales are off slightly and that's to be expected. People are still buying, but they are scaling down in quantity and quality. We're selling a lot more "airplane bottles" than we used to and low end booze is moving faster than we had seen in the past.
Add to that is the number of people who have come in looking for jobs. In the past month I've spoken to 3 people about it. Two of them had already put in applications on our website and were just doing follow up work (smart). In the prior 6 months I probably haven't spoken to that many people about needing work.
Yesterday, two friends of mine were laid off. One lives in Minnesota; the other lives in South Carolina. I feel bad for both of them. They are both good people and good workers. Later in the afternoon I was walking to my mailbox. My neighbor was working in his yard and I stopped to compliment his efforts. He got laid off on Friday afternoon. I spent extra time listening and chatting with him and it's clear that he's a little shell-shocked at the moment. I loaned him a ladder so he can work on some projects around his house.
Word in the newspaper is that some economists and some members of the Obama administration think that we're seeing some light in the economic problems. I would like to think they are right, but I have my severe doubts. There's still too little transparency and not enough regulations to protect the average person. What may look good right now is an optimistic Wall Street trying to stave off further regulation and, in their minds, further punishment. From the perspective of someone out in the rest of the country that light is non-existent. Hoping for it won't make it happen.