Today my former employer, the Columbus Metropolitan Library was forced to cut pay for its workers and reduce staff hours because of a loss in funding from the State of Ohio of over thirty percent. This move has directly impacted the lives of many of my friends, colleagues and enemies.
I worked there for six and a half years and that collage of my son was created over my desk. I hated tearing that collage down, but not as much as I came to hate working there. I may still have bitter feelings about working for CML but I am not happy with today's developments.
Thanks to a poor national economy, and an even more screwed up state economy that Ted Strickland inherited from Bob "Governor Doofus" Taft - who did his best to turn Ohio into Mississippi - the library board was given a crap sandwich to work with and, frankly, they did a better job than I thought at dealing with the budget cuts. Yet, it's very unsettling to read Facebook status updates that cheer five percent pay cuts and that people would not be losing their jobs. Yes, it's a relief, but a giant backslide that is not the fault of libraries. But is it time to be grateful that the messed up economy of this world has finally trickled down to you?
Celebrating losses of pay and services is a giant mistake. What are we going to do to prevent social lifelines and cultural enriching institutions from falling apart? Will we soon be thanking our maker that only thirty people got laid off instead of a hundred? This is not growth. This is a depression.
Are we going to continue heaving sighs of relief that things could always be worse when Ohio's libraries, which are consistently the highest rated in the country, are gutted? What's next? Food pantries? Health services? The park system? Police? Fire?
Keep breathing, when is that going to be taken away from us because of a lack of funding?
In better news on the home front the gas company has been overestimating my bill for some time. We were finally able to coordinate an actual reading last week and today's bill was a substantial credit. Might not have to pay them until November.