Friday, September 16, 2011


On a rainy night in Kittery, Maine, Doug greeted his customers, with a warm and inviting smile, as they entered Ruby's Diner. Doug has a square, muscular build and is the father of six. Last year, after working for a company for fifteen years as a graphic designer, he and other colleagues with tenure and higher pay were laid-off. As he spoke, Doug's attitude was upbeat, and he had a positive outlook.

Doug was reared in Kittery. He spoke highly of his friends, many of whom he has known since childhood. When Doug lost his job, his friends surrounded him and his family with love and support. Two of Doug's friends own Ruby's, where he works as an assistant manager and waits tables. You couldn't ask for a more gracious host than Doug.

As Doug spoke of his and his family's economic belt tightening, he said that they had lots of things, but they were all old and paid for. Apparently, Doug and his family had always lived modestly but, with a diminished income, they lived even more creatively and frugally. One such measure was to raise chickens for eggs and meat.

On the up side of the economic downturn, Doug spoke of enjoying having more time to spend with his children, who enjoy fishing and outdoor activities.

For their summer vacation, the family drove "Hank the Tank," their 1984 RV, to Colorado. En route, the fan belt broke, and repairs entailed a costly tow. After that experience, Doug said he carried extra fan belts and could change one in fifteen minutes flat.

Radiating with love, Doug went on to extol the many virtues of his wife, a school teacher. He proudly stated that he and his wife had cleaned motel rooms that summer, and they had outworked the "kids."

"Kids don't know how to work today," said Doug. "They're always smoking, talking on the phone or texting."

As a footnote, Doug added, "If you're a hard worker you can always find a job."

As we say in Oklahoma, Doug hit the nail squarely on the proverbial head.

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