I'm feeling a tad unsympathetic.
A good friend of mine, who has been earning over $200,000 a year as the head of a public relations firm saw her business go belly up a couple of months ago when her two best clients decided they could no longer afford PR services.
So she's going from $200,000 to zero, right?
As it happens, not exactly.
She brushed off her resume and five weeks later, has landed a position in another firm.
BUT (trust me, this BUT is bigger for her than it is for me), the new job pays $115,000 per year.
She hasn't stopped whining about it since.
Hmm--but maybe she has a lot of debt? Maybe she can't afford a pay cut?
Guess again. She paid off her student loans years ago; her two sons are grown, educated and on their own; Her home is paid for (though her beach house isn't); So are her two vehicles. Not to mention retirement funds that are in excess of two million (except maybe in the last month).
So what is the problem?
It's her lifestyle.
It's a two hundred thousand dollars a year lifestyle and she's ticked off to think that she must now muddle through on a mere $115,000. It's not that she can't live without her personal trainer and her beach house and her part-time chef (I am NOT kidding!) but that she REALLY doesn't want to. And she resents that she will not end her career as the head of her own agency, but as the 'underpaid' employee of someone else.
We've had our "everyone loses in a recession" talks, but I'm not in mood to equate her circumstances with those of my more truly poverty-stricken clients, any five of whom would gladly share that $115,000 per year that she now finds insufficient.
I think what I most resent is the apocalyptic tenor of our conversations. She believes her life is over. I think it's just in for a downsizing. Actually, since she's just 54, I think she still has time to take over her new firm! And who knows how much she might be making then.
But in the meantime, can we just agree that though her income is greatly reduced, she is not exactly a baglady? Puhleeeeez!