When you tell people you live on Cape Cod, they often tell you you're lucky, and for three-fourths of the year, they're right.
What they don't know—and you do, after you've lived here long enough to experience a few Aprils when the daffodils seem to shiver in the cold rain and the forsythia refuses to bloom—that there is no spring. Or, to be more precise, what little of it there is comes so late that it imperceptibly merges with summer!
I'm more dismayed by the sunless days and lack of color this year than I have been in the past, and I think it's because of the bleakness of the economic landscape.
The truth is, both here on the outer Cape where I live and in the business world we all occupy, things look pretty brown right now. You have to be very attentive to notice that the willow branches have a slight yellow tinge against the gray, gloomy sky, just as you have to look carefully to see any glimmer of hope in these dark economic times.
The saying, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got,” finds pathetic voice in Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream.
As she did in her previous book, Nickel and Dimed, this cultural critic formulates a theory about jobs in America and sets out to “prove” it by going undercover.
This time, instead of cleaning toilets, busing tables, and waiting on Wal-Mart customers for less than subsistence wage, sheposes as a job-beggar in corporate America. She endures an assortment of career charlatans, tweaks her resume endlessly, and sits through a series of demeaning networking experiences, all for the opportunity to sell insurance or cosmetics on straight commission with no benefits.