Monday, September 19, 2011

The New Migrant Workers

A strange thing is happening here in the Flint area. Something that has happened to me and now, I notice, to many others ‘round our beloved Buick City. We live here, but no longer work here.

When I finally managed to snag a job in Ann Arbor, I thought I was the only one who had to drive over an hour to my place of employment. That’s not true, as it turns out. In my own neighborhood, the lady across the street who once also worked in Flint, now has to commute to Bay City for her job. Another neighbor goes past Lansing. One must drive to Pontiac. Others in the area, I’m told, are forced to commute as far away as Grand Rapids and Mount Pleasant! It seems we have become a force of migrant workers, though unlike the agricultural laborers usually associated with that phrase, we drive back home at night. And if the others are anything like me, they will generally have just enough time to eat dinner and get ready for the next workday. Time for relaxation, socializing and puttering around the house are at a minimum.

I suppose one could reasonably ask why the hell we don’t simply move closer to where our jobs are. That’s a fair enough question but I think it has a reasonable answer. First of all, trying to sell a house in the Flint-area market would be an exercise in frustration. It’s not as though Flint is a hotbed of real estate activity. Trying to sell a house in this environment would be like trying to sell Playgirl subscriptions at a Lesbian convention. It just ain’t gonna happen.
Second, and more importantly, many of those working far from home have spouses and/or other household members who still have Flint-area jobs. Moving closer to one job would mean moving farther away from the other.
Finally, at least in my own case, there are children involved. My own children are enrolled in the Davison Public School District. Pulling them out would not only disrupt their personal and social lives, but that particular school district is doing a fantastic job educating our children. They are thriving both academically and socially. For me, my long drive is a sacrifice worth making for the sake of my children. Moving would disrupt and most likely hinder their educational progress.

And so I make the commute. As do others. We do this to earn a living. All the while the teabaggers call working people lazy and overpaid.

I keep hearing talk of class warfare. Honestly, I wish it was true. I’m so frustrated with what we working people have to deal with. I’m usually peaceful, but I think it’s time to stir things up a bit. I’m ready for some war.

But it won’t happen. We’re nothing but a bunch of stupid sheep.

Just waiting to get fleeced.

And sliced into lamb chops.

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