Sarah brought up something I wanted to address. She wondered who in the world, in this economy, would quit a job without notice.
My field has been hurt very little by the economy, comparatively, as it is in healthcare; all 3 had new jobs to go to. The last one I can understand more than the first two as she was taking on more hours with the other company she worked for; it is quite common in my field for people to work for 2 or 3 different companies at the same time. The first two, however, obviously went job hunting, interviewed, and accepted a job without even letting me know they were even considering doing so, which is stupid because (a) I would have tried to help them get more hours if they wanted to do that and/or (b) I wouldn’t have held it against them if they felt they needed to look elsewhere. So, while they espoused their gratitude to me for all that I’d taught them (and one had supposedly even been a “friend”), they were busy screwing me over at the same time. THAT is the part that pisses me off.
The lack of notice is the part that pisses my boss off, and yes, all 3 just burned their bridge with a flamethrower, which was not only totally uncalled for but completely unnecessary – for multiple reasons: first, we would have understood, and second, it is highly possible that we would have told at least one of them that they didn’t need to work the 2 weeks unless they really wanted to because we had people that would be happy to have the work. But no, picked up the flamethrower instead. Amazing.
As I said above, comparatively, my particular field in healthcare has managed fairly well in the economic woes. People obviously still have to go to the doctor for all kinds of issues, big and small. However, traffic in medical offices and facilities has actually slowed noticeably — even in hospitals. That $20-40 copay becomes a pretty big issue when your spouse’s hours have been cut in half, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to still have a copay; so many people have lost their jobs and, thereby, their insurance (COBRA is a joke; who the hell can afford that??). So, across the board, people are not going for treatment — and I’m talking about treatment for everything from the flu to brain surgery to cancer.
As a parent, that scares the hell out of me. What kinds of cooties are walking around out there going untreated? How many kids aren’t even being vaccinated as they should be now because the parent(s) have no insurance and don’t know about or aren’t taking advantage of the programs that will cover that kind of thing? How many kids aren’t getting treatment for the random usual kid illnesses for the same reason (most of which are ridiculously contagious)?
As a researcher/data hound, this raises all kinds of interesting questions: What effect, if any, will this have on our population, and will we notice a difference in next year’s census? Will a rotten economy be the precursor to a true pandemic (which swine flu ain’t) because of a lack of treatment? Will that kick the next superbug into high gear or will it have a reverse effect and build immunity as people actually tough some things out and avoid unnecessary antibiotics? How will our economy woes effect research and development of new therapies and new drugs? Will new treatments, cures, or vaccines be delayed or even die in the pipeline due to dried up funding?
I know that I am very lucky to not only still have a job but to also still have actual work to do and am grateful for both. I do really wonder what the future holds though, even in my field.