Via @Yousefzadeh comes this tragic, tragic tale:
Carlos Araya used to order lobster, filet mignon and $200 bottles of red wine at the Palm Restaurant in midtown Manhattan.
Now, he seats customers at its Tribeca branch.
Mr. Araya, 38 years old, lost his job in 2007 as a crude oil trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After visiting dozens of headhunters with no luck, he applied in August 2008 to be a host at the Palm to support his wife, two young daughters and mortgage payments. His salary has plunged from $200,000 to $25,000.
Read the whole thing, so that you can properly appreciate the advice which I am about to give this fellow:
- Sell the condo for pay-off-the-mortgage price (if that’s not your definition of ‘break-even’ – and I’m betting that it’s not – change your definition). If you can’t, toss the bank the keys and write it off. Yes, that will destroy your credit rating. It’ll also save you the two grand a month that you’re hemorrhaging right now. Actually, probably more like three grand.
- Find an apartment in Queens. One that you can afford. Welcome back to the urban middle class; think of it as a life lesson on what disaster planning really entails.
- Take the subway to work. Although I may be unfairly assuming that you don’t.
- Go get a college degree. Associates will do for now.
- Get a job that doesn’t let you network with potential employers but does pay more than $25K/year. What, you thought nobody would notice that? I was making more than that temping in NYC.
And, oh yes:
- Start voting your freaking class interest. Because, based on context clues, I am morally certain that you don’t vote Republican.
PS: Sympathy? Sympathy? Something like one-seventh of the population of the planet don’t have clean water to drink (and I don’t mean something that can be handled by this). This guy’s underemployed and trying to save his condo: I’m sure that I’d be trying to do the same thing in his circumstances, but until his kids are coming down with beriberi there’s an abrupt upper limit to how long it’ll take before I start pointing out things to him.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.