You know the economy is bad when . . .

. . . your eye doctor works two jobs to make ends meet.

I went to the eye doctor today for my annual appointment. I’m not sure how the conversation about the economy started – it wasn’t me, I swear – but man o man did I get an earful – or eyeful?

Turns out she is working two jobs: her regular practice and at another company giving eye exams. Okay, so it’s not as sad as if she were serving cocktails at night in a club called Retina Scan, but she is the first doctor I know moonlighting to pay the bills. And despite her husband working, there isn’t enough to pay the bills and save.

I see all. And your office is a mess by the way.

I got the full scoop of what it costs to go to medical school for Ophthalmology – mucho dinero. And how long it takes to pay off a student loan – mucho años. And how much interest there is on a student load – mas dinero. (She’s bilingual.)

I’m sure she gets paid some minimal amount per visit and has to churn through patient after patient to make ends meet. The conversation made me start to worry that she wasn’t paying attention to my eye exam and might miss something important, like how stunning my blue eyes are (my opinion, not hers). And I fully expected, based on my past experience with doctors, to have some rare eye problem to add to my list of ailments.

But not today. The health Gods looked down upon me and decided not to make by eyes turn bright purple or swell to the size of cantaloupes or shoot flames and burn off my eyebrows. Today, they gave me a pass.

What did hit me is that there are people in the 99% percent I never expected to be there – first timers when it comes to feeling like they are barely making ends meet, which makes me wonder how my parents ever made ends meet when only one of them was in the workforce? And why are two incomes today not bringing in moola by the boatload?

If only I had the vision to understand it. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “You know the economy is bad when . . .

  1. I was talking with hubby the other day about our parents and their parents.

    Families used to be able to live on the husbands income so the wife could stay at home with the kids. And they managed to run 2 cars, vacation and own their own home. Not so these days, almost all mums work – at least part time (and I know of course many of them want to and that’s OK, but to HAVE to?) It just seems that something went wrong somewhere along the line when the kids HAVE to be carted off to daycare at 3 months of age, because the family cant afford for them not to. There are so many losers in this equation, my head is spinning.

    As for a trained opthamologist needing two jobs to stay afloat – insane – how in the world did we end up here?

    • Karyn,

      I’ve been raising this point with my friends since the post and your comment. Pretty soon we will have to adopt the Mormon way of life (for some of them) and have more than one husband or wife just to pay the bills. 🙂

      UC

      • Well, I know one man (sitting next to me on the couch) who wouldn’t be completely devastated if that were the only solution and he had *Sigh*

        “No other choice but to climb on the bandwagon and participate.”

        What a guy!

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