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. 🙂