By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
We’re at a pivotal stage in the national economy. Things could soar up to the clouds, or sink down to the sewer.
According to my leading indicator, we’re at a crossroads. The coming months will be crucial.
When the U.S. economy tanked in 2008, Jay Bell, my good friend from “Bradenton-Fun-in-the-Sun-Baby-Florida,” was among the first to go underwater. He had to leave paradise and return home to Missouri, a lovely state, but a cold one.
“I’m from Florida now. My blood’s thinner than distilled water,” he said. “The Jaybird wasn’t meant to migrate north.”
After a time, he went back to the Sunshine State, where he thawed out while delivering pizzas. Clearly, the national economy was still in shambles.
A little more than a year ago, he got a temporary job that held promise until he was cut loose with a handshake and a pat on the back. Times were tough all over.
But after Christmas, he got called back to work. He’s been a full-time employee since. Good times, or so you would think. Now, Jay Bell’s on the brink of tipping us all into economic turmoil. The company he works for has made him part of a pilot program.
“They’re letting the Jaybird work from home,” he said. “I really hope I don’t screw this up.”
“Don’t worry, buddy,” I said. “How is it going so far?”
“I’m working like a mad man,” he said.
“Mad man” was right. During his first week, he crawled out of bed and went straight to his kitchen office, where he keeps the laptop, printer and phone the company provided.
“I was just jamming, you know,” he said. “I went three days without a shower. That’s three days without changing my underwear.”
“Whoa!” I said. “Nobody needs to hear that.”
“It’s true, though,” he said. “I’m taking it easier this week. I’ve been getting cleaned up, eating breakfast, then working for only 9 or 10 hours.”
“I’m afraid you might burn out, working like that,” I said.
“Morris, you idiot, I was driving more than two hours every day,” he said. “Now, I’m commuting from my bed to the kitchen table. This is nothing.”
Do you see my concern for the economy’s fragile recovery?
Jay’s nearly hit perfection, as he defines it. His time is his own, as long as he gets his work done. No one’s looking over his shoulder.
“I don’t go to some of the Internet sites that I visit on my personal computer,” he said.
“Very wise of you,” I said.
“Things are going too good. I really hope I don’t screw this up.”
“You’ll do fine,” I said.
I didn’t add that the entire national economy hangs in the balance. I doubt that kind of pressure would help our precarious situation. Let’s all hope the Jaybird pulls through for us. He, and we, deserve some good times after all we’ve been through.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.