Recession Mama

{April 6, 2009}   Meet Katy

katyI’ve lived this recession over and over since 2003. OK you’re asking yourself…2003? Wasn’t that when the economy was still strong? How in the world could I have lived this recession already? Well, I’ve been out of a job 11 times in a span of five years! Let me explain. I get paid to be a television producer in Los Angeles. Most of the time, I work freelance gigs, which means I’m working two to three months on a project and then moving on. Sometimes, the production company or television network will pay to give me benefits, and I’m considered “full-time” or “staff” but that never guarantees I’ll have a job for any specific amount of time. The show I’m working on could get canceled or not get “picked up” for another season. So for anyone who’s ever been laid off even once, I get it! I’ve seen the same look of pity amongst my friends and family for 5 years now! Every couple of months, when a show ends, all I hear is…”Oh, no! You’re out of a job again?!” I know that sense of uncertainty, wondering if I’ll ever work again?! But when I land another gig in a week or two, I know I’ll hear people either say, “Congratulations!” or that all too familiar look that tells me, “Welcome back. You’re one of us again.”


funemployednyc says:

Hi, Katy,

Your experience, I think, has a lot to say about workers’ future in this country and perhaps in the world. Are we headed towards a day when everyone will be “freelance” in every career field? I personally do foresee that. It could be great – if people have more flexibility, time to spend at home, work on projects they really enjoy, there’d be a lot more contentedness/happiness to go around.

On the other hand, are enough American workers up to the task of the constant job search? Will the unceasing competition be worse than the boredom of office slave work? Will the economy only be room for a handful of the number of workers we have now?

I plan on following you ladies’ blog and adding you to my blogroll. Will you do the same for us?

-Mimi Me

recessionmama says:

I think a “successful” freelancer really depends on his or her temperament and personality. A lot of my friends who are also in the entertainment industry hate the constant networking and job searching. I love it because I used to be a lot more commitment-phobic, and this is a great way to always have something new! But recently, I have wanted a bit more stability, and I will tell you why very soon. I don’t see the economy only having room for a handful of workers. I think, in the end, there will always be a need for people who are good at their jobs and are willing to work hard to get it done. I do see a need though for more flexible work shifts for some, especially new parents! But also…for some of us who just work better at different times of the day. Thanks for adding us to your blogroll! I’ve done the same for your site!

Tom Beltier says:

Wow, life is challenging right now, isn’t it? As you know, I’ve been looking for work also. One thing I have done with my time off was get new training. I recently received my Class A Commercial Driver’s License. However, I can’t find work as a Truck Driver either because everyone wants two years experience for insurance purposes. The only companies I can get work from are companies who are scamming new drivers to become lease/operators leasing that companies trucks. The company profits high while drivers make pennies. I can also try to become a company driver making low wages and being away from home for weeks at a time which I don’t want to do because my wife is pregnant and I don’t want to be far from her, but she does need the benefits. I may do just that.

I don’t believe I’ll see you driving a truck anytime soon, but if you do decide to go another route, check out the EDD website for job training. It’s paid for by the state. There may be something there that you’d like to try. Being as intelligent as you are, I think you’d qualify for anything. You’d have to wait until a class seat opens up-probably a few months. There is one requirement, you have to be collecting Unemployment. Make sure you contact EDD well before you start any training and GET THEIR PERMISSION before class starts or they’ll cancel your checks and make you wait about a month for a telephone interview and your checks will be behind. This is April and I just received my last check for February. I’ve received nothing for March yet and my complaint about it resulted in another telephone interview on April 21st. I just can’t win with them.

For anyone out there hiring producers, I want you to know that you Katy is the best producer I’ve ever worked with and I’ve worked with well over a hundred. She comes into the edit bay prepared and knows what she wants. There’s no guess work with her. We get the job done and go home on time or early. I wish I can clone her. Also, she has a great Voice-over voice and reads well.

You should use that voice of yours, Katy.

recessionmama says:

Thanks, Tom for the endorsement! I really liked working with you too, and I hope you find a job soon! I am currently working, but last month I wasn’t. My viewpoint on this blog is…I’ve lived this recession before because of my constant freelance status, so I think I can help some people weather the storm. Of course, I need help with other financial stuff, and that’s where everyone else can help me.

Congrats on the new blog. I bookmarked it!

recessionmama says:

Thanks, Paula! I bookmarked your blog too!

Claudia says:

Katy, I found this article yesterday and think it sends a really positive message on how to deal with these tough times. Staying positive is definitely key!

It sounds a bit like what you guys are doing with this blog. Read the article when you get a chance!

recessionmama says:

I agree on staying positive! And the reason we started the blog was because Carla was thinking of ways to keep busy after her lay-off. She’s such a journalist at heart that she was always thinking of recession stories. Normally, she would just pitch them to her newsroom, but with nowhere to turn, we thought…hey, why not write down our stories and publish them ourselves? We’re all current and former journalists anyway. Thanks for the article, Claudia!

recessionmama says:

Claudia — Just finished reading the article you linked. Really interesting, inspiring and right on! Recessions and depressions are great for dreams! It’s like life. How do you appreciate the great days if you’ve never experienced a bad one? ~Katy

YAY for the new blog, Katy! Love the topic…

recessionmama says:

Thanks, Jennifer!

yang says:


Yang from Team LARD. Just wanted to say that working in the finance industry for the past 8 years means that I have seen some ridiculous booms and busts. I’m lucky than most, but I know a lot of my old co-workers who are not so lucky. Washington Mutual, my first employer, survived the Great Depression only to implode spectacularly last year. I don’t know what the exact answer is, but I’m sure this kind of volatility is a good thing….

recessionmama says:

Hi Yang! How do you mean that this kind of volatility is a good thing? Please explain, for us non-financial people. WaMu was my bank, and just the other day, I was wondering if my future kids will even know a time when there were hundreds of banks. Or would they even know what a brick and mortar bank is? What do you do for the finance industry? Did you see this recession coming? Do you have a house, and is it right-side up or upside down? So many questions. I know you don’t have an exact answer, but maybe you can help sort some stuff out. Thanks for reading!

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