For many months George Bush referred to our current economic recession as a "slow-down". It wasn't until the Fed, Ben Bernanke, all the European markets, Alan Greenspan, all the Asian markets and Wall Street taking several really steep nose dives before he changed his terminology from "slow-down" to recession.
In the midst of this "slow-down" I have tried to find ways to cut our expenses. One of the ways is shopping at that horrible grocery store where food items are set to expire in 2 days, the cans are all dented and the labels ripped off and the employees are working at gunpoint. Another way is walking instead of driving so I don't have to pay for the high price of gas, which ironically has been coming down daily since the recession hit. We don't eat out at restaurants or fast food, we have lots of picnics and sandwiches in the park. I've even taken to baking our own bread instead of buying sliced bread. And then the best of the best, hanging clothes on a clothesline and not using our dryer.
So this week I took our phone bill in hand and called the number to "make changes to your account". As someone who worked for years in a Call Center environment - I love to see what changes have come to our customer service departments in our large information technology companies. One of the worst decisions ever made is to utilize the voice recognition recordings. They usually have verbiage like this, "please enter or say your phone number starting with area code first". If your kid runs into the room screaming "poopy deeper Mama, poopy deeper" then the voice interrupts you rattling off your phone number and says, "I'm sorry but I didn't quite get that, can you enter or say your phone number again?" This type of customer service is pointless if you have any children living at home which means I won't be able to use this until the kids turn 18 and leave for college or move out at 16 with their high school sweetheart into a place that I'm paying for.
After 26 minutes on the phone with the phone company, I removed the call waiting, caller id, call forwarding, 3 way calling, unpublished number, long distance and seriously considered getting rid of the voice-mail. I triumphantly shaved a whopping $45 dollars off our phone bill and if that doesn't do it, I will be forced to cancel the high speed Internet.
I don't imagine for a second that our current economic situation will affect the White House other than to include some sympathy in the speeches that are being written and delivered. I don't imagine that George Bush will cut the Netflix out of the monthly budget or that he will ask Laura to plant a garden to offset the cost of produce. The only thing I can hope for, is that the American people will "slow-down" their interest and support in the current administration and maybe we'll see the recession's biggest impact on November 4th when we hit the polls.