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21 June 2010

AskMeCha: Friend needs job [More:]A family friend is desperate. He owns a house, but may lose it. He has cared for his developmentally disabled niece for years, and her benefits have helped them survive, but his savings are gone and his car is dying quickly. Last week he mailed me to meet for lunch, then backed out saying he was broke. He was able to get a job driving a bread truck but that's only part time.

He was a local talk radio host, handling lighter human-interest fare, and well-liked -- but for various reasons he hated radio and abruptly quit a few years ago. He probably thought he'd find something before now, but then the recession hit, and it's gotten thin for him.

He's trying to get commercial and voice work and has had a few small paying acting gigs (many years in community theater). Being in a smaller city (Milwaukee is an hour away) beset by unemployment since the closure of an auto plant, I just don't know what to suggest at this point.

The only thing I can come up with is somehow monetizing his collection of old movies (on film) and associated memorabilia. I believe he's been selling some prized items already. But he's not a computer guy at all so words like "blog" and "podcast" go right over his head.
Is he okay with going public with this information? I'm up in Madison, and this seems like the kind of human interest story that someone like Doug Moe might do -- the "Hey, remember so-and-so?" thing. (Your friend probably had a lot of those in his time; that might be kind of a cute angle to the story.) I'm not thinking that it would be specifically looking for a handout, but because he's in Janesville and everyone has had bad times, his situation is pretty understandable. More like, "If you know anyone who could use a good worker, give him a buzz."

Maybe pitch it like, "just getting the word out by using him as an example of what people are going through, even recognizable folks," and include a way to get in touch with him if people have ideas. If nothing else, hopefully he'll get some people responding and sending him good wishes.
posted by Madamina 21 June | 11:03
Not a computer guy - OK - but has he sent a broadcast email to everyone he knows, or would he allow you to? When my job was terminated it was one of the first things I did, and it was REALLY helpful at generating leads. I just described my situation (briefly, no long sob story) and that I was looking for work, the kinds of things I could do, and then attached my resume. It was pretty cool how people responded with job leads, ideas, resources, offers of pickup work, etc.
posted by Miko 21 June | 19:54
Shatner's toupee || The &%@#*! EmCee