[Washington Babylon ]Don’t Cry For Me, Florida | Harper's Magazine

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[Washington Babylon]

Don’t Cry For Me, Florida


A real tearjerker from the St. Petersburg Times, about the difficulties faced by the unemployed.

As Gov. Charlie Crist switched from Republican to independent in the race for U.S. Senate, Eric Eikenberg had a quiet announcement of his own. He was quitting. Today is Eikenberg’s last day on the Crist payroll. Thirty-four years old, a father of three and unemployed for the first time since college. “It’s an anxious feeling,” he said. “I have great respect for the many Floridians today who are seeking work…”

Like other unemployed Floridians, Eikenberg faces the pangs of uncertainty, the nagging question “Will anyone want me?” and ordinary worries of providing for his family.

Except unlike most unemployed Floridians, Eikenberg was being paid $15,000 a month. And after getting laid off, he “loaded the clan into their Chevy Suburban and drove to Atlanta to see the Braves take on the Houston Astros.”

Read it and weep.

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