Investing in Philippines: The Economic Crisis and Larry Crowne


Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Economic Crisis and Larry Crowne

Sorry for a side story  but after watching Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts's movie, Larry Crowne, I have this idea and I have to write it before I forget it.

The story is about Larry Crowne who was a divorced retail store worker. He loves his job that he is the employee of the month for the 8th time. Then one day the managers paged him. His co-worker thinks its another award making it the 9th time. And so he was there with some managers including someone who was his batch in the company but promoted to supervisor. He was wearing a happy face but it was marred by a bomb that was given him. 

As usual the US economy was down and times are tough and all the companies are doing their best to keep things going. Larry was one of the guys laid off. He asks why is he laid off. He got 8 employee of the month awards and was thinking he is getting his 9th  but an unwelcome surprise ruin his day. The big boss said he could have kept his job if he has other skills but his skills are limited due to the fact that he never got a college education unlike his current co-workers thus making him one of the candidates. The supervisor who was his batch even bragged that the reason why he got promoted and Larry got stuck in the floor of the retail is that he lacked a college education.

How would you feel if one day your boss calls you and tells you the same? 

Yes times are tough. And yet we still don't make ways to be prepared for such. Like Larry he was not ready for it. His house was on a mortgage and he does not even have enough to buy it. He followed the advice of his boss and got himself to a community college to supplant that missing qualification. He got a job at a local dinner as a cook, a work he did when he joined the Navy 20 years ago, and lastly he gave up his car and bought an old scooter to save on gas.

Again times are tough and tough times needs tough measures.

A lot of young people of my age(ahem! I am still young at my age right?) still don't prepare. Most will actually plan nearly monthly or quarterly three day getaway to Boracay or to Pagudpud even though their pockets cant afford it. They say to relieve stress. But after it do you think your stress wont be back as well plus a problem on how you will pay for that getaway?

I am not implying that we don't deserve to have a vacation, believe me we do need it but spending without any funds to pay for it is suicide. What if after your holiday your boss ask you to come to his office and closes the door and tells you the company has to let you go.

The movie did make some important points.I hope you will pick something from them.

Larry was using a big truck, a Ford Expedition, and it eats gas. But one day he saw an alternative. While he was in a gas station filling up his car whose tank seems bottomless sees a couple of guys using scooter or moped. His car needs about $78.00 worth of gas to go around but the scooter only needs $3.40. And thus he ask his friend who has a scooter on yard sale. Bought it and uses it.

Larry's friend was the expert in haggling. He owns the scooter on yard sale and so Larry haggled for the scooter at $200.00 but his friend says its $700.00 and Larry can't believe it. But his friend  tells him that its his business and all Larry has to do is to haggle more until they reached an agreeable price but Larry has no money. So instead of haggling further for value he haggled with a barter. Larry gave up his 21 inch flat screen for the scooter.

This is what the movie was all about thus Larry enrolled himself to get that additional skills to avoid the same reason his former employer told him why they have to lay him off. The circumstances was against him. He needs to find a job to keep him afloat at the same time get a college education but it never stop him from doing that. He works again as a cook in a friend's diner while he catches time to be on his class on time. And another thing more his professor played by Julia Roberts kinda gave him a hard time(the love story here is for you to find out, watch the movie)

Larry also enrolled himself in a economics class. From his class he learned that the best option  he has is to stop his mortgage on his house and move into a smaller apartment. With his new acquired knowledge, he recalculated his mortgage and compared his other options. Grab all his mortgage documents went to the bank and told his agent that giving up his house is the best option he has. Thanks to his economics professor(we might call him mentor) he was able to see the bigger picture of his situation.

When Larry was about to transfer to his apartment he ordered pizza as a parting meal with his neighbors. And what happened? The pizza delivery guy was his former batch at his job who got promoted over him. Tough times ha! So if you think those people bragging that they are secured in their jobs because they have better qualifications than yours then your wrong. That is why being ready is a very important thing. 

I quote a friend's profile motto in a forum I am a contributor: The only preparation for tomorrow is the RIGHT use of TODAY.

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