Monday, October 6, 2008

Post Financial Crisis Survival Tips

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You
© 2008 Leighann Lord

As the economy prepares to slide into the abyss, the experts are warning us to prepare for hard times. Jobs will be lost, dreams will be deferred, and folks will be robbed. When the Dow goes down, crime goes up. While we’ve all been enjoying a relatively low crime rate, some of us may have forgotten how to manage in more thuggish times. Worried about getting through the coming crime wave? Fear not! Let us harken back to the time of The Club, LoJack and Benzi Boxes.

In general, for your personal safety, it’s best not to be seen looking too prosperous. This means you’ll need to cut back on the conspicuous public consumption of your personal music. Leave your Ipod at home. If you must carry it with you, for god’s sake don’t walk around with your headphones on. You’ll never hear the danger coming.

If you really can’t be without your music, start singing to yourself. This carries the bonus of making potential thieves think you’re crazy. If you really want to be hard core don’t sing happy songs. Instead of "Don’t Worry, Be Happy," belt out a full throated rendition of "Amazing Grace." Religious crazies are guaranteed safe passage almost anywhere and it might earn you a couple of dollars if you stand still and set out your coffee cup.

Speaking of coffee, no more bopping around the city with your ostentatious Starbucks grande latte. You’re welcome to continue patronizing Starbucks – if you still got it like that – but I strongly suggest you imbibe on site or transfer the beverage into a Dunkin Donuts cup.

This probably goes without saying, but no more whipping out your laptop in the great outdoors. Luckily, Winter is coming so this isn’t a big issue, but on a lovely Indian Summer day you might be tempted to visit your local outdoor café or public park and surf the web. Don’t do it. Thieves will not be content to just steal your identity. You could get victimized virtually and literally.

If you’re sensing a theme then you know talking while walking may no longer be the safest of activities. Phone jackings – long prominent in Europe – will surely increase. You could find your Side Kick, Black Berry or iPhone whisked away before you have a chance to dial 911 or text for help.

It’s not just electronics, you’ll be needing to secure your personage as well. That’s right Ladies, we’re bringing back the signature after-work Nike’s and bobby socks look that was big back in the late 80s, early 90s. Yes, those Jimmy Choo heels are way cute, but if you suddenly have to run for your life, you’re dead. If you get your purse snatched, and trip and fall while trying to run after your assailant, they might double back to grab your shoes too; a double humiliation. You might be able to buy them back on Ebay, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Non sequitur: if you do enjoy running I encourage you to keep it up. It’ll come in handy, but please don’t do it alone. Now’s the time to run with the pack. Don’t fall behind. Don’t get too far ahead. There’s safety in numbers.

Gentlemen, you’ve got to be careful with your wardrobe as well. If you’ve got a suit and tie job, bring a change of clothes. It might be enough to shed the jacket, roll up your sleeves and pretend you work in the mail room, but if you look like you work on a Wall Street, you’re putting yourself at risk. You might catch a beating from a disgruntled former home owner from which no one will bail you out.

It’s also time for everybody – male and female – to tuck in the bling. I hope things don’t degenerate to the days when miscreants boldly snatched gold chains right off people’s necks in broad daylight but why take the chance? Those days made such an impression on me. Since silver is less valuable than gold, wearing it made you almost invisible to would be snatchers. And if they did see you, you were looked upon with pity. I switched to wearing silver and never looked back.

I’m not trying to scare anybody; just consider these tips as a few words to the wise. If you happen to have any wiggle room in this economic downturn it might not be a bad idea to invest in some self defense classes. You never know when you need to defend yourself or help beat a banker’s ass.

Thank you for reading The Urban Erma.

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