Dec 14, 2008

Will the current financial crisis affect your personal lifestyle?

A visit to a popular mall with thousands of footfalls per day left me intrigued. None of the 12 washrooms had a toilet paper roll. I attributed this aberration to napping janitors & caretakers. But a recent report in a local daily led me to believe that disappearing toilet papers are not due to janitors & careless caretakers. It is one of the myriad ways adopted by many employers to cut costs.

Welcome to post economic tsunami washrooms!!

The economic meltdown is subtly yet surely affecting our mindset & hence our lifestyle. All of us are directly or indirectly affected by job retrenchment. If not our own selves, at least one or more of our colleagues, friends, relatives or acquaintances have lost their job or are on the chopping list. It is new age socialism where the head of the CEO is as likely to roll as that of the junior most executive. Such a scenario is causing us to crib less about our employers & bosses & we are just plain grateful to be on the payroll .Thereby, it is causing us to be more contented with our current jobs. In the wake of retrenchment by reputed employers like Lehmann Brothers, A-grade business school pass outs can no longer snigger at their less fortunate peers. It has also meant that many careers are abruptly on hold where parents have paid through their nose to enable their wards to pursue courses of their choice. Its again back to struggling & penny pinching lifestyle in many such families. So, if your parent paid an astronomical sum for that fancy degree, you will have to wait a while before you can buy them that vacation or a small car as a mark of gratitude.

The underlying cause of this crisis is over- consumption , very high standard of living & a ‘give me more’ attitude. But this crisis has led to a general tightening of the purse, hence, under consumption & a lower standard of living in the past couple of months. Gone are the days of complimentary snacks, freebies, frequent flier privileges & off-site meetings at fancy locales. People are giving desserts a miss to cut down on their restaurant bill. It is no longer’ movie & candle lit dinner’ if you are in love. You might have to give either one of the two a miss!! And if you are used to being picked up by the luxury car that your company sends, do not be surprised if you see a chartered bus coming to pick you up.

The positive aspect of this economic meltdown is mostly felt by environmentalists & green brigadiers. To cut costs, employers are cutting down on refrigeration & air conditioning, thereby reducing the carbon footprint. So, if you were in the habit of sitting back for an hour in your air conditioned workstation in office, chatting with your friends on the many social networking sites, you will have to just break that habit.

We are gravitating towards a vegetarian diet instead of high calorie non vegetarian meals. If this trend continues, it would imply a predominance of vegetation agriculture than livestock agriculture. Thereby, it will reduce our demand on soil, water & land resources. A pronounced shift towards vegetarianism, as it burns a smaller hole in your pocket, provides a faint ray of hope of reducing mortality due to ‘diseases of civilisation’ like cancer, diabetes, cardiac, etc.

Because of escalated prices of fossil fuels, we are opting for car pooling & public transportation leading to slightly less congested roads. Hopefully, now governments will pay more heed to developing non conventional sources of energy like, solar, wind, bio-fuels, geo thermal,etc.

Excess demand on the environment is also caused by overpopulation. News of couples postponing having babies, is trickling in from many European countries would.It seems that the economic crisis will enable us to achieve what many population control programmes could not. This again implies a DINK-double income no kids-lifestyle. And if you wanted a small ‘Barbie like cute girl’ for your ‘whiz kid son’ to play with, even that has to be on hold for a while.

The crisis has caused a reduced dependence on crèches & day care facilities. So, nuclear families are going back to the old joint family system where children grew up listening to tales & fables narrated by their grand parents.

Two wrongs do not make a right. And neither can one hope to go back to old value systems by making forced personal compromises ,riding on the wave of the current economic scenario. But the crisis has taught us a lesson or two about life & counting our blessings for a change.

1 comment:

mesushovan said...

OUTSTANDING!!!! Brilliant produce and a real dossier of the real present.