From A Reader: ‘It’s Tough Living Here With Mom’

EDIT: Well, we’re idiots. Stacey Warde is a man, and that’ll teach us to assume anything based on common gender distributions of names from now on.

Reader Stacey Warde directed us to his blog a while back, and we’ve been following it since then. Today he posted something stark. It kinda made us want to give up on the bloggy snark for a while, even.

51-year-old Warde’s been looking for a job and learning about the oceanic qualities of the Internet. (It’s huge, it’s always changing, and if you’re not careful it can kill you.)

He writes about her search:

So far, I’ve received only job spams, emails claiming that openings exist for work at home, part-time gigs, no money down, no cold calls. All I gotta do is send some personal data to get started.

I’ve reviewed my resume a few times more, tweaked it here and there, and tossed it back out into the wide-open space of the Web, a frontier that remains as foreign and new to me as civility in discourse is to the young who seem to have already conquered it.

Still, I’ve had no action. It could be the simple fact that my resume sucks. I don’t know html or how to use the tools that make the digital world effective. At 51, I’m a generational handicap, a displaced worker, a digital illiterate.

It’s tough living here with mom, much as I love her, without a reliable income. I start feeling bad and tell her that I don’t want to be a burden. There’s at least a little bit of work at home, I tell her, planting blueberries and working on the farm more than four hours away, but I want to help as much as possible, I add, and be a reliable (and hopefully comforting) presence as she completes her radiation treatments. She hands me a $20 bill. I feel pathetic.

As print slowly fades, and digital gets brighter by the day, I don’t know what else to do but put up what I can online, say three “Hail Mary’s,” and cross myself. I’m not even Catholic. That’s just how it feels to put myself out into the wide, unknown world of the web. When I post online, it’s like a prayer, “God, I hope this works.”

Man, we just wanna hug you, Stacey. Thank you for reminding us that the recession isn’t just a bunch of faceless statistics. And we’ll teach you HTML if you want. Really.