President Bush said this past Wednesday that the U.S. economy has hit a “rough patch”, and that everything will be fine in just a little bit. My personal economy has been in a “rough patch” since early 2004, when I lost my job. And I’m not the only one reporting a certain roughness to my patches. Here’s some words from I friend I met at the unemployment office:

It has been a struggle for many of us. I am forever changed by the experience of looking for a job and seeing things from new perspectives.

I continue as a contractor. No assurance of my status, or my project status, but it has been over 8 months of steady work.

I covered sports for the paper last fall for poor money, but it kept me in the game writing. Adding insult, I had to fight to get paid due to a disagreement. (I did not get paid for one week, I complained a few times and the owner then threatened to cut my compensation for the remaining weeks). I got about $35 a week, but I had to drive to the games, pay to get in $5, and write the articles. But I liked covering the team, getting familiar with the team character and players, and writing.

If Bush would just act as if he cared about stories like that, it would improve my opinion of him by leaps and bounds. I think and hope that the events of the past four years have humbled me just a tiny bit, but Bush seems as arrogant and unwilling to deal with or even acknowledge reality as ever.