Tennis Today

I’m lucky enough to have a court practically in my back yard.  In preparation of a first round tournament match today, I headed out to the courts with a basket of balls anticipating some solo serving practice.  Then along came a young boy of about seven years decked out in World Cup soccer gear.   He amiably started throwing balls back from the other side.   While calculating some hip movement along with the toss, along comes another ball.  They keep coming over like missiles.  The kid had quite an arm.  Obviously, the mental side of my serving practice is shot so I collect balls and then start sorting out some old worn out ones since simple housekeeping now appears the order of the day.  I look at this kid and wonder how he’s going to take these old balls home.  He is black and speaks little English.  I head over to the car looking for a bag.  I mosey back and go through quite the effort in helping him understand that these balls are now his to keep.

Next, the both of us head over to visit with an Indian daughter with her father rallying over at court one.  Through watching these folks through the corner of my eye before my new little friend came along, I’d learned that the daughter had some good ground strokes.  I ask if I can join in.  I take the two on but we had to send the boy packing with a racquet to play by himself ‘cause the old fellow is deaf and blind so potentially there would have been an accident in the making.  Indeed, the dad somehow cracked a good ball in spite of his conditions.  Some time later, dad had enough and we all went our separate ways.  I gave the little boy a high five and he scurried delightfully home with some balls to hopefully start his life-long tennis adventure.

Job Loss

If you’ve encountered a job loss in this difficult current oil and gas Calgary market, this time it will be different – right?  “When I have my new good job, I’ll continue to upgrade professionally and save for a rainy day.  I’ll never take on too much of a mortgage or buy expensive lifestyle luxury items which get used only a handful of times per year.  I will strive for a second cheque monthly that will be back up.  I’ll be smart with my money and forget about keeping up with the Jones.’”

Welcome to the next down turn.  Your realtor and your investment advisor have led you to believe that the future would be rosy.  There were those glossy ads of new two story homes with luxury appliances and a double attached garage.  Even your banker only wanted two years of financial history while always voiding the prospects of the economic horizon. That vacation you took in the summer of 2015 was the last extravagance before buckling down – right?  Westjet whose corporate headquarters are here in Calgary has announced today a record number of passengers for the month of August.

Yes, you figured it right.  I am an accountant.  I’ve been doing tax work since 1994 and have been witness to much misalignment of the affairs of folks whom are for the most part strong thinking responsible people.  Few folks actually prepare a household budget and without fail, these are the ones who stream through economic cycles unphased.

Our governments have also failed to learn the lessons of past down turns.  Alberta has literally lost control of the public purse after a previous administration worked vigorously during a more difficult economic era to eliminate debt.

The Calgary Counselling Centre has just announced a 91 per cent increase in stress related calls associated with unemployment and fear of job loss since the same time last year.