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Street scene

The job had looked like a pathway to a better life. Then it was gone.

The young woman approaching the downtown bus stop looked close to tears. One foot was bandaged. She used crutches to hobble far enough up the steep street to see the bus schedule. Then, she hobbled down and sat awkwardly on the bench. She pulled out a cell phone and started to talk. Now, she was clearly close to tears.

“My co-workers urged me to ask for a raise, because I'd been there over a year,” she said. “He let me go.” The tears looked even closer. “He'll replace me with somebody who makes $8.50 an hour.” Some one had offered her a different job, which paid less than she had been making, but because she had hurt her ankle, she couldn't take it even if she wanted to. The old job had looked like a pathway to a better life. “I left school because I thought I had a future there,” she said.

Daniel Jack Chasan is an author, attorney, and writer of many articles about Northwest environmental issues. You can reach him in care of editor@crosscut.com.

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