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.
'êMy co-workers urged me to ask for a raise, because I'd been there over a year,'ê she said. 'êHe let me go.'ê The tears looked even closer. 'êHe'll replace me with somebody who makes $8.50 an hour.'ê 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. 'êI left school because I thought I had a future there,'ê she said.