I've been thinking about it so much lately I truly wonder if I'm a nut. I'm surrounded at work by like minds, so I may be surrounded by nuts, which only makes matters worse. I need to find an "objective" judge.
"Mike", my neighbor across the street is a really mild-mannered guy. Slight in build and quiet in speech, he's one of those guys who has no enemies. He mostly listens... but will share his thoughts when asked. I was walking Lucy when I saw him tending to his freshly tilled garden plot, so I detoured for a chat. Since he's not the type to broach the subject, I brought it up...
"Mike, how do you feel about what's goin' on in the economy?"
"We've not had a contract at work for four months now. The company is planning layoffs. We're all scared to death."
"I'm so sorry to hear that. What do you think will happen?"
Long story short, he's on the same page as me. Fearful of losing his job, he pointed out something I didn't know-
Three doors East of me my truck-driving neighbor allowed the bank to "take back" his over-the-road truck. He has a beautiful new Dodge Ram extended cab pickup and will allow the bank to "take it back" at the end of the month.
My neighbor next door to the West works for the same outfit as Mike, so he's in the same boat.
That means much of my neighborhood is on pins and needles.
"What are your plans, Mike?"
He pointed to the garden plot I had seen from the road, then pointed to two others behind his house I hadn't noticed...
"We're planning on canning beans, corn, peas, and tomatoes at the end of the year."
I told Mike about our garden plans, then mentioned my purchase of the M-1 carbine as an insurance policy. His expression changed.
"I've had a .357 Magnum pistol for years. A month ago I bought a lever-action rifle chambered for .357 ammunition... probably paid too much for it, but I can now buy .357 ammunition in bulk to use in both the rifle and pistol."
Before I left him, Mike and I discussed getting neighbors together and forming a sort of "Super Neighborhood Watch" if the economy continues to worsen.
So, am I paranoid?
Maybe. But if my neighbors are any indication, paranoia is nearly epidemic not only at my workplace, but also around my home.