We had a couple things working in our favor when it came to recruiting. The wave of discontent that had made the bank burning virus go viral was still out there and growing. I thought of it as a huge shapeless invisible blob of of ill will, anger, and resentment that was gradually filling every nook and cranny of the country. In just the last few years it had gone from a barely perceptible smoke that occasionally collected in pockets to a mass that was gaining in substance with every passing day.
Why? I wasn't a historian. My guess, one I was betting my future on, was that the great mass of people were angry, feeling like they had been had, and scared. Very scared. They feared that life was about to kick their collective ass off the side of a cliff. What made them angry was they didn't understand how they got there and why not everyone was going over the side with them.
The reality was yet another administration was in charge now in DC. They wanted to cut the deficit and one of the ways they did it was no longer paying unemployment to people who had been out of work more than three years. Three years was a compromise too. They really wanted to make it a year but there was no way that would have passed. The three year limitation was already biting deeply into to the number of unemployed. The numbers of unemployed were dropping and that was seen as a triumph for the current administrations policy. The numbers were dropping all right. Right off the side of a cliff.
The ones who hadn't gone over the edge had a good idea what was waiting for them. They had seen people they knew, or knew enough about people that had who reminded them of themselves. They would run into an acquaintance from work in front of the grocery store as they exit asking for food or money to buy it. A friend tells you about how a friend who tried to live in her car was raped. People tell you they need to find another place to live and you never hear from them again.
You go home. Walking up to the front door a couple of young men you had never seen before walk past and stare at you like hungry lions. Inside your brother-in-law is asleep on the couch as usual. His, and your daughters kids are in the backyard playing. You had forgotten how much food kids eat. The inventory you do in your head of food in the cabinets doesn't match how fast you are going through it and when the next check hits the bank account. What makes it worse is you have a job still. You don't even want to think about what it would be like if you didn't. Meanwhile the rich seem to get richer and the world around you is dirtier, more dangerous, and in far too many places the earth itself is dying in order to make these rich people richer. You feel like punching a wall but instead you bite the head off of the first person that greets you. You don't know whats wrong with you. Why am I so angry? Why do I just want to sit down, cry, and scream to everyone "It's not fair!"
These were the people who were going to fill my ranks. After they had fallen off the cliff I was sure they would do anything to claw their way back to any semblance of the world they had left. I was going to channel that anger and they would love and respect me for doing it.