During the Great Recession I was living in a small, one-bedroom apartment in an out-of-the-way location that didn’t have high-speed internet—only dial-up. (This is relevant, believe me.)

I had been working as a substitute teacher after going back to college to renew my teaching certificate. During the school year, I was able to work as a substitute teacher, which just barely paid the bills. (I was hoping to eventually find work as a teacher.) It helped that my rent was only $400 a month.

Schools aren’t open in the summer, though. It was almost impossible to find work and I had no savings. I was signed up with every temp agency around, but jobs simply weren’t there. I was eventually promised work at an aluminum plant, for which I was very grateful because not only did they pay slightly more than minimum wage, they also offered 12-hour workdays, which meant lots of overtime. If I could only get in there quickly enough, I could make enough money to pay off my back rent and save my home.

I eventually did get that position. I had just discovered podcasting, thanks to Will Wheaton’s Radio Free Burrito and had made a few podcasts of my own. That’s not an easy thing to do over a dial-up internet connection. (I told you that would become relevant.)

Because I was busy and tired (coming off a twelve-hour shift, I would often just sleep for an hour or two in my car before I went in the house), I didn’t really have time to write or podcast about the experience. But I knew that I would want a record of these experiences, so I made recordings, generally on the way to work or the way home. I at first recorded on my portable mp3 player (remember those?) which had a record function, but later found that my digital camera could also record audio, and made slightly better recordings. I eventually shoplifted* saved up enough money to purchase an actual Olympus voice recorder, which I still have and use to this day.

I came up with the name “Great Recession Archive” pretty easily, actually.

Fast forward to the present day and we are again facing another global crisis. So I decided to pull out those old files, clean them up as best as I can, add whatever relevant information I have to them, and podcast them. This will take some time, but it will take my mind off the current crisis.

A couple of things to note:

  • The sound quality of these is terrible. I was recording on instruments that weren’t designed to make podcast-quality recordings. I’ve cleaned them up as much as possible on Audacity, but they still sound terrible.
  • I was tired all the time and probably swore a lot, so these are NSFW/NSFS.
  • I’ve kept these intact, with all the “um”s and dead air that was originally there. I’ve bleeped out any names, though.
  • Most importantly, I can’t guarantee that any of these are in any way interesting. Caveat emptor. 

That’s all, for now.


The opening song is “Sleepless” by Unheard Music Concepts.

The closing song is “Last Bar Guests” by Lobo Loco.

*Let’s just say that was Plan A.

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