Tuesday, 22 July 2008

High fuel price costs jobs

About two weeks ago, when I was waiting for my car to be serviced, I had an interesting conversation with the mechanic at the car dealership. It goes something like this.

me:
"Did see the price of petrol today? It is getting pretty high."

mechanic: "When I drove in to work this morning, I saw about $1.70 per litre."

me: "I hope that it goes down a little in the next few weeks"

mechanic: "Well, I think the damage is already done. Some of my mates had to quit their jobs because the petrol prices are too high."

me: "Really?!?"

mechanic: "Yeah. They had to travel about an hour to work, and the cost of petrol is around $125 per week. They just couldn't afford it."

At that point, I start the feel how lucky I am to be working about 5 minutes drive from home. In a city like Melbourne where the suburban sprawl of extremely wide, it is quite common for workers to travel for more than two hours each day between home and work. The lack of public transport to service the widening suburban sprawl does not help these people.

The mechanic went on to say that his friends would have got more money in their pockets if they went on the dole, or unemployment benefit, however they manage to find similar jobs closer to home.

If I was in a similar situation, I probably would have seriously consider this option as well. In the current economic climate, having enough money to provide for your family the number one priority.

What would you have done in a similar situation?

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3 comments:

Debt Dieter said...

I'll hazard a guess that his mates are all driving big cars, not ride sharing and wouldn't be seen dead on public transport. So of course quitting is seen as a viable option.

Call me a cynic but quitting your job and going on the dole is not a viable option, unless you're a loser.

tehnyit said...

Perhaps it was the way I wrote the passage, but I believe the mechanic was using the dole as an example on how much it was costing his friends in transport costs, not a 'real' option they were considering. I have edited the passage for a better clarity.

You are right in that quiting and going on the dole is not a viable option, however, getting a job closer to home is. This was the option I was referring to.

Car pooling is great if it is practical for all parties. However, if you work in small company and need to travel long distance, the chances of car pooled are slim.

Vincent Falzon said...

Often upgrading to a small, fuel economic car can even pay for itself.

My friend was paying $120 in fuel every week to get to work and then took out finance to buy a new Hyundai excel and the repayments of the new car plus the cost to fuel the new car were significantly less than what he was paying in fuel for his older vehicle