Out Of Work In Michigan

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hide captionShane Bailey used to work here.

David Greene/NPR

NPR's David Greene has hit the road for a big "100 Days" project. He's talking about the recession with people around the country. The idea is to travel south on I-75, starting in snowy Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Greene sends the photo above, along with this first report:

Dinner on night one was at Applebee's. I was at the bar, reading the Detroit News. The headline striped across the front page: "Mich. Jobless Rate: 10.6 percent." As if I were asking for evidence, a guy sat down next to me. He ordered a beer. Then he shared some news with the bartender — he'd just been fired.

Shane Bailey, 35, agreed to meet me again the next morning near the "Soo Locks," the river locks between Sault Ste. Marie and Canada. Shane's an engineer for the Coast Guard but said he failed to pass a test for a promotion. He's likely getting his final paycheck in a few weeks. Shane said he's looking at a few different jobs, including a janitor's opening at a local casino. He said he's bracing to be out of work, though, and believes he knows a friend who will give him a spare room if he's forced to give up his apartment.

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