Your Letters: Unemployment; Ariz. Rest Stops

We heard from many of you regarding the long-term unemployed and Scott Simon's essay about the lack of rest stops along Arizona's highways. Guest host Jacki Lyden reads from listener comments and emails.

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typewriter and music)

LYDEN: We begin with our story last week about the long-term unemployed. An estimated six million Americans have been without work for six months or more. Jerry Baker(ph) of Longmont, Colorado shared his story on our Web site, npr.org. He said he was laid off seven months ago from his job as a precision sheet metal worker.

He writes: I found that because of my rate of pay, my age and the simple fact that jobs are all filled to capacity, I cannot get back to work in my skill-specific trade.

Mary Cole(ph) of Houston, Texas, said: I laugh when I hear a manager repeat that tired phrase, we need to find ways to do more with less. The stress of all this has reduced my dress size from a four to a zero. Yeah, more with less - I'm living it.

And Bruce Swartz(ph) of Oceanside, California writes on our Web site: I have 33 years of experience. I was a bank manager. I apply for jobs every day. When I do get an interview, the response is I'm overqualified and wouldn't be satisfied with the position. What they can't say is that I've over-aged, and they're looking for someone younger.

Last week, we also spoke with Jim Nayder, host of Chicago Public Radio's MOST-ANNOYING MUSIC SHOW.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Man #1: (Singing) I would give the world to see how I used to be...

LYDEN: A thankless job, and we received a few less-than-grateful responses from you. Mike Horton(ph) of St. Louis, Missouri writes: What exactly is wrong with Clint Eastwood's singing ability? When I heard your story Saturday, I immediately began to sing along with Mr. Eastwood, although with less ability, much to the chagrin of some of my co-workers. In the futures, please stick to making fun of the likes of William Shatner or David Hasselhoff, singers who rightly deserve to be included on THE ANNOYING MUSIC SHOW.

Finally, last week we spoke with the president of the Shakespeare Society at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Students there were attempting to read all the works of Shakespeare within 24 hours.

Louise Temple(ph) of Harrisonburg, Virginia, writes: I want to effusively thank the women of Wellesley for the interesting and entertaining interview in which none of the students used the word like at all - zero, nil, nada.

Do you know how rare this is for today's college students, and refreshing. Please pass along my congratulations for the proper use of the English language.

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