Michael Smith and Julius Giles couldn't be less alike. Smith is 63 with three children in college and a veteran of 25 years in the local television business; Giles is a 23-year-old Sacramento City College student and a single father of a 2-year-old daughter.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the two shared a table at a Sacramento McDonald's: unemployed, applications in hand, waiting for their names to be called.
"Forty years between us, and we're at the same table," Smith of Sacramento said.
A lot of people might as well have been at the same table.
Smith and Giles were among thousands who showed up at McDonald's outlets throughout Northern California and western Nevada – trying to land one of 1,000 jobs the company was filling during a hiring day event. More than 100 applicants came to the K Street site alone.
It was a graphic example of the economic pain that has been visited upon the region the last two years.
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