Thursday, April 24, 2008
Rough Ride
The past two weeks have been particularly stressful, as you might have guessed based on my lack of posting. It has been a rough ride, no doubt.

Last Monday at 6:00 a.m., my husband was informed that he was being layed off. Because it is a union shop and he only has been working there 9 years (!), he was on the list to go. This really had nothing to do with how he performs, his reliability, or anything based on merit. It was all about hire date. By 6:30 a.m. he had an interview scheduled for another job with a firm that had been trying to hire him away from his employer for 4 years. By the end of the day, he had a second interview scheduled (with a second prospective new employer).

On Tuesday, he was offered a job by the firm that had been courting him for several years. It is less money, but the savings in gas, windshield time, and childcare were going to make up for it. We decided the second prospective job was the wrong direction (more hours, less money), so that was an easy decision. But, we were still mulling over the new job offer and had found a way to make sure that our health insurance never lapsed. All good, right?

Well, so we thought...

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. It seems that the management of his current employer (who did the lay-off) has re-thought the layoffs and realized that a strict hire-date layoff was going to leave them with serious deficits in certain departments. Essentially, it was creating a skill drain, leaving them without the people who they count on. For example, they would be stuck with a bunch of guys who can run screw guns...and not much else. My husband, as it turns out, is one of those special skills guys.

So yesterday, they came to my husband and told him his job was safe again. Of course, they already knew that he'd been offered and accepted another job. But, management really doesn't want him to leave. Why? Because he actually works, performs, gets things done. When they need him to work late or weekends, he works. He's just that way. Now they are realizing that he's got another offer.

Suffice it to say that we're going to be okay. I am pretty confident that he's going to take the new job. When we boiled it down, it came back to the argument that his job is safe now, but what about 6 months from now? There won't be much dead weight left, and his number could come up again.

It is not lost on me that we have lost a lot of sleep over this. I like to call it exquisite torture. We are see-sawing back and forth emotionally, subject to the whims of corporate middle managers who couldn't manage their way out of a cardboard box. I am also mindful of how lucky we are. Ours wasn't the only family affected by this. There are lots of families out there looking at no job and here we have the choice of two. It is a testament to my husband's value as a skilled employee, but I still feel a bit guilty. Not too guilty though.

I'm just hopeful he can get out from under the dirty, lazy, wicked thumb of the union.
posted by Phoenix | 10:21 AM


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