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One of life’s curveballs

by Debt Destroyer on July 25, 2008

I(DD) went to work yesterday morning and my boss met me as I walked in and suggested we have a brief meeting in the conference room. In my short time at this job I have learned one thing, meetings with the boss in the conference room are not good.

This one sure wasn’t.

I was being let go. They were expecting tough economic times in the near future and they weren’t sure if I was a good fit for their company. So they decided we should part ways now before things got too complicated.

I was fairly blindsided so I just sat there like a deer in the headlights, nodding silently and saying things like, “I understand.” And the ever-so clever, “uh huh.”

What I was saying “uh huh” too was my severance package which included two months salary and health insurance for the rest of the year. They may be SOB’s, but they are generous SOB’s.

But on the bright-side, as I was walking home carry my box of personal belongings, I thought “this isn’t so bad, now I’ll have time to paint the house.”

I’ll probably take a few days to do some personal reflection and try to figure what’s next. I’ve been out of work before, but that was different, we didn’t have any kids. Everything is on the table this time, from going back to school, working the night shift, to even moving to another town.

I’m fairly open. But I think I have to be.

I’ll do my best to stay debt free while going through this transition. I guess, we’ll get to see just how good I am at defying debt. We’ll be cutting back expenses in the short term.  Who knows, I might even be selling our van after-all.

I know I’m not the only one out there who has ever lost a job, so any advice would be appreciated.

Until next time,

-DD

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

tiffanie July 26, 2008 at 12:29 am

I was let go back in March (under different circumstances) and I was also blindsided by it. Heck, I’m still trying to figure things out. It’s hard. It’s scary. And it doesn’t help that Michigan is the highest unemployment state, so finding a job has proved to be extremely difficult.

I wish you the best.

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nick July 26, 2008 at 1:12 am

Sorry to hear about your situation. It always seems bad when it happens, but something really great can come out of it if you stay positive. basically you now have a couple months to enjoy your time and find something better. if you haven’t yet, I highly encourage you to read the 4 Hour Work Week. I think it will be very helpful.

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The Baglady July 26, 2008 at 4:32 am

Wow, that sucks that it came so suddenly. The bright side is that maybe you’ll have some time to think about what you really want to do and make a big change. Maybe you could look into contracting or something since that health insurance package is good for a while longer?

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Eden July 26, 2008 at 9:31 am

Wow, that sounds brutal. I’m really sorry to hear that. I was laid off once, but everyone knew it was coming for many months so it was much easier to cope with. I can’t imagine just coming in for a regular day at work and being hit with that.

Good that you got some severance pay. Like you said, take some time to think while you can. Now might be a good time to think of other ways you can make money- blogging, freelance (whatever you do), other odd jobs that don’t sound like ‘careers’, but maybe something you are skilled in that you can do on your own to earn some money.

Best of luck to you.

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Jacquelin July 26, 2008 at 11:40 am

I feel for you, DD. We were in the exact situation. My husband’s job closed and around the same time he became ill.(had to have a tumor removed from above his heart)Since he could not search for a job, he could not collect his unemployment check.(that’s a law in Indiana)
So we were with out income for about 2 months. Anyway, the thing we learned about this unemployment situation:
Make sure you and your spouse keep a solid relationship. You and her are going to have a lot of stressful stuff come up, but talk it through and come up with solutions together. You can get though anything and it will bring out both of your creativity. (and who knows-maybe the sugar shack will be open more for “low-cost” entertainment)

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celticbuffy July 26, 2008 at 11:48 am

Aw guys, life has far too many crazy curveballs, doesn’t it? No words of wisdom here. I know it’s hard to think about right now but if you take the kids out of daycare will you be able to get their spots back if you decide to stay in that area (that would be a big chunk of change, not having the daycare bill) and you (DD) are back to working (cuz you will be, that I know). Maybe this is the time to put the photography biz on full-speed? I don’t know, just throwing things out there.

Hang in there. :)

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Sue July 26, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Good luck. The sun will come up tomorrow -guaranteed!

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Pete July 27, 2008 at 9:41 am

Losing a job is never an easy thing to deal with. It does soften the blow a bit that there is a severance package. Good luck, God bless, and I’m sure you’ll land on your feet!

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Daniel July 27, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Sorry to her of your misfortune. I’ve been there – done that – and it always sucks…

One main word of advice: When you consider job offers elsewhere, refuse to take any job that forces a mandatory, pre-dispute, binding arbitration agreement to resolve employment disputes. It’s a BIG RED FLAG that the company routinely screws their employees and uses employer-biased, private legal forums, (which is what arbitration really is), to dodge having to account for their misdeeds in a real court and in front of a real jury.

Good luck in your job search and, consider self-employment if you have a skill you can market on your own. It beats working for others because few people grow wealthy working for others in this country.

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Thecpa July 27, 2008 at 4:35 pm

DD
I agree with Jacquelin. You and your wife need to support each other through this. You are fortunate to get a 2 month severance and health insurance to the end of the year. That will give you some breathing space.

Take a week off, buy some paint, develop a game plan going forward.

It’s very scary right now but you will be fine. You will be in our prayers.

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Frugal Babe July 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm

That’s a huge bummer. The good news is that they gave you two months pay and several months of insurance (that’s a huge benefit in itself!) The bad news is how fast two months can go by! I hope you’re able to find a job you enjoy before money gets tight. Good luck!!

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Colin July 28, 2008 at 5:06 am

My condolences there sir. Don’t worry, I’m sure you will find another job soon – keep positive. You may as well give blogging for $ a pop whilst you have more spare time. Best wishes.

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John July 28, 2008 at 11:04 am

DD,
Wow – this is a tough one, I’m sorry you have to go through this. My only bit of advice, non-practical as it might be at this time, would be to give Your Money or Your Life a quick read if you haven’t read it before. It sounds like you are open to considering a bunch of different options – maybe that book would help you think through and clarify what is really important to you as you consider the next step in your career path.
God Bless and good luck,
John

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Polina July 29, 2008 at 8:46 am

Hang in and don’t give up! Losing job is not a pleasant experience (especially with kids), but as long as you are in good health, are smart and have a strong wish to survive, everything will be fine. It just MUST be fine.
Hope you’ll find a new job really soon. Have you been thinking of online job opportunities?

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John (Debt Defier) July 30, 2008 at 12:07 am

Thank you so much for all of your support. I’m a little surprised by how much it has helped me deal with all of this.

@tiffanie – It is scary isn’t it. But we’ll get through this. I wish you the best too.

@nick – Funny thing…My wife gave me that book right before I started the job I just got canned form. I gave it a quick read because it didn’t deal with that profession at all, but now I might have to read it again.

@The Baglady – I think I will use this time to make a big change. The little ones weren’t getting me anywhere.

@Eden – I actually was racking my brain earlier today trying to figure out if I had a skill or hobby that I could turn into a career. Nothing came to mind…yet.

@Jacquelin – Thanks again for a great comment. Mrs. DD has been super adn knowing her she will be no matter what.

@celticbuffy – Darn Daycare. Yeah we’ve gave notice that we’ll be cutting back, but we couldn’t cut it totally out because of the uncertainty of my future schedule and not wanting to lose our spots. :(

@Sue – Thanks, I’ll bet my bottom dollar on it.

@Pete – Yeah the severance does help, this would be so much worse if it wasn’t for that.

@Daniel – I’ll keep it in mind. Sounds like you or someone close to you has been burned by this before. Thanks for the heads up.

@Thecpa – I’ll be scraping paint tomorrow, I’d had done it earlier but our weather hasn’t been agreeable.

@Frugal Babe – You’re right two months will fly by. I can’t believe that it’s almost already been a week.

@Colin – I can’t lie, I’m thankful for this blog. Not only for the support, but the extra scratch too.

@John – “Your Money or Your Life” is probably my favorite personal finance book I’ve read. With all my free time it might need a second reading.

Thanks again everybody!!!

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NH Mom of 3 August 3, 2008 at 4:34 am

I wish you the best DD. I am in the same boat, after being laid off in late March. In my case, they were really not able to be as generous — I had only been there for ~6 months and they paid out my vacation days and one more pay period (2 weeks). I have been able to get a little unemployment to help in the transition, and in June started a nice temp assignment as a project manager. The child care thing is tough, we also had to cut back from FT to PT child care, as I do continue to search for my next FT position and really can’t afford to lose the slot (we have 3 kids, and this provider is on the bus line in town). So the bad thing is that even the lower child care costs are barely covered by my paltry earnings and we are just treading water. I wish I had better things to stay, but honestly…it really stinks. Advice from others about the stress and decisions you and your spouse need to keep in mind is so on target. Keep talking, and keep your head up. I wish you the best.

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J Dawg August 7, 2008 at 10:48 am

I am sorry for you loss ( of employment) but it does happen. If it only happens once in your life you are lucky. Here is what I found worked out best.
1) Go apply for unemployment, NOW! I know you may have a issue with getting assistance but that is what it is there for. And the process is usually drawn out before you get your first check anyway.
2) Do not sleep in. Get up and get dressed at your normal time. Keep the regularity in your life. Your new job is to find a job. So punch in and get started.
3) I love the idea of school but you can do school while you work. If you find another job quickly then you did not get a servance package you got a bonus.
4) You lost your job not your life, do not think you need to take some time to get over it and regroup.

This is a beautiful example of why you need an emergency fund, have a plan for where you want to go and what you want to do.

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The Happy Rock August 7, 2008 at 9:02 pm

J Dawg – That is quite the thorough response. Thanks for posting. I know I am not DD, but I will have to keep that list around there are some words of wisdom in there.

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Karen March 4, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Being let go is never easy but this may be the opportunity of a lifetime. Take advantage of the two months severance and the health insurance (that’s great… btw).

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