Company cutbacks...I am now a statistic

@spalladino (17921)
United States
December 5, 2008 10:40pm CST
I'll post this here since we've been talking about the economy and bailouts lately. I wonder if I should run up to D.C. and ask for one myself..... I've mentioned before that I suspected it was coming...I could hear the clock ticking when my boss was called over the the parent company to "rework" the 2009 budget that had been approved in September and gone into effect on November 1st. That just doesn't happen once the fiscal year has started...unless the parent company is really hurting...which it is. I was a luxury...a much needed one when I was hired...but an expendable one now. The girl who covered for me when I was out sick or on vacation earns quite a bit less and I trained her to maintain the programs I wrote and the databases I created. I actually feel bad for her. I got a severance package and can sleep in on Monday...her workload just doubled and she won't get an extra dime out of it. So, I wasn't surprised when my boss called me into her office this afternoon to break the news. My position has been eliminated. I could tell that she felt bad but what can you do when the CEOs inform you that they've decided that these five folks have to go? She asked if she could call if something goes wrong with one of the programs? I said, sure, I'll come in as a consultant...at a fee to be determined later. Too bad they'll never have to call...the auto-backups I set up on the server makes recovery simple enough even without the written instructions in the System Bible I wrote. The good news, for those of you who care, is that I worked for a railroad so my unemployment benefits will be decent. My husband's VA benefits will never go away and we've always lived way below our income. He's happy that I'll be home for awhile...he gets bored and lonely sometimes...and he jokingly told me that, if I work extra hard on Mylot, I could probably make $15 a month instead of my usual $12 or $13. Christmas will be easier, believe it or not, because I have TIME...something that was in short supply before. Future prospects? I ain't driving for two hours to a job on the coast, I don't care what it pays, so I may be unemployed for a while. Maybe I'll run for public office....
3 people like this
18 responses
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
6 Dec 08
Well at least you guys have a decent safety net. Hope things work out for you. Good luck on your political endevours. One thing you said glared right off the page at me: "The girl who covered for me when I was out sick or on vacation earns quite a bit less and I trained her to maintain the programs I wrote and the databases I created" Pretty convenient do you think?
2 people like this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
7 Dec 08
That's how "Big Brother" works...it's all about the bottom line for them, but they have been struggling to keep their heads above water for awhile now. They've been cutting entire departments at the parent company for a couple of years...I actually started out working for them but my department bit the dust 2 1/2 years ago. Funny thing about that...I had been part of the Needs Accessment Committee that worked on the project which would bring the subsidiaries online and live with the parent company and this particular one was the last hold out because they had special needs and no one to fill them. It was the parent company who recommended the creation of my position and put my butt in that office...after giving me Severence Package #1. I guess they're confident at this point that anyone can do what I did once I got everything up & running. It's a shame that I was too ethical to write annual time bombs into those programs!
1 person likes this
@camomom (7535)
• United States
6 Dec 08
I'm so sorry to hear about your job loss. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. I wish you the best in whatever it is that you decide to do. Maybe unemployment or state assistance can help until you find something. Hey, atleast you can have time to relax and enjoy the holidays without the stress of work.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
7 Dec 08
My unemployment benefits will be fairly decent so I'm not in a great rush to do anything other than finish decorating my house for Christmas and finish my Christmas shopping. Tonight I'm on a mission to find the perfect pair of cowboy...err...cowgirl boots for our oldest granddaughter who fell in love with mine when we went up north in September...without breaking the bank.
1 person likes this
@camomom (7535)
• United States
7 Dec 08
Have fun relaxing and decorating. Enjoy the time with your family and good luck.
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
6 Dec 08
I'm so sorry to hear Spalladino. That really stinks so close to the holiday. I lost my job 15 months ago, a week before my wedding and I know how bad the job market is right now. My employer called all the time wanting to know how to do my job and I had to get caller ID to avoid them since I had no interest in giving my knowledge away for free I guess now I could have wrote you in for president and it wouldn't have interferred with your job.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
7 Dec 08
Well, that would have been one vote for me! I cannot imagine how stressful losing your job right before your wedding was for you! How awful! I'll use my called ID, too, if they call just so they can leave a message cause I aint doing nothin for free.
2 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7382)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Thanks for the best response.
@murderistic (2278)
• United States
6 Dec 08
Welll.... congratulations? I guess? It sounds like you are getting a much needed paid vacation LOL. I think it's a shame that by being a good worker, you've basically made your position unnecessary... I hope you'll be able to find something better in time. How many years can you get unemployment for? My dad told me that you can get unemployment for 2 years... not really sure if it's true or not.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Dec 08
Thanks...I think congratulations are in order...at least for now. Basic unemployment is for 26 weeks. I heard that the president was going to extend it but I don't know if that will affect me since I get mine through the Railroad Retirement Board and not through the state. Maybe if mine run out I can apply through the state if I'm still unemployed by then. I do agree that it sux but, on the other hand, if they had gotten rid of the other girl in our department and gave me all the crap she does for the same money, I would have quit. They probably knew that too. LOL!
2 people like this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
Yes there is something very serious going on when workers get retrenched no matter how good they are. It is very short sighted of them. I do hope things work out ok for you but what will you do about health cover?
@Paula1966 (1102)
• United States
6 Dec 08
It's great that you can take something that a lot of people view as negative and turn it into a positive. Perhaps you should follow up on your consultancy plan - not just with the company you worked for, but with other companies as well. Maybe this is a sign to become your own boss. :)
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
7 Dec 08
That may be in my future...I'll just have to be patient and see where life leads me. One thing I've learned is that I don't control my destiny.
1 person likes this
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
6 Dec 08
I'm sad for the bad about this for you and I'm happy good things will come of this for you. You're...um...half lucky? haha. I think your story's much better than alot of people's these days, and it's always good to hear that someone's gotten a little bit of good fortune...even if it's not the greatest luck in the world. And there's an idea! I bet you could do alot of good in a public office!
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Dec 08
Thanks girl. Who knows where this will lead me? I've been thinking about maybe going back to school to finish one of my degrees while I'm unemployed. I just might take my transcript down to one of the community colleges and see what it turns out I need since I get educational benefits from the V.A...or maybe one of the universities. Might as well check it out now that I have all this free time. My youngest daughter was interested in criminology...maybe we could go together. Wouldn't she just love THAT...18 and going to college with MOM! LOL!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
6 Dec 08
That's awfull but i guess sometimes we have to go to those tough times to find out something which is far more important and to be able to think more. Like yours maybe it is a meeting in disguise so that you could be with your family more and spend quality time with them. Here in our country i would say that that cutbacks isnt here yet (hope will not). But in case there will be a lot of problems. SO i guess we better be ready for whatever will happen
@AmbiePam (51227)
• United States
6 Dec 08
I am so sorry. And I can't believe that had the nerve to ask you if they could call you if they needed your help! It seems like companies are firing the very employees that made certain that things didn't go wrong for them. Like the auto backups. I admire your positive attitude.
1 person likes this
@ronaldinu (12439)
• Malta
6 Dec 08
HI Spalladino. I am sorry to hear that you are facing the axe from your company. I really admire you for the way you are taking all this. You are a strong woman. I really hope that you find another job soon. © ronaldinu 2008
1 person likes this
@sunnflr (2767)
• United States
6 Dec 08
I'm sorry...I think...lol. Don't know whether this is a good or bad thing for you. I'm glad it's not going to be too hard on y'all, unlike some who have lost their jobs. I feel for everyone in this position because I've been there myself. My husband has also.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Dec 08
Thanks sunnflr. Some things will have to change now that I'm not working...that's for sure...but my husband and I have always been careful with money. We lucked into the properties we own five years ago at a good fixed rate mortgage, our vehicles are almost paid for, and my husband uses a separate account for his motorcycle business which actually has money in it so he can still build choppers and sell them. The only problem is that now he thinks I can help him!
2 people like this
@sunnflr (2767)
• United States
6 Dec 08
LOL, you'll be learning all kinds of new skills! Y'all are fortunate to have everything so well taken care of. We were doing good until my husband's job went under, then my Dad got sick and we had to help him and everything went downhill from there. We are trying to dig our way out now.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Dec 08
Things can change pretty fast, that's for sure. Actually, one of the reasons we moved down here was because my husband had a heart attack followed by triple bypass surgery and had to close his construction business. We had a huge mortgage on our house up north but the market was hot then so we decided to sell and move closer to his family. We sold that house for almost twice what I originally paid for it so that was our start up money for down here. We made a large down payment on this place and put some in CDs for the future. Since his brother has been battleing throat cancer we've had to help him out financially, too, but you do what you have to do for family.
2 people like this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
I bet the CEO did not take a pay cut. That is always the way though, they dump the expensive skilled staff and try and manage with unskilled cheaper workers. Such is the nature of things. It is always nice to have time on your hands but it does not pay the bills, as long as you are ok financially then it is not too bad. I felt so guilty when I could not get a new job and then I became ill and now cannot work even if there was a job available. I worked really hard to try and make mylot pay so I could at least earn some extra money as my unemployment benefits barely cover food and bills. I am finally lodging a claim for disability but I think it will be hard to get as the rules are really confusing. Also they use a different standard to the rest of humanity.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
11 Dec 08
Good luck with your disability. Everyone I know who is disabled was turned down the first time and a few had to hire attorneys. I don't understand why they're allowed to continue to treat hurt and sick people like criminals when they're paid into the system for years.
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
12 Dec 08
Thanks. It is hard in Australia as well as they have made it quite difficult in recent years. They assess people as capable of working even if an employer would not employ them and that means they get treated as unemployed and denied the pension. I am currently in the rehab system and getting no where so that might actually help. I do hope so as I am not capable of working. If fact I can barely cope with day to day living. If I get knocked back I will appeal with my partners help.
@alindahaw (1219)
• Philippines
7 Dec 08
Hello there! I think I think that a congratulations is in order here.. :) Yeah, the whole thing sucks but it's better than staying on and doing all the crap that the other girl in the office will now be doing.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
7 Dec 08
You are so right about that! She was already pretty busy so I can just imagine how thrilled (NOT!) she will be with the added responsibilities. They're in for a boatload of hurtin, as they say down here, if they tick her off and she quits.
1 person likes this
@lvaldean (1612)
• United States
6 Dec 08
Congrats on the good and I am sorry on the bad (health insurance). On the good though you can always do what many of us in the IT world do, consultant / contract. It is actually I think what our world is coming to these days. Isn't perfect but much of the work can be done remotely and once you get rolling you can work as much or as little as you choose.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
7 Dec 08
That does sound nice but I'm not going to think about anything but Christmas until after Christmas. Now that I have the time, I'm going to try to avoid wandering around the stores on December 24th.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Dec 08
Aww... you saw it coming, so at least you had a chance to prepare for it, and it does sound as if you've got a better deal of it than a lot of other folks. I love your attitude about the whole thing - and I would have told them the exact same thing in response to "Can we call you?" After I was laid off from my last place, I put in several hours a week for weeks telling them how to fix their screw-ups. If you ever do want to earn some extra on the side, there are a LOT of folks looking for freelance database designers for online projects. And hey, I think you'd be great in public office! Go for it!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
7 Dec 08
If this had been up to my boss, I would have taken all the latest password updates with me, but it wasn't her fault and I do know that if she fought for anyone, it was me. They're not very computer literate in the office. I was the "go to" person for everything from print formatting to finding lost files. I'll keep your suggestion in mind though. It might be something to get into after Christmas.
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
6 Dec 08
I'm always sorry to hear of jobs being cut. You are able to take the high road in all this and taking the right approach I'm thinking you'll be OK. I was happy to get to the end part of your post and reading that you will still have some income coming in. I have always had to live below poverty level and say as you may we're the ones that will survive. I wish you well and hope you're back in the work force soon. I didn't realize till ill health hit me making me unable to work that going to work each day gives us a reason to get up each day!!! Best wishes !!!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
6 Dec 08
Thanks Garndmaof2. I'm a grandma of 9...too bad they're all too young to support me. My husband and I are fine financially but now I have to worry about my health since he's covered by the V.A. but I have no coverage anymore. I've always been healthy but you never know what's going to happen in the future. I'll be looking but I live in south central Florida, nowhere near the coast, so there aren't too many opportunities around here.
1 person likes this
@kdhartford (1152)
• United States
6 Dec 08
It really sounds as if you have mixed feelings about this. I know in a way I agree with you that these big companies are getting bailouts and the rest of us are left to face the consequences of bad government choices and bad corporate governance. I'm sure you will find a new job. I heard that the IT sector is still hot.
@Anne18 (11034)
6 Dec 08
My husband's firm has been making cut backs but thankfully he is safe. I work from home and I find less people want to talk on the phone, meaning my money goes down.
@katemeow (847)
• Singapore
6 Dec 08
wow, it's good that you see it this way :) i have just lost one of my jobs (i am a freelancer) and the effects are starting to be more obvious now. He was a very regular client, actually, it was like i was working in an office but from home. because of the recession the company has gone under and therefore meaning no more projects for me :( i have to admit i was very sad for a few days but eventually i started seeing it as a good thing. now i see it as a challenge for me to step up and work harder to get other clients.