Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ready or not :p

"It seems like no job is secure these days," I wrote in response to Mali's recent news that her husband had been made redundant at work.

Maybe I should have knocked wood. 

Yesterday morning at precisely 9:36 a.m., I got a call from dh. He was at the security entrance to my department -- with an escort. 

He'd been let go. After 24 years. His performance was not the issue. "Reorganization," they said. The escort was assigned to see that he made it downstairs to the concourse (if not completely out of the building). He wasn't even allowed to return to his desk to get his jacket;  one of his co-workers retrieved it and brought it to him.

I think I was more in shock than he was. He has not been happy with his job for a very long time. It's a familiar story these days -- fewer and fewer people to do more and more work, enormous stress amid constant rumours of "reorganization." He is at an age where he is eligible for early retirement, and we've been working and saving with that goal in mind.  He just hadn't planned to do take it yet, until I could retire along with him -- not for another few years.

Well, our plans (or part of them, anyway) just shifted into fast forward mode. 

We will be OK. For all my deep-rooted (if perhaps irrational) fears of winding up a bag lady (shared by many women, I think), we are a lot better equipped to absorb this blow than many other families are right now, and I am very thankful for that. (We later learned that two other people from his team were let go the same day.)  I am thankful that the work-related stress that's been plaguing him for the past several years in particular is at an end. And I am even thankful right now that we don't have children. It would be a much, much different story if they were here.

He's talking about going back to school this fall, spending some more time with his dad;  eventually, perhaps, getting a part-time job. He's even offered to learn how to operate the washer & dryer. ; )  I may hold him to that. ; )

As for me, I'm going to have to get used to commuting to work by myself, to carrying my own briefcase, to going through the day without the security of knowing that dh was close by if I needed him. I have been spoiled, people, I admit it. We've been doing this for 23 years, ever since we moved from the city to the suburbs. 23 years!!! And I don't do well with change. :p

I have to admit, that phone call brought me back to that awful day, almost 15 years ago, when *I* was the one making the phone call(s), when our lives changed forever. Then I thought of other days & other out-of-the-blue phone calls I've received, and made.

This was not, by far, the worst news I could have received. Not the best, mind you -- but definitely not the worst. 

But it reminded me, again (as if I needed reminding...), of how life can change in the blink of an eye, and how none of us is immune to change, whether we like it or not. :p


  1. Oh, I'm so sorry (in a way) that your dh is going through this, but I'm glad you know you're going to be OK.

    This was my message from the Universe this morning, in my emailbox (did you know the Universe is well versed in modern tech?):

    "Sometimes, Lori, when circumstances or disappointments bump you off track, it's the beginning of an even bigger dream coming true, that could not have come true on the track you were on. "


  2. I'm so sorry. That had to be such a blow (*hugs*)

  3. Well drat! I'm sorry for both of you. Being let go is always shocking - even if you don't like your job much. I am glad that you are able to see the positives already. Best of luck to both you and dh.

  4. Holy moley!!! I second Lori's sentiments and thoughts, but a shocker! One would think that after 24 yrs there would at least be some warning.

    For what it's worth, I'm glad to ear you're both handling this news so well and making plans (good ones too) for the future. Hang in there and may this be the beginning of a new and wonderful chapter for you both.

  5. I'm really sorry to hear this. And shocked that they escorted him off the premises. Treating him that way is an insult - a lack of trust (even if it is unintentional, which I am sure it is) or thanks for all the work he has put in over the last 24 years. My DH learned it was likely at the end of February,but legally there had to be a "consultation period." It became official the end of March, he got his final notice in the middle of April, and he's still working out his notice! (Though hopefully he can finish in the next week). He's been asked to choose a "farewell" gift, and they will pay for counselling, and for him to take some of his colleagues out for lunch.

    It is though, all very unnerving, I know. Especially at "our" age. I hope this gives you the opportunity to figure out how you might want to spend the next few years. Or given your early retirement plans, it might not change your life that much. (I wish we were there.)

    The key is (I'm trying to convince myself) not to beat yourself (or him) up, and treat it as a new opportunity. So yay for his new commitment to using the washer/dryer!

  6. dear Loribeth,
    I am sorry that your husband lost his job so suddenly.
    But it is really good that he is already elegible for early retirement... so the stress of looking for new job will not be an issue.
    Yes, in situations like this it really is good to be childless. It gives us much more financial flexibility.

    I know that your husband didn't wish to stay without job so early.... so I just wish him and you to make the most out of time that was given now.

    lots of love from sLOVEnia,

  7. That's rotten. I'm sorry for your DH, and for you as well. You both seem to be taking it in stride -- you're a strong couple, so I'm not surprised that you can readily turn it around.

    Your joint commute always sounded very pleasant. It's a shame to lose that together time.

    The whole "escorting off the premises" policy is SO needlessly officious and universally bad for morale.

  8. Loribeth, I'm SORRY to hear about this sudden change. :-( You're right about change. The only constant is change and nobody's immune indeed. But at least glad to know that you two have been prepared for early retirements.

  9. Sorry to hear this, such news is always shocking no matter how comfortable the circumstances.

    All the best - your positive attitude will see you through.

  10. So so sorry to hear the news of your hubby job loss, but it also sounds like a relief for him as far as stress goes. It definitely is a shock when it happens so quickly. I got a jolt myself yesterday when my lovely/great boss of just 2 years told me she is leaving in June. She is one of the reasons I so love my job. It was a true shocker, but I am happy for her as she will get to semi-retire and do things she wants to do, not what she has to do. What will happen to me is up in the air right now as I will wait and see who comes in next and how that plays out. But, now I am going to start looking (again) just to know what is out there just in case this whole situation with the new boss doesn't work out. I was so content and happy with my work situation...not sure what to think now. I guess the best motto to have is just take one day at a time...somehow it will all fall into place, right?
    Much luck to both of you on this new unexpected next phrase of life. It is good to be childless in these situations.

  11. I am so sorry. And I hate the way your husband's company handled this. After all his years of hard work there, it seems like they should have shown more respect, gratitude, and kindness.

    And it's funny how similar your thoughts are to mine about being denied tenure - it's a blow but it could be worse. I don't know whether or not to be grateful that we know how much worse it could be.

    I'll be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts to you and your dh as you work through this.

  12. I am so sorry to hear this, but am full of admiration for the way you and your dh are handling it.

  13. Sorry to hear this. How shocking that they escorted him off the building!

  14. Sudden changes--especially unexpected ones--are always so stressful. I hope this is one that brings with it more good than bad. You and your dh are very lucky to have each other and to like each other so much.

  15. Holy crap. This is very traumatic news, no matter how much he was stressed about his work. PARTICULARLY the CALLOUS way he was treated. What - did they think he kept his Magnum 44 at his desk? Maybe they should have put a bag over his head when he went to the washroom and carried him out in the trash. Seems like a trend these days. A friend of mine was suddenly "reorganized" with a sizable advance. You've always been the positive one, so please encourage your man to stay as busy as he can. Have a glass or six of wine on the weekend and look forward - hubby will have dinner waiting for you when you get home!

  16. Wow - my thoughts are with you and your dh tonight. We went through something like this 3 years ago (although my DH had only been with the company for 7 years, and we are not near retirement age, with mortgage payments etc. to make). It was a surprise to come home and see his car in the driveway - wondering why he was home so early - and to see him still dressed in his work clothes, sitting kind of stunned at the table, to tell me the news. (makes me think of The Full Monty - if you've ever seen it, there's a guy who gets up, gets dressed every day as if he is going to work - his wife doesn't even know he's been downsized / laid off / whatever).

    Although it caused some major shifts for us, including selling our house and moving to a duplex where we could rent out half the house, and DH being in quite a different field now - in the end I am grateful. With the other job, I was slowly losing who he was to the stress he was under.

    It will be such a big change for you as you make that long commute on your own. Perhaps your plans will change now to a reduced work assignment or early retirement?? I wish you all the best as you shape your lives in this new direction.


  17. Oh, Loribeth ... I am so sorry. What a difficult loss, and I can only imagine that you felt like the ground was being pulled from under you.

    You are so strong. And I hope that this change becomes an unexpected gift, difficult as I know it must be. Sending hugs, and lots of love.

  18. I'm very sorry that this had happened.... I'm relieved that you're more prepared compared to many folks who lost jobs. It is certainly tough lately in the economy despite that they say it's improving.


  19. Dear Loribeth

    Just wanted to echo the comments here about the appalling way your husband was treated by his company, it is shameful. I hope however that the change in both your lives will be for the better and that you will have the great future you both deserve.

  20. I've been thinking about this since I read the update on FB. I am just so sorry. It really is such a gut punch, also for the way they did it; so suddenly, no warning, you can't even get your jacket. What about humanity? What about the fact that we're all people?

  21. Ugh. I'm so so sorry. I was "released" from my job duties with a company quite unexpectedly at a really hard time in my life (about 6 weeks after moving from a job role I loved in a city I loved to a job role I hated in a city that was... not my favorite). I had not been with the company for 22 years (more like 4 years all told), but it was still a devastating blow. It really doesn't matter if you hate your job-- it's still a huge gut-punch to be told, "Hey, so even though you've made yourself miserable busting your ass for us, we don't really like you. As a matter of fact, we don't even like you, let alone *trust* you enough to let you pack your own things. " Ugh. Just ugh, ugh, ugh.

    I know it's not by far the worst news, but it's still something that's so personal that I think it's almost a little self-altering. I remember thinking, "But I'm not the kind of person who gets fired!", as though there were a real "type" in these kinds of unfair situations (well, yes, there are the terribly irresponsible, miss work, show up late, send curse-filled emails to the client, how do you EVER have a job type of person that you'd expect to be fired, but certainly not a "type" in circumstances where the boss and/or company is a little broken, which they'd have to be to fire someone who was working really hard). I really felt like I'd become someone different, someone who an employer could dispose of with very little acknowledgement of my contribution.

    ANYHOW, I just mean to say that I get it. It's unfair, and hard, and just awful all around, and I'm so sorry that your dh is having to experience it. No one should have to experience that, and certainly not after such a long, dedicated tenure at a company. Ugh.