"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