Monday, May 11, 2009

JoBLeSS

OK, here is what happened last week, as it unfolded. We're TOTALLY OK now, in fact, the future has never been better, and my emotions are so in check right now it's unbelievable. I have THE most amazing husband in the world! But, these were my emotions as everything went down, not edited (OK, I took out some parts about someone's boss being a #$%#&*!):

Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.:
OK, this is one of the times I wish my blog was anonymous. I’m sitting here doing an article for work and Mr. Manic calls. This is not unusual, we talk throughout the day every day. I don’t know how the conversation started, but all I heard was, “I was just terminated.”

This doesn’t happen to us. It doesn’t. I am in shock. Is this what shock feels like? I started going numb and told him I had to go into our room so the kids wouldn’t hear me. And I started crying. What the fuck are we going to do? I never, ever in a million years thought his job was not secure. He has been in this industry and with this company for so long. He’s the fucking president of the Chicago division. OK, this is funny. He was. Not anymore. Now, he is fucking unemployed and I do not know how to deal with my emotions right now. He gets nine months severance, but our lives as we currently know it is completely over. Oh my God, thank you for not making him not love me or for us to be getting a divorce. It’s just a job. And now it’s gone. It was a job.

They said they wanted to go in a new direction, and are looking for change. [THIS IS WHERE I DELETED SOME VERY MEAN STUFF I WROTE ABOUT THE HIGHER-UPS.] Now, my husband, the one who provides for this family is no longer employed. I cannot fucking believe it. And tonight, all three kids have a million activities.

I don’t know what to do. I am walking around here trying to figure out what next. I just want him home and in my arms so I can feel that everything will be OK, and to know that he is OK. He is such a good hard worker, and I can’t believe the company is just fucking him over like this. Wow. Now I know what it feels like.

It’s also embarrassing. Wow. I have heard of people whose husbands are out work and I wonder how their families manage. Now it’s my turn. How on earth are we going to manage. I know nine months is a long time, and I don’t think he will be out of work for long, but oh my God. I keep thinking of how we’re going to tell my parents. Dear God, my mother will never be able to fall asleep at night with this news. I keep wondering, “should I get my hair cut and colored tomorrow?” Can we afford it? Do I need to stop shopping at Target. Oh my God. I cannot believe this.

I just want him to come home fast, so we can figure out the next phase of our lives together. Oh my God, I just can’t believe this.

Wednesday, 4:58 p.m.
Hubby on his way home. He insists he is absolutely fine and this is a good one-door-closes-a-window-opens situation. Thank God I am married to him. This is a big crisis for us to deal with and already I am feeling more love for him than I ever have. Anyone is going to be so lucky to have him as a player on their team, I just know it and everything will be OK. Plus, thank goodness it started raining cuz soccer and softball are now both canceled.

I have gone through these emotions in the past hour and a half, and shared them on Twitter (you can follow me here: @stephanieelliot:

Phone call arrived. In shock and I have to vomit.

nobody's dead though, so that's good.about 1 hour ago from web

The crying headache is starting.about 1 hour ago from web

Thank you for the rain. Keep raining.21 minutes ago from web

Deep breaths are helping. So did talking to @weaselmomma. I heart you.20 minutes ago from web

Keep thundering.19 minutes ago from web

You know how as writers, when the feeling comes, you just have to write? This is a time when I'm mad my blog is not anonymous. More later.18 minutes ago from web

Thank you rain. Softball and soccer MUST be canceled now. See, I can still be thankful for some things. We'll be OK.18 minutes ago from web

OMG, a neighbor just sent over pecan caramel clusters. How did she know I am in the middle of a crisis? Feeling zennish right now, for a sec4 minutes ago from web


9:00 a.m. The Day After the News Hit, 5-7-09

Irony has a way of biting you in the ass. Hard. In January, I wrote a post about my husband having to let go a dozen of his employees.

Well, yesterday, he got the ax. Fifteen years with the company, through buyouts and name changes, through promotions and moves, and yesterday, terminated.

Why did I think we were so golden that it wouldn’t happen to us? It’s happening to everyone. And now, it’s our turn.

We’re looking at it as a Door Slams Right On Your Face and another window will open opportunity. He was jaded, maybe deep down, he knew this might happen. I asked him today if he felt relief in some sort of way? He’s getting nine month’s severance, and so far, everyone I’ve talked to says that is unheard of. But will that keep our family financially secure?

One of the first things that fled through my mind was, “Can I still get my hair cut and colored tomorrow?” I am not a lunching/shopping kind of mom, I don’t spend my days redecorating my house. Really, the ONLY places I shop are the grocery store and Target. But I’ve never been ‘careful’ with my money. I’ve never clipped coupons, I’ve never second-guessed buying the name brand rather than the generic. If the kids want a milkshake, we’ll hit the drive-through for one. We have never wanted for anything. We’ve always been blessed with the necessities, and I’ve never had to say no. The kids are not spoiled, but we’ve never had to say, “You can’t have that because we don’t have enough money.”

Am I going to have to start saying that?

On the bright side of all this, and there is a huge bright side, we are all healthy, and at times like this, I cannot express my gratitude for that. My husband and I love one another so incredibly much that while this may be hard for us, this living underfoot with one another for however long it takes, it will not tarnish our marriage. In fact, I think it will do the opposite. We will appreciate one another more, help each other out during the day, be respectful of that love that brought us together in the first place, and know that we have a family to take care of first and foremost.

And then I think, I should get a ‘real’ job. Yes, I have my freelancing gigs, which I so very much love, and am so thankful for, but will I need to start really supporting our family? I would do it if I had to, in a heartbeat, I would. I thank God I have some skills if the need came along. But wouldn’t it have been nice to say, “Well, take some time off honey, and find yourself. We can totally live off my income while you do this.” I love my jobs, but it’s money that’s not going to pay every bill.

And I know I’m being dire here. We’ll be fine. Nine months is a long time. You can make a baby in nine months. Surely, he can find a job within that time? One of us can. Maybe it’s time for me to step up the the family plate?

Friday a.m. 10:42:

Reasons to Be Thankful for Hubby’s Job Loss:

It was a job and not his health.
Nine months’ severance.
Came home today and the dishes were done!
Opportunities to spend more time with the kids.
Opportunities for me to sleep in some mornings.
Mid-Day Sex!
There’s always something better around a new corner.
Car-Pooling Help!
He knows how to fold and put away laundry.
We are so in love we will enjoy this extra time together as husband and wife.
He’s kind of relieved.

More later ...

34 comments:

The Stiletto Mom said...

Best of luck...at least you have the perfect frame of mind to weather this. And nine months? Holy WOW. That is a blessing in the middle of a bunch of bad news...enjoy your time together while he looks for the next great thing. Fingers crossed for good luck for you!

Kristin said...

Glad you were finally able to get some of your thoughts and feelings down and out. I know you guys will be okay and it is great that you two are so in love. Looking forward to our girls night in a couple weeks. :)

Cecily R said...

I'm sorry your family has to deal with this stuff, Steph...I know about the stress that comes with unemployment. No matter the circumstances, no matter the severence, whatever, it's HARD.

I'm glad you're seeing the bright side of things. And impressed. :)

P.S. Our stint in your situation lasted 4 1/2 months and that seems about average. 9 months severance should be great.

P.P.S. If you need to chat, I'm around.

Kristabella said...

Well, I've been laid off three times and it isn't the end of the world. Everything happens for a reason.

The last company I worked at laid off everyone, including people who worked there for 40-plus years. You should know that loyalty isn't rewarded at companies anymore. No one is safe in this economy.

It will all work out. He has his severance (which is amazing!) and I'm sure he will find something bigger and better!

WeaselMomma said...

I think your attitude is spot on.
Nooners while the kids are still in school are awesome.
9 months rocks.

Brandy said...

My mom got axed after 21 years. No money came with hers tho. Can he get unemployeement? Things always seem to work out... best of luck to you and your hubby.

Christine in NJ said...

Your Friday morning post says it all!... You are strong and so is your family!... 9 months is wonderful!... Keep writing through it all!!!!

I can tell from following you over a year now how "likeable" your hubby is... He will find something without a doubt - and whoever lands him will be very lucky!

Wish I lived closer so we could do coffee! (or something stronger!)
Hang-in, chin-up and always remember how much you are loved!

Christine

msprimadonna67 said...

My heart goes out to you and your family, and I really respect your attitude about the whole situation. Of course you deserve to have some anger, some frustration, some fear. But you also can see what you DO have, that by far supercedes any job. Good luck with the job search. With nine months, I hope he is able to find a great job that suits your family and his abilities.

Eileen said...

How stressful! I'm confident from the outside looking in that all will come out better and brighter. He'll bounce into something else- and if he does it soon you'll have a nice fat severance cushion.

You guys take care of yourself.

MaBunny said...

Stephanie, your range of emotions is so totally normal. I've been through it, and it will get better!eventually. maybe not right away but it will all work itself out.

shopgirl said...

So sorry to hear about your husbands job loss - but, like you said, it could be worse - it IS just a job and hopefully he will find something better. I too, was laid off this year (in January) and your husbands severance? AMAZING -but, while 9 months is great - it does go fast. Make a plan - you'll be surprised how much money you can save when you try! Good luck - you'll be ok!!!

morninglight mama said...

Holy shitters. That just sucks. This time of year back in 2007, my hubby's position was eliminated. It was a summer of looking for a new job, which he started in the early fall. Then, lo and behold, spring of 2008, the grant funding for his position was eliminated, and he found himself in dejavu land. We can relate to the numbness and fear and unknown. We'll be thinking of you all-- things always have a way of working out, right? And the 9 months severance package is fantastic. BEST to you guys!!!

JODI said...

I popped over all excited to tell you I gave blood today...then I instead feel saddened that Mr. Manic lost his j-o-b. But, God provides, so all will be okay. You must believe that.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Jodi--thank you for giving blood! I will have to get Mr. Manic in there now that he has time! LOL!

Thanks everyone for your kind words of support too. Just love all of you!

Just A Girl In GA said...

Hi, I am a reader/lurker on your blog and I wanted to share my experience. I to was laid off on New Years Eve 2008. But here is the good news, I started a new job on May 4th. Don't worry, you will be fine - really. As you mentioned it only makes you stronger and the opportunity is usually better (I have been through this before). The only advice I would give your husband now is two things 1, allow yourself only a few days to feel badly (if he does), hit the ground running when comes to looking for a job. 2, Network - LinkedIn, Plaxo - work the networking. My bet is he is probably getting calls from associates now, tell him to take all calls, send emails, just check in with people. My advice to you, protect him from people who call him and ask him "how the job hunting is going" - it gets so annoying and discouraging. They mean well but it is hard to remain positive when you tell the same story repeatedly. Please let me know if there is anything you need, I feel I am an expert at job hunting these days (self proclaimed) and would be more than happy to help you (and the Mr). I don't know you but you seem like nice, loving people and this situation will not change it. Good Luck, I will say a prayer for you both and send good karma your way.

Laura said...

Sorry to hear about Mr. Manic. When my husband lost his job, I saw an Oprah show the very next day about a woman who's husband had been fired and how she opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Now, I opened a bottle, that is for sure but not to celebrate. Anyways, she said something that struck a chord with me and that was that she was confident that there were better things in store for her husband. By the time the show was on he had another job and she said that if he had not been fired then he would have stayed in his job of 15 years, 9-5, making his salary and being "OK" with things and staying put. She considered this as an opportunity for him to now search for his passion and make a move that he would have never made if he had not been let go from his job.
When my hubby lost his job, I tried to look at it like she said on Oprah and it did help. Hubby found a job after 4 months off with NO pay (and I asked the same question as you to myself about my hair appt.) His new job is one that he has always wanted, more pay, more holidays, etc., He thought he was happy at his old job but now that he has the new one he can't believe how much happier and job fulfilled he is.
Here's to hoping that Mr. Manic finds his passion.

Amanda said...

Being together all day every day? It's just the best ever. Enjoy it while it lasts before another job comes along to spoil your fun, because it will and sooner than you think.

3carnations said...

I'm sorry you're having to go through this, but I'm glad you're able to see the bright spots of the situation.

When one door opens, indeed. It will all work out. :-)

Wendy said...

Thinking about you a lot today.

Add to your "positives" list - you live in a large metropolitan area with more job opportunities.

Kim Stagliano said...

I'm sorry, I know how much it sucks. None months is a LOT of severance in today's world, Unfortunately, his (former)industry is dying and close to dead. Like many other older model industries pre Internet and Satellite TV and Radio.

It's the pits. I hope he can find something sooner than later.

The one piece of advice I could give you is act like next week is your very very very last paycheck. Nine months can fly by before you know it. The biggest mistake we made was holding onto our house too long. Had we known what we know now we'd have considered a sale much earlier to bank the money and be felxible as far as relocation goes. Companies try to find people who don't have houses to sell before hiring now. Because they know the real estate market is so tight and it costs so much to move an employee - though few companies offer relo packages the way they did in the good old days.

Just think smart, Manic. You can do it. You and Mr. Manic. You'll be OK. I'm proof.

We'll drink next week. Promise!

K

March to the Sea said...

wow that is a lot of "news" but if Mr is "okay" that is a good start. he seems to be okay with things so that makes it "easier" on some levels. Everyone is "cutting back" so you won't stick out by anymeans..and glad the relationship is strong. You'll make it..we are all rooting for you and Mr.!

Anonymous said...

Hey Manic Mom - on a whim, and a very random one, I decided to stop by today at my old blog so I could find links to friends, and there you are, with a comment. Naturally, I followed, and here's this awful news.

I'm glad you've got a lot of positives to take away from the event - and really, there are a lot of positives. Nine months is a good amount of time to find the next job that your hubby will be happy with. And in the meantime, to soften the blow and possibly extend that searching period, there is unemployment, which he should now be eligible for, even with the severance.

Wish I could send something your way to make you smile!

Oh, and to answer your question - yes, ICG and I got married. :)

DD
- not so Anonymous

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

DD--I would LOVE to see a picture or two from your wedding! I was following your story from WAY before you even met ICG. I hope you'll email me and share? I wish you two the ultimate wonderful life together! : )

Suzy said...

I heard one woman on Oprah say they didn't tell their families or friends because they didn't want to invite sympathy because they'd just get depressed. Her husband did find a new job.

You're going to have to move in with me and Vodka Mom.

Michelle said...

Frickin blogger taking away my comment.

Short: Yay, your mental is good. Yes 9 months = long time. Here if you need someone... been through it with my dad several times, esp the stress when new job options present themselves.

Melisa with one S said...

GREAT attitude. And a nine-month severance is SO much better than what seems to be the "norm" these days.

Try to enjoy. It's going to be a special time for your whole family, and everything will be fine. :)

Bina said...

Wow Manic. As if you haven't had enough to deal with on the last year, and now this? You are always so positive and happy. I can't believe you are taking this so well. I don't know if I could. I would a few more days to freak out! And if my husband was home 24/7 he would drive me crazy. I know how he would handle it. Get drunk every night, sing the poor, poor, pityful me song, and talk about what a failure he is. I like your husbands approach much better!

Best of luck!

My Two Army Brats said...

Wow thats crazy! I hope you enjoy some time together before the kids get out of school and the serious job searching begins!

eatmisery said...

Holy shit, Manic. We've been there before. It'll be okay, though. Wherever he goes after this is where he was meant to be.

Melissa said...

Sending job finding vibes your way~~~

You have a great attitude and that is going to go so far as you guys go thru this time together!!

Ashley said...

Your optimism shines through all of this. Even in a difficult and scary situation you keep reasons in your head as to why this, bad as it is, isn't as bad as it could be.

The grace you're handling this with is astounding. As lucky as you are to be married to your husband, it sounds like he's incredibly lucky to have you, too.

John Elder Robison said...

It is anxious, getting laid of. That happened to me, in 1984 and in 1987. That's what drove me to self employment, really. The insecurity of "secure" jobs.

I hope it all works out whatever you all do.

Woof

anymommy said...

Wow, what a shock and what a time for you two. It is so touching how you worked through it all together and how your love for him threaded through the whole story. I'm glad you've found some peace and you are enjoying this time as much as you can.

My thoughts are with you and my fingers are crossed that he'll find something much better in the next few months!

Andie said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you guys. but you're right. better & brighter things will come your way. :)