Yesterday we joined an unwelcome club - unemployed families! Jeff lost his job after weeks of suspect activity on the part of managers and after months of working in a position that was essentially a demotion from his former managerial position. He's been looking for a new position for a long time and was hoping to have his salary leverage to negotiate with new, potential employers. But no such luck. He had a meeting with his boss and her boss (both of whom are underqualified in both career skills and personality) and was told his position was being eliminated. To rub salt in the wound, he was handed several boxes and told to have his belongings out by 11 a.m. Ten other employees faced the same fate yesterday.
Obviously, this economic downturn has affected many so we're among millions of other families who are facing the same challenges. Which also means Jeff is among millions of other people looking for work, thus the competition is daunting. His skills are many and he will be an amazing addition to any company lucky enough to have him, but it's going to be a long road. One that, hopefully, lasts less than six months because that's how long we have in severance and insurance. After that, we really don't have a plan.
They say the average family should have four to six months of emergency reserve money set aside for just such an event. But there is just no way we could ever have amassed that amount of money. For one thing, our mortgage is more than one of Jeff's paychecks each month. We'd sell the house, but the market sucks. We are totally willing to relocate and realize the distinct possibility of that happening soon. Change is good. But to be unprepared in the face of such a huge life change is scary. Thankfully, I have a part-time job, but it will pay for groceries at best.
So, off we go on a rocky adventure. Jeff has never been laid off or fired in his entire life so this is all new to him. He's an extremely hard worker and keeps very busy so having entire days to himself will be a new experience. We will make the best of what we have to work with and hope and pray that he finds a position that is interesting and challenging (and heck, let's face it, as long as it's a paycheck!) soon. Both Jeff and I have t-shirts from the "Life is Good" line. Recently, he said "I wish I had a shirt that says 'Life is O.K.'" But we have a lot of blessings and so we'll focus on those for the time being. And keep an eye on the want ads!