Saturday, July 13, 2013

How would I react if I lost my job? Am I ready for my own personal SHTF?

 I had worked for the state for about 20 years.  Since I retired in January and I was old enough to collect my pension, that's just what I did.  Now the pension will keep the roof over our head and provide us with electricity and 1/2 of the cost of our monthly food bill.  That's it.  No gas, no new clothing, no visiting relatives in Southern California.  Home, electricity, enough food - no air conditioning...

I retired not because I was done working but because I was offered a job that paid considerably more.  Last December I started the new job. It's a great job.  It's much more challenging than the job I had so I'm using my brains more and my life isn't put into danger every few days.  All in all it was a great decision.  That is until last Thursday morning when it was announced that layoffs are coming. 

Will I be laid off?  I don't think so but since I'm not the company VP I really have no idea.  Neither does our Division Manager.  He does think that he and half the other managers will be canned.  Sure glad I went from supervising to just a worker bee! The time to prepare is now.  That's a stupid statement.  I've been preparing for a time when TSHTF for a long time.  I guess the question is how do I change what I am doing right now if my income suddenly gets cut by 2/3? What do I do for the next three months, since all layoffs are going to be announced between next week and October?

The way this company lays you off is an HR person comes into your office in the morning and hands you a box. Then they sit and watch you empty your stuff out of the drawers and shelves.  Someone will even follow you into the bathroom or wherever you go that day.  I'm not sure if they want to make sure you don't hurt yourself, hurt someone else, or try to steal from the company.  After a few hours you are packed, they collect your keys, and escort you out the door.  Then they send out an email to the entire Division announcing that you don't work there anymore and to make sure you don't enter any of the buildings. They are brutal! 

What will we do differently here at home during the next three months?  I'll be saving more money.  The pantry is full but I will still be replacing what we use.  I haven't lost the job yet.  I have a trip planned to LA in September for a wedding but I can make it round trip in one day rather than spending the night in a hotel.  The Prius means the gas expense won't be crazy.  We don't need to purchase stuff just for the sake of having new things.  We also don't need anything.  I still have my list of wants and if I lose my job some of those wants may get moved up on the list as possible needs. 

School is coming up and both kids have grown a lot over the summer.  This means new shoes and clothes.  But new to them doesn't have to mean new.  Also, Girl is happy with home made clothes and dresses and skirts are really easy to make.  I'm just glad she isn't into all the horrible fads that kids are into these days.  Even if she was, she wouldn't be allowed to wear most of it due to her dressing religiously.  My sisters give me their old clothes and I tear them apart and remake them into new things for her.  I wonder if I could do the same for Boy?  Boy's clothes are much cheaper so buying him clothes isn't as big of a deal.  For him it's shoes.  Can he go through shoes!

Am I worried?  Not really.  But last night I did apply for a federal job that I found while browsing online.  It's in Texas, so if I got that job we'd have to move.  I don't want to move and will deal with that if I get offered that job.  I know with the last federal job I had applied for over 300 people applied.  I made it to the top 10 and then the funding was cut so they didn't fill the position.  With this job I have now about 100 people applied.  With the federal job they will probably get another 300 at least.  I have a good chance other than I've never been a federal employee.  Not that it would take me a long time to figure out how to fill out a time sheet and all their acronyms.

Several of my friends own companies in my line of work.  I could work for them if I needed to.  Unfortunately for me, my line of work in private industry usually entails more travel than I had to do when I worked for the government.  That doesn't go over well with raising grandkids.

I guess the real question to ask myself is would I want another full time job?  Would we as a family be better off if I only worked part time or not at all?  Would we be better off if I focused on the property and became more self sufficient, rather than the way it is now, which is being prepared to become self sufficient if the situation ever required it?  Tough questions that I really don't know how to answer.  All I do know is even if TSHTF today, not just in regards to my job but for the country, we would be just fine.

I think I'll pour myself a glass of sun tea and sit on the patio to watch the clouds float by, if there are any.  After all, 100 degrees plus outside for over two weeks means we don't do a lot at this time of day. 


  1. Interesting thoughts and dilemma. We've been thinking of similar ideas. Like you there would be some income with retirement, but does one fill in the holes with another job, or more garden and animals. I think we are starting to lean towards retirement, a part-time job and a bigger more to subsistence.

  2. I hope the layoffs pass you by this time. Even with all your preps, not knowing what will happen is stressful.

  3. I agree with Steve...part time, or retire, if possible, and go more self reliant. We moved into a different, newer home, it is paid for, just utilities, and food and some needs, with pantry building and other things as we can do it.
    I would just sit tight, and just see what comes, then make decisions. You have already laid out different angles.
    Please try not to stress, like I am doing with what and how to handle elderly parents who are at the moment being a pain. Take it one day at a time, like I have been told.

  4. Well I can say that you will be just fine. Our personal crisis happened on Jan 1 2005 and we were not prepared for such radical changes. My husband had a car accident and our lives changed from a super income to a year of recovery then a desk job as a secretary making 19000. It was a huge blow. We immediately adapted, created a rationing plan with our savings, and relocated to a very inexpensive area...we lived in NV. Best news was that the housing market tanked after we moved and our house was the only house that sold in that area for 3 years. We regrouped bought a piece of dirt in the middle of the desert and called it a farm-to perhaps motivate us. We then began bartering for critters through sweat-cleaning out barns stalls etc...and produced our meats, and also began growing foods.

    Now our place-several years later still is quite rough around the edges, but all is well. We raised enough critters to buy sell trade then reroof the home as well as put ok floors in the place.

    In the midst of it all our sons all graduated (homeschool) one served honorably in US Army-in Afghanistan, and now is in police academy(age 24), second son is fireman (age 21) and third son is in the ER as a tech training to be a nurse. Youngest-a girl graduated early and then earned an associates on line. This was supported by the brothers financially.

    Seems like a crisis was not the greatest thing in the world to endure especially with the back and neck issues my husband has~but the family rose to the occasion and we became firm in our faith, love, and family.

    Sorry so long winded, but I wanted to share that in spite of it all with a solid foundation ALL can be well-even in the worst of times.