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.