Wednesday, January 6

88% Is Practically 100%

On Monday night my husband came home from work and informed me that he had to quit his job. Hello? Excuse me? Pardon me while I go throw up. He has worked for the same company for 14 years (he's 34, so basically his entire working life) and I know that lately he has had a LOT of stress at work. Managers have started looking for reasons to fire guys, suspend them, basically make their lives miserable. The company he works for (which shall remain nameless) is a communications business and Dennis works on the lines, up in poles, in people's houses, in businesses. For the last couple of years this company has really been pushing their "wireless" products much more. Internet, cell phones. Great for advancing technology, not so great when your main source of income comes from actual wires. So for the past few months his work environment has been very unpleasant, to say the least. He has GPS in his truck. They hound him about why he was so many miles from a job, why he stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for 12 minutes, why his truck sat idling for a certain amount of time. Did he hand out a special card to the customer? Where is it? The customer says they didn't get it. What? It's true that if I had to work with someone leaning over my computer asking me why I was doing what I am doing and telling me that I am doing it wrong I may go insane too. So I am sympathetic. But quitting really seems like the LAST option to go here. His immediate boss likes him. He told her that he was going to quit and she talked him out of it. Told him to calm down. Take 2 or 3 vacation days and relax. Think about it. I might need to send her a fruit basket. He pulls good numbers (some of the best in the garage) and she realizes that they can't afford to lose him. HER boss on the other hand doesn't seem to really care how many guys go crazy and quit. They seem to figure less salaries to pay, less benefits to give out, and they want to be all "wireless" anyway, so what the hell, right? Well the hell is that we have 2 kids and 2 mortgages and a car payment, and food and heat and electricity, and these "wires" are 88% of our income. We can't lose 88% of our income. We could lose 88% of our house! We would have to eat 88% less! (Hmm, maybe I'll lose 88% of that weight I've been meaning to take off.)

Dennis told me "don't worry, it will all work out fine." This from the man who worries about RIDICULOUS things, things that don't even really affect us. Things that happen far far away. Who believes the world may actually end in 2012. Who has said that maybe we should arm ourselves in case of an end of the world emergency so that people can't loot our water supply. But losing 88% of our income? Nah, don't worry. No problem. It will work out he tells me. "Sure it will" I want to scream "because I WILL WORK IT OUT!" Someone has to be the one to work things out and that is usually (ALWAYS) me! I balance our checkbook and pay our bills. Buy the food and the kids clothes. I KNOW what him not working would do to us and I know exactly how long it would take us to sink into financial despair. It is about 3 weeks. So yes, THIS, this is something I do worry about. I am trying not to freak out yet though. He is going to take these few days off. He is going to talk to the Union (that he has payed serious dues into for 14 damn years) and discuss his options. Maybe he can transfer, or, oh, I don't know. All I know is that although he could get a new job somewhere, it might take a very long time and there is no way he would be making the same amount that he is making after working for 14 years for the same company. I am realistic, unfortunately I am VERY realistic, and that is not always a good thing. Not a good thing at all.

Instead of worrying, lets just have a listen to the kids and my new FAVORITE song. Take a deep breath. Relax. All will be fine. Really.


Lindy said...

I really hope this all works out for you and him!

I handle our bills and checkbook too and I yeah, pretty much one housepayment without both of our checks and we're done.

Jen said...

Kirsten...Listen to your hubs. Every thing will work out. It always does! Try not to stress too much and I will keep you guys in my thoughts!

Anonymous said...

There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.

camirror said...

I nearly know your husband's income will be cut in half in march - permanently. And he has no plans to look for something else until he sees the first few paychecks. Ugh, at that point we'll be homeless.

Hang in there...I know we're not alone.

therextras said...

Bless your Hubby's immediate (female) boss.

Fingers crossed that the Union will tell him some viable options.

I had to comment. My Dad was pole-climber when I was a kid. Un-named company is very familiar to me. Kind of like my childhood sports team .... still, Dad's job was stressful - esp at the end of his 39-year stint. He retired in 86, so I'm sure much has changed.

Sending hard-wired positive thoughts, Barbara