Breaking news

Among the many emails that landed in my inbox this morning was this gem, whose headline read:

Breaking News: Unemployment hits 26-year high

Employers cut a larger-than-expected 467,000 jobs in June, driving the unemployment rate up to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, suggesting that the economy’s road to recovery will be bumpy.

It's a pink slip, silly!
It's a pink slip! Get it?

Four-hundred sixty-seven thousand jobs.

And one of them belonged to Soup Husband Curt.

Breaking news! It happened last week, the day after the big Metro debacle.  The same day that all the celebrities started dying. The whys and hows aren’t important. It is what it is. But what it is? Is a real humbling kick in the nuts.

We’ve had wonderful support from everyone who surrounds us, and believe me, there’s nothing more important to us at a time like this than to know that the people in our lives are holding us up.  Because you are, really. Your words of encouragement (and referrals to possible job leads) mean the world to us.  As does your forgiveness if we seem a little bit “off” these days. It’s hard not to let this thing preoccupy our minds. It’s a distraction. In some ways, we are not ourselves right now.

The great thing about Curt is, when you meet him, you instantly like him. Plus, he’s got mad skillz. I have every confidence that he’ll land on his feet in a short time. I just hope that the other 466,999 good folks who find themselves similarly-situated are not PR/communications professionals with experience in the healthcare and non-profit sectors with a degree in English from a small liberal arts college.

Just sayin’!

Anyway, I offer this by way explaining why I’m not feeling up to writing much lately.  Funny or otherwise. Words elude me. (I know, can you imagine?) So don’t leave me, OK? I’ll be here, just not posting as often as I have in the past. And this, too, shall pass, I know it will. There has to be some good blog fodder in all of this, doesn’t there? Believe me, I’m looking for it, and you’ll be the first to know if I find it.

Misery loves company, right? Curt has had some good conversations with a couple of guys who’ve been there, too, and lived to tell about it. Do you have a hopeful story you can share here? Or are you in the same damn boat and just want to vent about it?  Tell Soup all about it. Go ahead; I’m listening.

13 thoughts on “Breaking news

  1. Meg, I’m not going to pretend it was the same thing as what you and Curt are facing, but when I urged my hubs to leave a stinky job before landing a better one (I had a good job/good fam benes), he was out of work for 6 months. He’ll tell you these were 6 of the best months ever, as he was able to be a regular volunteer in the kid’s class and the community and devote time to a meaningful job search. Landed exactly where he wanted, with help from supportive friends, and has advanced rapidly up the civil service ladder ever since. Voila – lemonade! Best of luck, and I’ll keep my ear to the proverbial ground for ya!

  2. First of all, keep your spirits up both of you… a layoff is NOT a rejection, it is not saying anything about you (Curt) as a person or your skills. It is saying that the company either did poor planning or, if you want to be generous, that their business situation deteriorated beyond all reasonable expectations. In either case, don’t feel like it is a personal statement about you, it’s not.

    The next thing I would say: it is easy to feel lost at first, being not quite sure where to even start, and not knowing how to manage your own daily rhythms. You’ve got a new job right now, it’s called: finding a job. You will feel very much better about your progress if you approach finding a job like a real job — lay out a plan, a set of tasks, allocate times, track your status on them, etc. The nice thing with that is that you can review your plan with any helpful HR professionals you might know (hmmm…? :-) ) for their educated opinion.

    So hopeful story for me — my layoff was in 2006 (from our favorite company, Meg! :-) ) when the job market was much better. I was lucky to have lots of friends in different companies looking out for me, including folks at Lockheed Martin where I ended up going. I can’t really vent — my commute is still short, LM is a pretty big & stable place, my new work is interesting, etc.

    One special positive out of it for me: since my severance pay was about 16 weeks of salary, I delayed my return-to-work date for an extra month and called it “The Summer of Jack”. ☺ Tried to do needed household projects, but I also just enjoyed my first “not working” in 22 years and spending lots more time with our older son. So if you should be so lucky to have some “not working” time after you secure a new position, I heartily recommend it.

    Sorry for the long post…

  3. A few stories:

    One pal who got laid off has done everything to make the absolute best of it. He had saved some money and is now living on that while driving around and visiting friends, relaxing, unwinding deeply maybe for the first time ever, AND finally learning to surf (he lives in California.) He says he’s so grateful for this.

    Others:

    Two pals who got laid off soon landed BETTER jobs.

    I will keep my butt crossed for Curty and try to help in any way I can.

  4. There is so much I could say on this topic but won’t because I’d rather say it in person. In short, a couple of things.

    1. MCI laid me off in the 90’s.
    2. A friend–also laid off from MCI — was picked up by Price Waterhouse.
    3. PW picked me up based almost exclusively on the friend’s recommandation.
    4. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    5. It sucks. Plain and simple. No two ways about it. However, although it doesn’t feel like it and although you can’t see it, you will break through to the other side. Things happen, and I think they happen for a reason even though often we don’t know or can’t see what that reason is.

    6. I’m thinking about you all.

  5. Jack, thanks for sharing and don’t ever apologize for long comments! I had forgotten you were among the many in that series of RIFs. By the time you left, I had already been laid off from the job I left our company for! But it was good timing b/c it coincided with the birth of the Peezer.

    As for the Summer of “Jack” – well, let’s just say ,the pool membership was already paid for before this happened so we hope to significantly prorate the cost per visit with Curt’s newfound “free time.”

    Suz – I believe a better job is out there. We just have to find it.

    Randi – you’re the best, we need hugs and ears now!

    CBW – Possible break-out session topic? Nah. But your story is proof that snagging a job depends so much on who you know. We’re lucky to know you all and will be leveraging our network soon!

  6. That totally sucks. I’m so sorry.

    I have a sucky thing to share too — doesn’t compare to the job thing, but it might make you laugh and cry. I’ll drop you an e-mail.

  7. I think I commented about this once or twice on the Internuts somewhere? But just wanted to say that I’m still thinking of you all and not the least bit worried because — come on! Brains like your guyses? And yes I know I just typed “your guyses,” but I’m from California and it’s an automatic exemption — what was I saying? oh yeah, California.

    Dude.

    All will be well. I’m not worried.

    1. Thanks, Foolery, for the vote of confidence! FWIW, in PA, we would say “you’uns guys”. In Western PA, however, it’s more like “yi’ins guys.” Will demonstrate dialect in person next weekend!

  8. Thanks, everybody for your encouragement! It was a swift kick right in the…um…potato sack, but I will get through. With friends like these, how could I do otherwise?? Thanks for sharing your stories and for the good advice as well.

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