Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

August 4, 2008

The Proverbial "Other Shoe" has dropped

Welp. Shoulda known this was coming. Had a feeling it would.....hoped it wouldn't. But it has.

Brian got his official lay off package today from Weyerhaeuser. This past winter, once he told me that they'd sold the Oregon plants to International Paper, I knew this was coming. He'd escaped several downsizing meetings, and morale was in the shitter as it was. Last week was the final push to get all the files and claims boxed and sent off. Since Brian does all the Oregon claims, he was left with maybe 15 of them. The normal claim load is about 100 - 150. I'd remained optimistic and didn't even talk about the "what if you get laid off" thing b/c he was under enough stress as it was. And being a man, he doesn't like to share bad news w/ me till he absolutely has to.

His last day is Friday, although he'll be paid in full thru the end of October, and he said the company is giving him every opportunity for assistance etc. But now, of course, I have to scramble to find health insurance for us. I know he'll get a new job and all that, but he went thru all that training, got certified, made countless trips to Oregon over the past 2 years. It sucks.

While it's too late to cancel the trips to California in less than 2 weeks, this means that going to Portland to see Julie just isn't gonna happen. Lots of things aren't going to happen. I have already called our financial guy and had him immediately stop the automatic w/drawal from our account for a Roth IRA. Will have to let Mr. Vu go, after this month, which is actually OK as we are coming onto winter and if I can get our lawn mower fixed, we'll just do the mowing ourselves. Catalogs with dog-eared pages of things I wanted to order are going into the recycling.

I want to cry, I feel it right there under the surface, but I can't. I'm still too numb. I have a million things running around in my mind. What about the cost of our meds. What about health insurance. Can we afford day care for Sagan anymore. What can we cut back on that are extra's that we don't need. What am I gonna do about Xmas gifts for people.

We've always gotten by before on one salary, and he can get unemployment and all after October. This just SUCKS.

But this is happening all over the country, so I'm really trying to keep that in perspective, and just focusing MORE anger at Bush. He's done a good job of running this country into the ground. Thousands of Weyco employees have been let go over the past 7 months. Mills closed or sold. Whole towns are dying b/c the mills closed.

So I really should try to look at the bright side - he's not the only one getting laid off, he'll have a paycheck for another 2 months, we are relatively healthy, I still have a job and a wonderful boss who will let me sit and weep tomorrow when I tell him, and knowing Steve, he'll probably offer to let me go home. Usually I try to soldier-on whenever I'm at work under personal, emotional stress, but if he offers, I may take him up on it. The vehicles are paid for & have been recently tuned up and we'll save gobs of gas money with him not commuting every day. Since he'll be home to play and walk the dogs, we can cut back on Sagan's weekly day care. We only have a mortgage & a couple of credit cards that have smallish balances. Compared to a lot of people, we're still in good shape, our credit's in fantastic shape. I'm trying SO hard to focus on all the good things in our lives. We've been together 19+ years and still love being together. I have gobs of craft supplies I was stocking up on for the day when I wouldn't be able to buy them at will. We hate our town but we love our home and neighborhood. It's very cozy. We live in a beautiful area. Our doggies are our babies.

But it's still a shock to the system, to put your heart and soul into your job and get the heave-ho.

I know, "things happen for a reason", "when one door closes, another opens", etc etc etc, and I also know it WILL sort itself out. In the meantime, we need to grieve b/c losing a job is a "death" and needs to be dealt with.

So think good thoughts for us and keep your fingers and toes crossed. We've always landed on our feet and I'm hoping this time will be no different.


  1. Lizzard8:54 PM

    Hi Hun,
    I wish you weren't on the opposite coast so I could go give you both a big hug! You're right when you say it will be okay, but change(especially involuntary change)is always hard. I'd be worried if you weren't upset.
    We all love you and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Thanks Liz. I know that there will be tears off and on. It's hard for him to know that come Mon., he has no job to go to. And change is sooooo hard.

  3. Sorry to hear it-damn! The man and I went through this together a few years back, and I feel ya on this one.

    It sounds like you guys have it really together in a lot of ways, so I know you'll get through it. But it does fully suck. Our town is a dying mill town, and it's been really painful to watch. Lots of people really hurting.

    I'll be sending many good thoughts your way, jojo. take good care of each other.

  4. Geez,Jojo...when it rains it pours!I only know second-hand what that is like,but seeing my Father go through it I can relate to the uncertainty about where money will come from,I worried about that even as a kid.

    I will be thinking of you both and putting some mojo into "job vibes" for Brian.

  5. ditto...wish we were lots closer, geographically. all of those cliches you listed are meant to give hope; not sure if they do, but i do wish them for you and brian.

    mental hugs and bunches of love

  6. oh, and having a good cry is a VERY good thing!

  7. I guess you are like me, trying to focus on the good parts. But it's healthy to cry, grieve and even rant a little. It will help you move forward. I'll bet Brian gets another job real soon. ((hugs)) to you!

  8. aw joj, i'm so sorry. that just sucks. hope you make it through your day ok today...

  9. Michelle8:55 AM

    Ditto on what Liz said, wish I could come and give you and Brian big hugs. Getting laid off is like a death in some ways and it is never easy; no matter what the circumstances. Stay strong and know that lots of love and good thoughts are being sent mentally from Maine!

  10. Thanks you guys. ((((hugs)))

    I mean, I am trying really hard to be positive. Bryde, you are fighting for your life. Axe has it way worse than I do. So many other people are suffering terribly in this economy. I am thankful that we are in an OK position, but having to start over AGAIN in your late 40's gets harder and harder.

    I just want to say how much I love all of you guys. I appreciate your friendship and support.

  11. Maybe so Jojo,but I am as comfortable as you can get with it.It is old hat at this point.

    But this is fresh and new for you and Brian and it sucks.

    I am tired of shoes dropping.

  12. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Jo-my heart and prayers are with you both, your right you know all the sayings and that doesn't really help, so both of you just cry and grieve all you want and when that is finished you will go on with your wonderful life together. I have my fingers and everything else crossed that all will be fine shortly!!! Love ya, Jean

  13. Anonymous2:55 PM

    My next door neighbour was called to a meeting a couple of weeks ago and told 'that's it', although they did give everyone one year's salary, so he at least has a cushion while he tries to find another job, but he's also in his 40's and it's a scary thought to have to start all over again. I didn't leave a job I'm not even convinced is a 'real' job any more just because, in the end, I couldn't face the thought of being a 'newbie' again at my age.

    Here's hoping something turns up real soon, and you never know, maybe things happen for a reason, and Brian may find something else that will make him wonder why he was ever worried in the first place.

    *good thoughts winging your way across the ocean*

  14. I'm really willing everything to turn out well for you guys. Uncertainty is so stressful.

    I do know how you feel. Christmas 2004 I was made redundant from a job by a poisonous headteacher who wanted to punish me for not being a "yes" girl. But for a quiet life, she had to give me a good deal, and I got early retirement too, with 2 years' enhancement. I had a good lump sum to cushion me, but I have not had a permanent job since, working as a supply teacher, with chunks of time with no work. The uncertainty is very worrying. This September is the first time since then that I've had work to go back to from day 1 of the school year.

    I've loved the bags of extra experience, but at 55 I doubt I'll be back in permanent employment any time now.

  15. Oh Jojo, I hope everything is gonna be OK! I should know how hard it is having to go through changes like that.
    Love & hugs to you both!

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  17. Ooops, that was me.

    I'm sorry Jojo. If you feel the need...Throw a fit! Cry, scream, break things..Get it out.

    I'm praying to the universe that Brian finds a job soon, and it's a job he enjoys.

  18. Aw Jojo, I'm so sorry. But you know what? It's shitty now and you're upset now, but you're right when you say that everything happens for a reason. I strongly believe that. And so far, you two are in great shape. Just a few sacrifices need to be made, and he'll get a new job and both of you will be up and running again. Who knows, maybe he'll turn out to be a millionaire and you'll never have to work again! :)

  19. JoJo, I am so sorry to hear this. I saw the coverage of the lay-offs on the news, but I didn' know that Brian worked there. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you guys. I hope he finds something fabulous that will make up for all of his before you even know it.

  20. Jean - Oh yeah, the crying comes and goes. But the nausea is sticking around.

    Diane - It is so much easier to rebound from these things when you are younger.

    Val - Sounds like you are better off having been laid off from a job w/ a horrid headteacher. Why do women in power play games like that?

    Madi - Hey girl! I know you know what we're going thru. Have you see Roger yet? *wink*

    Tess - What I'd like to break is George Bush's head in two. He's responsible for this economy.

    BD - Thanks. :) We just have to commit ourselves to winning the lottery. lol Then I can take that cross country trip and visit all you guys!

    DP - Yup, caught that on KING-5 last night too. The consolation we have is that he is only one of thousands of victims of corporate downsizing.

  21. (((condolences and hugs)))

  22. Thanks Daisy! The support of my friends means so much to me.

  23. Mucho sympathy for across the Atlantic. You will both survive and pull it around even if there are bloody bits before you do. Remember Scarlett O'Hara...

    'tomorrow is another day'

  24. WR - Thanks. Oh yeah, we'll land on our feet, but as with any shocking & bad news, it takes a few days for your system to adjust!

  25. It's Thursday night. I'm done, last day was today. They took me to lunch and it was nice. My partner Lisa (who now has to carry the whole load herself)was crying. She always called me her brother.

    anyway, they make these little blue pills called Xanax....yum........mmmmm......


  26. Oh, Brian, I do wish you good luck. Over here we always forget about the big side-effect of losing your job, losing your health coverage as well.

  27. Jojo,
    That's so awful. America has steadily gotten worse since I abandoned ship 8 years ago, but reading stories like yours makes it much more personal.
    I'll be sending you positive energy.

  28. My friend's sister just got laid off from the same company after 17 years. She thought she was safe. My friend is worried that she will get let go from Starbucks after 8 years in a fairly high up position. It's a scary world! Don't get me started on what I think of Bush... Hope you'll adjust OK. Take care.