Friday, December 12, 2008

The axe falls

We always said we'd cross that bridge if and when we get to it.
The news came in the form of an e mail, from the employer to the employees. "Due to the general economic climate, the decline in consumer confidence and extremely tight credit markets, we have made the very difficult decision to temporarily layoff much of our workforce."
The layoff starts Monday Dec 15, currently scheduled to end Monday Jan 12.
Mr. Ramblings is instructed to return on Jan 5th.... so that is a sign they will resume working.....
Mr. Ramblings is the main wage earner in the household, so this is a big deal.

Earlier in the year, there was a large wave of "temporary layoffs", that later turned permanent. Those workers were never called back in to work.

Yes, unemployment compensation can be had in the meantime, but there is this uneasy wondering if this temporary layoff will become permanent.

The good news is I am still employed and we are heading into our peak season in the new year.

How is Bush-o-nomics working for you?


Dada said...

Oh Fran, I am so sorry at this news. I have watched you guys for months as these cutbacks, these lay-offs (some permanent) unfolded, thankful that each time you two had managed to escape them.

Thanks for keeping us posted. I will certainly be hoping 1/5/09 will hold good news for Mr. Ramblings. (If good thoughts are worth anything, I'm sure you'll reap many for your readers.)

So far, I'm not sure how (or from what direction) this economic implosion will hit us, but I know it will (aside from the subtle ways it already has).

Again, thanks for sharing and, oh yeh, "Merry Christmas!"

Unknown said...

Geez, I am so sorry Fran. :(

My son is having to move to Oklahoma for work. It breaks my heart as he is my only spawn.

He leaves five days before Christmas. :(

Fran said...

Hi Dada~ The full impact has not yet set in.
We are hoping there will be a return, but even if so, it is iffy as to for how long. I have a different outlook on my job now.... so I will tighten up my act. I just had an annual review today-- they did not 86 me.... LOL, no actually I have very high score an average 96.6, but one must be in 99 point something to reach "exceeds expectations". Ahh the corporate model.... you are never quite good enough. I pleaded my case if they would put me on day shifts & not weekends, I could soar to the heights .... or some such bullshit.
we are keeping our eyes & ears open for job change, but seriously 14,000 people in our county lost jobs in the last several months, so the pickings are slim. Employers know this & have lowered the bar.... lower wages, less if any benefits.

Dusty~ Sorry the kiddo will be moving. He's living in CA & moving to OK? Wow! big change.
Hope that all works out.

Christopher said...

They always do this around the holidays. Have you noticed this?

I read where a recently laid-off man in Vancouver, BC took a gun to a Christmas party and shot and killed someone.

Will your husband be able to find work in Oregon or will you guys have to relocate?

One of the myriad of reasons Jim decided to become an RN is, you won't be laid off, there is work everywhere, from Fairbanks to Fort Lauderdale, and the coin is serious.

Could your husband become an RN? There are so many ways to do it: Associates Degree (2 years) to BSN (4 years.) If he's missing the science course, a 2 year college will do the trick and the great thing is, men are becoming RNs in huge numbers. A third of Jim's class are men. His teacher said she's never seen so many guys entering the field.

I do know the employment hot spots are Washington DC (he could work for Obama), Atlanta (great weather and housing) and Dallas (the least 'Texas' city in the state.)

Things will turn around. No matter how bleak they seem right now. 2009 will be a better year.

Fran said...

Thanks for your good thoughts Christopher. Mr. Ramblings has a BFA (4 year) degree. He as been in materials management ~ has advanced Excel Spreadsheet knowledge... can set up whiz bang spreadsheets to do amazing things. He was a APICS certified purchaser, but got out of that. Some idiot invented a Just-In-Time inventory management professional certification model. Looks great on paper-- does not always work in real life. The idea is not having $ tied up in inventory & ordering necessary materials in the nick of time. So if the vendor is out of stock, there is a snowstorm, or delivery truck breaks down or some other peril, ... this" just in time theory" fails.
It was a pressure cooker hotseat.

He has been at this job for 9 years. They paid a living wage, offered affordable health insurance for the whole family, and gave generous bonuses.

It takes a special person to have nursing skills.
It is not just a regular job. Medical, technical, emotional, physically demanding, life & death decisions. Plus here anyway, the specialized classes turn away more people than they accept.

We own our home, so moving is not all that easy- not to mention the market is in the crapper. Doubt we could sell our place even if we wanted to.

We are not violent people so there will be no Xmas party shootings or shooting of any kind.
But I don't think the company is doing an X mas party anyway. This last lay off they cut out just about everyone.

For now the layoff is listed as temporary.... so I'm not entirely freaked out, but I am also working as many hours as I can for now & hopefully ride this wave.

In any case, Just regrouping here & getting a glimpse of what the future may bring.

Mauigirl said...

Fran, best wishes to you and Mr. Rambling. I hope he does get to go back to work after the holidays.

enigma4ever said...

Oh Fran...
I am so so sorry....I am so sorry that you all are going through this....the Job Market is tough all over...all kinds of layoffs are happening all over...I hope that things work out for MrRamblings and you and your son too..

(((Nursing jobs are NOT all over- that is a myth- yes, NEW grads are being hired- because they are not as costly, but 20 year RN's are viewed as expensive and needing beni's, and ALL the teaching hospitals are starting freezes- cuz Bush cut their funds by 30 Billion this year alone.....but there are only limited school loans right now....most states are starting to feel the crunch of this economy...each state is experiencing it's own layoff/downsize situation...I don't know ANY state that is not feeling it right now.....and yes, I do know that sometimes it's just best to hunker down and ride out the storm.....

In the end I do think that there will be migrations of people traveling to different parts of the country looking for work...and people are already starting to adapt and work other jobs...I am working two jobs that I have never done before...nursing is only PT....

you and son and Mr. Ramblings will have a strong home and love....

much prayers and light friend...Stay Strong...

Fran said...

Maui ~ We sure hope this is a temporary situation, but the big picture & long term is not looking good.

We are not doing Christmas this year.... in fact floated the idea of a *recession Secret Santa* @ work.... giving white elephant gifts instead of buying new things.
People really liked the idea~ so it;s a go.

E ~ Yea, we are just hunkering down, tightening our belts, going lean.
So we shall see what the future brings.

A winter snowstorm is blowing in tonight... just a few inches tonight- but temps dropping down into the 20's .

We are both happy neither of us has to go anywhere in the morning. day at a time.

D.K. Raed said...

To be notified by email?!? Very impersonal, but I guess in tune with the overall holiday message.

It truly sucks, Fran. But it sounds like you are already hunkering down, changing & adapting wherever you can. I love the white elephant xmas gift idea!

Bush-o-nomics! Only a Bush can leave the country so effed up. His dad blew a tons of $ in iraq, accomplished sh*t, continued Reagan's reckless deficit spending & deregulation & left us in a recession. And of course, lil Georgie always had to outdo his Daddy. Leaving things worse in every way is the Bush family way!

Christopher said...


US Labor predicts 1 to 2 million new RN jobs between now and 2020. It's a staggering number and they can be found in virtual every state and city.

Don't listen to the doom and gloom crowd.

I am also convinced the economy will get better in 2009. Obama has all the pieces of the puzzle in place to make this happen.

Give your husband my best.

Fran said...

DK~ they have more than 1000 workers spread out in different buildings, towns & states, so I guess the e mail makes sense.... but what of the worker so busy, they did not have time to read their e mail???

Also virtually every employee is armed with shoes... perhaps some steel toed boots!!! Clearly they did not want to face such potential chaos.

They might have driven in the icy snow this morning to find the place locked down & only security there with a locked gate!

This kind of news travels fast though. Pretty much everyone, even the administration people got the memo about being laid off.

Yes I thought the Recession version of Secret Santa
might be a good way to go. It may be something we do for more years to come than we had planned!

Christopher~ You have a more optimistic outlook than I do. Through no fault of Obama's and through every fault of the Shrub, I think there is an downward inertia, and as other industries fail, there will be the domino effect, restaurants, suppliers,
other businesses the employees did business with, will also take the hit. The government now is throwing money @ Wall Street, w/o much regulation, and there is not endless $ in unemployment coffers, in fact some states were running unemployment monies dry a few months ago.
I just think many businesses will fold after the holidays yield flat sales. If the auto industry fails, this will have a huge domino effect. So many family wage jobs & healthcare will vanish, which will cause more foreclosures etc.

So I predict even harder times ahead.
Obama will do everything he can to turn this around, but the catastrophic disaster Bush created has yet to go full swing. There are already people living in tent cities, and people losing jobs will not bloster the ecomony, but create more foreclosures, and jobless people with no health care.

Not everyone can do the physical labor of the reconstruction stuff Obama is going to create, or even the Nursing positions you speak about. Not everyone can be on their feet all day, or have the ability to go back to school, or get funding-- but like I said Nursing programs locally turn away more people than they accept.
So for lots of reasons that may not be a viable solution,

I hope I am wrong!

But I think the Shrub's failure will continue to get worse before it gets better. I just don't think you can turn an ecomomy around that fast....
remember we have been in a recession for more than a year.

Things are not just effed up, they are effed up George Bush style!

Christopher said...


Well, you know where I stood from day one on the Wall Street bailout of Bush's buddies and family members.

I opposed it -- vehemently.

The people who actually sat up until 2AM watching the opening of the Asian markets and argued in favor of this unprecedented boondoggle obviously understood nothing about economics and trusted this administration to tell the truth -- something it is incapable of doing.

It's not going to get better overnight. The economy is in shambles and mortgage mess is still a catastrophe. But, I look at Obama's economic team, I read their comments and bios and I really think he deserves to be lauded for assembling this group of people.

Now the Borg Queen is a different discussion! LMAO!

Lulu Maude said...

Soso sorry, Fran. You are an exceptional woman, and you and Mr. Ramblings will get through this. But it's going to be hard.

Here at the other end of the continent I'm watching a friend go through the same thing. Their company got bought up, and they never know when the axe will fall... not being billed as temporary, either.

It won't just be shovel swinging jobs in the Obama administration---there's going to be some cogitating going on. The future may well lie in green industries, some of which will need your spouse's skills.

But, as you say, the layoffs were billed as temporary. Believe me, those qualifiers aren't ubiquitous.

Ultimately, you will prevail.

Dada said...

Fran: Jeez, the solution is right before our eyes! Why didn't we see this? You and Mr. Ramblings could join the army!

OK, sorry,, NO - Please don't throw your shoes!!

Christopher: Just a note to your "(the least 'Texas' city in the state.)" as description of Dallas.

Maybe I'm missing that point on that but, respectfully, most folks where I live would consider Dallas just the opposite, i.e., "The MOST 'Texas' city in the state." It's the epitome of Texas.

I say that with no disrespect.

Anyway, what would I know about that? I don't live in Texas.

Dada ~ in El Paso (the city that's the farthest one can get from Dallas and Houston and still be in "Texas").

And as far as the economic mess we're in, I hope you're right Christopher, but I'm of the opinion Obama could come to office with the very best of all possible teams and there's still no way 2009 is gonna get better. It's gonna get worse, much much worse, before it gets better (i.e., we go back to the 'old ways' which IMHO ain't gonna happen either.

There's a new world unfolding and I'm not sure anyone knows exactly what it will look like.) But that's just my opinion.

Fran said...

Christopher- Wall Street is an ongoing disaster... just like flushing billions down the toilet. AIG in particular wins some kind of chump the government award.

Although I & a bunch of economics gurus agree, Obama has chosen excellent, qualified people to manage the economy, so much has already spiraled out of control. and so much more will, I think we can expect a plethora of banks & businesses failing, and the whole domino effect. Really every aspect of managing this country has been allowed to go to hell by the Decider. Pretty much everything is in disarray, and it all costs money to fix. The debts & deficits are record breaking & also breaking the back of this country.
I can only hope we've learned a lesson-- having a president with a resume of a string of bankruptcies is not a good idea for the person running the country.
I CERTAINLY DO NOT BLAME OBAMA- he inherited this mess, but realistically it is likely to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Lulu~ We are not counting on "temporary" as anything solid we can bank on. Even if he does go back now.... it is going to be tough going.
My new age friend says things are failing and forced rearranging is the order of the day.
Interesting perspective. Whatever it is, the economy is going down & that's for sure.
Your vision as green being the wave of the future is shared. Finally, we have a president with a clue.
Green is not only clean & smart, but it will provide jobs & help the economy. Oh! If we would have only spent all this wasted money on solar & electric vehicles & the mass conversion. Sigh.

Better late than never.

Dada~ leave it up to you to come up with such a brilliant solution!
My ass would be thrown out for bad attitude and non compliance, even hostile. I refuse to use a gun, salute, pledge allegiance, and I have serious medical problems. Furthermore, I fly the flag upside down, and would throw my shoe, maybe even spit at the current president. He is not now and never was my president- and I did not vote for his Daddy either.

Your remarks about Texas crack me up. You are a transplant, still questioning how in the hell did you ever become a Texas resident-- I remember Molly Ivins used to mock herself for being a Texan.

OK her actual quote is this:

"I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults. "
~Molly Ivins

I predict a whole lot more banks are going to go belly up in 2009, and the $ just won;t be there.
I also doubt if we are a 10 trillion in debt, we could possibly have the FDIC actually insure & guarantee all bank savings accounts up to 100,000.
At some point they are just going to have to shrug & say sorry, no more FDIC.

Again, it is not Obama's fault, just the Bush failure running it's course.

Dada said...

Fran: LOL! Great response. Coincidentally, in comparing your very rich reactions to my suggestion, I share all but one of those. Of course, the one exception was during my actual induction into military life, i.e., I had to use my gun (or be shot? - not by Vietcong, but by my drill instructors, ok?). But that was 40 years ago. I only in recent years have gained the wisdom you have obviously possessed for years (before me).

As for Texas. I never wanted to be a Texan but sometimes life can be such a trickster. Howsomever, I am only 7 miles from Old or New Mexico (where my heart really lies) and when we secede from the Union I suspect we'll (TRY to) join New Mexico (who if they secede, too, will be the world's 3rd largest nuclear weaponed nation on Earth - a good bargaining chip to have when dealing with a neighbor like the U.S.

Oh, and thanks for the great Ivins quote. God I miss her! Also loved Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards. At least we still have Jim Hightower.

Dada said...

Whoops...a couple of loose ends. First, what a farce -- the FDIC upping deposit insurance to $250K. Hell, why not make it an even $1 mil. They can set any amount they damn please but the fact remains: They don't freakin' have it!

Oh, and finally, did you happen to catch any of "president" Bush's remarks on the economy to Candy Crowley today? Priceless (what an idiot):

""I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is a not a huge economic crisis." Then, in his next two sentences he goes on to say, "Look, we're in a crisis now. We're in a huge recession, but I don't want to make it even worse."

But my favorite Bush comment of the day? "The whole system became inebriated." (!!!!)

God, oh god! For about the first time ever I believe him because he's speaking from place where's he's been many, many times before! "Inebriated" indeed!

Fran said...


A new Bush phrase?

Situation normal all inebriated up????

As for my non compliance- I was not always this way... I was a part of the culture that saluted the flag, and recited the pledge, etc....

but under this regime of terror, I have felt it would actually be disrespectful to the country & my personal patriotism.

I might have a different perspective under a law abiding, ethical president who was actually elected.

Still I would refuse to take up arms, so I am useless to the military industrial complex.

As for your location, you may still be in a prime position to have access to affordable medications, and other goods. Plus the temps are more forgiving... tent city worthy.

By contrast it is currently 16 degrees in the Pacific Northwest.

Ice capades on the freeway!

Christopher said...

Hi Dada,

I'm certainly no expert on Texas and I will defer to natives and residents who know more about it than me.

I was in Dallas for a conference and Jim flew down and we spent a few days there and loved it.

It's a huge city, made up of many urban villages, with great food (we love Mexican food) and museums and beautiful buildings.

The two things I recall about Dallas is:

1. it's a cultural bargain.
2. everyone is from someplace else in the country or world

Usually, places as large as Dallas are hideously expensive (think: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York) but Dallas is cheap. Everything from golf links to opera tickets to restaurants is so inexpensive compared to most large cities. A huge plus!

When we travel, we talk to everyone. Locals have a unique opinion and can often recommend the best places to visit and eat. It seemed everyone we met in Dallas was from some other state or country. I had no idea the city was so diverse and international.

I was hugely impressed with Dallas and I hadn't expected to be.

Dada said...

Christopher: Thanks for highlighting some of the more positive aspects you discovered re Dallas. You do make it sound more appealing than the impression I was left with. That's from my only visit there in June, 1990 for a HS class reunion of Mrs. Dada's (from Nuremberg, Germany not Dallas,TX). The reunion was fine. The reunion bus tour, the highlight of which was Dealey Plaza, interesting. And there was another tour which was a couple hours at some new mall with canals. It was unfinished, with few shops opened, no water in the canals and it 105 degrees!

So I obviously didn't get the nicer exposure to Dallas (my other impression, of course, comes from the TV series of the same name ~ grin!)

But as far as my thinking of Dallas as the epitome of Texas, I guess I was thinking politically, i.e., far more conservative, racially intolerant and republican than it's far west Texas counterpart, El Paso, which has a democratic congressman and voted 66-34% for Obama in November and often feels like Texas' stepchild when it comes to decisions political made by republican congressmen, senators, and governor. (And, "Oh yeh - president!" soon to change thank god.)

Fran said...

Ohhh a tour of an unfinshed mall.... how could you NOT be impressed?????

No offense to you, but I just could not live in Texas. I've lived in Arizona, but could not do it.

Maybe it is the drawwwwl or the whole lot of nuthin for so many miles or the brutal heat ???

Just not my thang!