Saturday, February 28, 2009

Scaled Ramp Up

Subterranean Homesick Blues ~ Bob Dylan
Had this song in my head all day.... had to post it!

Temporary Layoff- Version #5

The latest deal with the December 15, temporary two week layoff, is the company does not bother to return calls.
They say "call in On Monday Feb 23 for an update about starting work on Monday March 2."

They have a pre recorded message stating " We are getting ready to restart production operations, selectively start to call people back for a scaled ramp up, additional employees, will be added each week as we fill up the lines, and sales volume increases. Employees will continue to have health care premiums deferred."

The effing supervisor he reports to does not even have the decency to return the call.
Left hanging in the wind the whole damned week & still we just have the pre-recorded message.

Health care premium deferral means they cover your premium & when you return to work it will be taken in bulk out of your check. So far, 12 weeks of backlogged payments. When the unemployment considers you are making money so then disqualified for unemployment, yet not taking any money home. I suppose it is good to have the continued coverage, but the longer you are unemployed, the deeper into that hole you get. If, eventually, you are NOT called back, then you owe all the backpayments.

Just had jangled nerves all this week, waiting to hear something more than a vague prerecorded message.
Meanwhile the local news media is calling it "furlough", and Oregon hit the 9.9% unemployment rate-- soon to crest a double digit unemployment rate.

Money~ Beatles


D.K. Raed said...

Awful that they are leaving people twisting in the wind like that. I'd rather know for sure, one way or the other. And yeah, it's a double insult to know even if you are one of the lucky ones "ramped" back up, you will have to repay health coverage that they didn't have any paychecks to deduct from during the unpaid layoff. Calling it a "furlough" almost makes it seem like you've been on a holiday, enjoying R&R time. But I am keeping good thoughts for you!

In addn to OR high unemployment, two OR banks failed this month. You can see which ones at

ps, you ever see the Dylan movie, "Don't Look Back"? It was a documentary following him around on an tour of England. Subterranean Homesick Blues was featured, but so much more (like Dylan's feud with Donovan)!

Fran said...

Up until now, he'd heard from multiple people in management regarding changes. Just a basic courtesy for a personal update.
Ramped up ~ pissed off!

Anyway, the backlogged insurance situation is going to be a raw deal.
I had not heard of the 2 Oregon failed banks.

I guess other banks just keep assimilating the others.

I saw the PBS Dylan documentary, sounds like you are talking about something different?

Annette said...

Fran... Sorry..will keep you in my thoughts.. good ones..wish I could do more. It is difficult to sit and wonder like this, has to be. That unknown is worse than knowing. At least if you know you can deal with it.

Bless you..

Christopher said...

What a damned mess.

California's unemployment hit 10.1% as of yesterday. We know these numbers don't tell the entire story as huge swaths of people go under reported because the numbers are based on people filing for benefits.

I hope this turns around soon. For your family and for everyone.

I heard yesterday that the entire American consumer debt, mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and student loans is equal to the U.S. GDP or 100%.

In 2000, it was 50% of U.S. GDP.

The only other time in the history of the U.S. this happened was in 1929 and we know what followed.

Fran said...

The latest development, the pre-recorded update, no human response, is disturbing.
This - "Talk to the machine" approach makes a tough situation even more demeaning.

We tightened our belts, and are going to have to try to set aside something in the midst of this to be prepared to cough up hundreds for the backlog of insurance premiums. The longer he is off, the higher that tab gets. Oy!

Annette~ The waiting & them continuing to push the date back is a real roller coaster.
We just have to reset our expectations, now to believe it if-when we see it. Each time they pushed the date back it became a new level of depression, disappointment.

Christopher ~ We talked about how the industry in general is on thin ice. Even if he does get called back, we are still going to be very cautious of what is ahead. The economy is going not going to spring back- so many jobs lost, the domino effect is in full swing.

Christopher said...

Any chance Fran, he could go into healthcare? Nursing, respiratory therapists, radiological therapists, are all in demand the the jobs are going begging.

Junior colleges have 12 and 24 month course and he's ready to go.

Just a thought.

Dada said...

Thanks for the update, Fran. As a pessimist (what, me cynical?), people suddenly disappeared on the other end of the phone line is not taken as an encouraging sign and I am so sorry for the tremendous stress your family is now undergoing as a result.

If things at Mr. Rambling's were to go totally bad, would it mean all these weeks of health insurance would not have to be reimbursed??!! (Oh, crap, what kind of a sick remark was that? One from a member of this very sick society? ~sorry~ please forgive!)

Fran said...

Christopher~ He already has a degree, not in medicine.... not sure that is his interest.

Dada~ If things go bad, the unemployed would then owe the company the full amount. Not sure if there is a time element allowed to pay for it, but I'm thinking $840 ish to date.

Not so much cynical, as much as keeping a realistic view on what's ahead.

Christopher said...


Jim has a BA, too. But he looked at the economy a few years ago and saw where things were headed and decided corporate America was simply too precarious.

Jim has a humanitarian streak but he's also a realist. He knows healthcare is pretty much immune from downturns.

So many men are entering the various professions. His graduating class was 12% men. A record, his school reported.

Again, just a thought.

Dada said...

OK Fran, forgive, -- I'm gonna try real, real hard to be 'civil' here. I've been experiencing some inner uncivil rest recently (or is that inner civil unrest?).

OK, so those great guys over @ Mr. Rambling's work place who don't have the juevos to speak to their laid off employees personally anymore, are pleased to announce however, that "Not to worry, you're still covered with health insurance, you can reimburse our kindness later when you return to work!" (or later, even if you don't). God, I'm so, so ..... underwhelmed!

So presently while unemployed your health insurance debt continues to grow ca. $70/week thanks to the generosity of his company. I'm curious, would they settle for, say, $1/yr. until YOUR DEBT (to society) is settled? If not, would they settle for payment in lead instead?

Now, why am I so, 'unreasonably' upset about all of this? Might it be the mainstream media's hawking the republican's line in congress that Obama's proposed budget amounts to "CLASS WARFARE"?

"Eeeek, OMG! CLASS WARFARE??!!" Because O threatens to tax the rich a little bit "more" (hell, I didn't know the bastards paid any damn taxes!)?

And where was the MSM these past 30 years when the wimpy rich were winning the class war against "we the people"?

So, forgive me if there's some trace of 'revolution' residue in the genetic jelly of my memory cells of how the hell this country came into existence in the very first place.

Are we supposed to lie still whilst they bleed us for decades and then when exposed how they're bleeding us to death, continue to lie placidly there and just let them finish us off so's to avert a CLASS WAR against those poor rich sumbitches who are slaughtering us -- us, their victims?

OK, the audaciousness of this all is beyond my comprehension (and Mrs. Dada's as well). And it's not good for my BP, so I'd best stop for now.

Chris: Under more 'normal times' your retraining suggestion might be a great idea, but these aren't normal times. We're in a huge, HUGE depression where conservative ol' Kansas is considering doing away with the death penalty (!) in favor of life in prison because the latter is cheaper.

Which is something 'going back to school' in this day and age isn't -- "cheaper" -- especially when faced with repaying for (un)optional healthcare insurance received while unemployed.

Ah, images of one whose neck is in the guillotine about to be severed as the executioner says, "Not to worry, monsieur, you steel have zee health insurance. Of course, eet must be repaid."

Viva the Revolution!

Fran said...

It's all in the effing crazy world of the "furloughed".
Don't know which is better or worse, a different RV manufacturing company going under, had their furloughed workers have to pay their premiums while not working.
Six of one half a dozen of the other....
Either pay it put of your unemployment $, or catch it later. It's kind of a financial Russian roulette.

Your last two lines captured it well.

Once you get unemployment you have to decide, will you have them take taxes out of it NOW or hit you later? Some may say you are lucky to have health insurance- the premium policies health, dental & vision, gonna cost you.

Still, in the back of my mind I'm keeping track of the tab, and frankly, starting to get a little freaked out about it. But basically it is a game of picking when you take your financial hits.
I could voice my opinion & *talk to the machine*, but that would be crossing the line, Eh?
Ranting at the machine about the inhumanity of it all!

And then the men in white coats came & took her away.....

Meanwhile my Sister is poised to sign off on a lien on my Mom's (paid in full) house, to pay for her care. I'm am wanting to pull that one out of the fire and do a little more research.

Recession-Depression.... whatever... it's a bitch.

Christopher said...


My point to Fran is simply that certain skills today are no longer marketable and as downsizing continues unabated, it might be an option for her husband to look at the professions where skills are in demand and this is healthcare.

We're in Rochester, NY -- not exactly a large city and certainly not an economic powerhouse. Yet, recruiters from as far away as Atlanta, Phoenix and Las Vegas were lined up at Jim's school on career day trying (begging) RN grads to come to work at their hospitals. In some cases, offering as much as a $10,000 relocation stipend.

There's no such thing as "normal times," but there are realities like realizing certain skills are no longer in demand. You can stay home, waiting by the phone in hopes a former employer will call you back and living on unemployment or use that time to acquire a skills base that commands a good salary and is marketable.

Dada said...

Christopher: Your advice re retraining for a career in the health care field is well taken for those who can afford the money and time to take it. Certainly, health care is the one really shining area with much demand for nurses, resp. therapists, etc. (-- assuming hospitals remain healthy enough to survive!). Forgive - I'm a 'doom and gloomer' expecting things to get much, much darker [remember?] until we see the light at the end of the tunnel -- let's just hope it doesn't turn out to be an oncoming train!)

But I recall having this conversation a couple of months ago (already!) and remember Fran expressing reservations about taking this route. But for those so inclined who can manage it and get into a program, yours may be excellent advice however.

Fran: I'm trying to remember the four steps to revolution: Was ranting at the machine No. 3, just before No. 4 when the bullets start to fly? (grin)

Fran said...

There is active job searching going on here, not just sitting & waiting for a call. Just not many jobs being listed, but also applying to places he'd LIKE to work, who are not currently advertising.

There is some truth to the fact that medical jobs are in demand- that and Truckers!

Don't know if there will be programs for displaced workers- if that is the case, he would certainly look into the school option.

Some people are drawn to the medical profession, others are not.

I could not resist looking it up:

Four Stages of Revolution

I. Incubation Stage (Prodromal)
A. Intellectuals desert the existing system. Sharp criticism of the authorities occurs and faith in the system is lost. Growing incompetence of the ruling classes.
B. At least one class is on the rise economically. It begins to demand participation in govenment and careers open to talent. Upper classes lock them out and the ranks of aristocracy close. Class distinctions become more hardened.
C. Government experiences serious fiscal and financial problems.

II. Symptomatic/Moderate Stage
A. Moderates rise to prominence and challenge the existing authority.
B. As authority is challenged, some acts of violence occur
C. Government fails to use force effectively.
D. Moderates win the day and get power. Honeymoon period where the revolution seems to be over.
E. Pressure from extremists grows.
F. Moderates are overthrown

III. Crisis/Radical Stage
A. Reign of terror and virtue/mass executions
B. Regicide
C. Use of secret police
D. Foreign threat to revolution
E. Extreme nationalism
F. Suppression of pleasure/demand for sacrifice
G. Religious faith in man's ability to create an earthly paradise.
H. Class Struggle
I. Economic Crisis

IV.Convalescence/Recovery Stage
A. Things revert back to normal (reign of terror over)
B. Government resorts to pre-revolution form of government
C. Peace is made with neighboring countries.

We've certainly achieved steps 1 B & C.
B. At least one class is on the rise economically. It begins to demand participation in govenment and careers open to talent. Upper classes lock them out and the ranks of aristocracy close. Class distinctions become more hardened.

Wall Street demanding Government participation in the form of Billions in taxpayer dollars, then fly off in private swank corporate jets to give away million dollar bonuses.

C. Government experiences serious fiscal and financial problems.

Failed banks, Mortgage/Foreclosure meltdowns, rampant homelessness.

Good thing the Revolution will not be televised, because not everyone has a converter box!

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