When my mother and I got home this evening, my dad was sitting in the recliner, holding a can of beer, not reading, watching television, or listening to the stereo. My mother immediately sensed something was up and asked him what was wrong.
After next Friday, his department won't exist. My dad has been assured that he will have a job after that, but they haven't yet told him anything about what that job will be. At least eight of the guys he works with are getting laid off. This isn't a good time to be in manufacturing, especially parts for the automotive industry. My dad isn't sure how much longer he'll have a job with his company if the economic downturn continues.
He's also not sure whether he'll want the new position his company will offer him. He'll take it regardless, but if he ends up working under a particular boss with whom he had major problems in the past, he's going to start applying elsewhere. My dad says that it is much easier to find a job when you are already employed, and he's going to update his resume and chat with contacts at other companies.
My parents are better prepared than most to handle the loss of their primary income, if that's what this comes down to. They have no debt whatsoever, own their house outright, and have savings. A significant period of unemployment would be a setback and mess up their plans for retirement savings, but it wouldn't be a catastrophe. My dad says if he has to work as a cart wrangler at Wal-Mart for a couple of years, he'll do it. I've suggested that if it's that hard to find another engineering position, he could instead apply to the alternative teaching licensure program since our area has a shortage of qualified math and physics teachers. It would be a lot more fun for him, and it would probably pay slightly better. We're all awaiting Monday when he should get more information at work.