Thursday, March 20, 2008

Layoffs hit home

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.


A said...

Will you be able to find out if the lay off is due to being in the automotive industry or the state of the economy.

It seems like we've been hearing about the horrors of the automotive industry for years.

budgets are sexy said...

oh man, that sucks i'm sorry to hear that :( your dad seems to have his head on his shoulders though!

I wish him, and your family, the best of luck with it all.

E.C. said...

I don't really know the answer to your question, and I'm not sure my dad does either. Part of the reason cited at the meeting yesterday was that his department was losing money. That perceived loss was a result of an internal accounting system so screwy I'm not sure I can adequately describe it.

Whether to blame problems in the automotive industry or the economic conditions that make people less likely to buy new cars is a mystery to me. Either way, having GM and Ford among your major customers isn't so great right now.

"Future Millionaire" said...

You're dad will be in my thoughts. I feel his pain.

thebaglady said...

My mom lost her job last November because her company pretty much got sold. She looked long and hard for quite a few months and then got a job with a State University. She's taking a 30 to 50% paycut, but she will get pension after 5 years. It is tough for older generations to find jobs these days, but the public sector might be a good choice. good luck to your dad, and tell him to hang in there and try applying to some places he hasn't considered!

"Future Millionaire" said...

How's your Dad doing? Did they decide where he was going to go if he doesn't like his manager?