Sunday, March 29, 2009

Worrying about the boy

My boyfriend turned twenty three on Friday so he headed down to his parents' and I headed up for the weekend. It was beyond wonderful to see him, but he was clearly very stressed out. The good news is that he has a new job. The bad news is that his job may vanish in June.

After he got laid off, he almost immediately swung into action and began hunting for a new job. He quickly found a company that offered him a couple of days' work with the prospect of more permanent employment after the trial period. It didn't pan out. He then proceeded to find call the roughly seventy five electrical contractors in the area, and a handful were taking applications for apprentices. He got a few interviews, and then he got offered a job. However, he was warned early on that if the company doesn't get more big projects after the completion of the ones they're working on right now, he'll likely be laid off. Having a job is better than not having a job, especially when you have bills to pay, but the whole situation is disheartening.

If he doesn't have a job at the start of the fall semester, he'll be unable to continue the classes for his apprenticeship. If that happens, he'll likely lose the credit for the two and a half years of coursework he'll have completed by then and basically have to give up on becoming an electrician. It's an utterly lousy situation, and I can see it wearing him down.

I'm powerless to help. There's no way to magically make the economy better and get people building things and hiring electricians again, but being so far away makes me feel especially useless. I can call, email, and be a sympathetic ear and a sounding board, listen as he muses about what to do next if layoffs hit at his new company, futilely try to reassure him that he's a wonderful person and the situation at hand is not a reflection on him, tell him dumb jokes, and remind him that he is so much more than just an electrician. I can't, however, make him dinner, hug him, or hold him down and tickle him when he's had a rough day.


Stephanie said...

Couldn't he volunteer to work for free or minimum wage just so he could get credit for the next semester's classes?

E.C. said...

Unfortunately, I think number of required hours of "on the job training" is essentially equal to working full time so working for free wouldn't work out that well. He has to eat and pay rent and such.