Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I am privy to "top secret" information that I am definitely not supposed to know. It was lucky that one of the lower level managers overheard a conversation and came to me with the information. I am stunned at this point, just numb and wondering what to do first. This changes my plans to some manner. The store I work in will be closing in January. According to the conversation it's a done deal and they will not be telling the employees until the end. There have been lots of corporate visits and locked door meetings in the managers office. You can tell something is up.

This month I will be debt free, so I have finances in line. My savings are not big enough to sustain me for a prolonged period in my current housing. I don't have a fancy place, just a cheap rental house. I would definitely have to downgrade if I were to survive a longer period of unemployment.

I had a job offer as soon as I mentioned this to a friend of mine. She said she knew how I worked and I would have the part time job in a second but it is in another county and I would have to purchase another vehicle first. I know this position will probably be filled before I have a vehicle lined up. There are a few other part time positions here and there but none close to home. Savings will have to give way to more transportation and we may have to move.

The last family meeting we had, I suggested a move out date of October 2012 and everyone agreed. They are not ready yet. I have to consider my son and daughter who have jobs here but not enough money saved to move on. This is a dilemma I didn't anticipate. I was expecting to keep doing the same thing until October and then make plans to do something completely different.

I've worked part time for so long, and the hours have been so low that unemployment would not be enough to live on if I were unemployed for an extended period. I feel I have to make some fast changes to stay afloat.

I've always been the one at the counter cashing the unemployment checks for my customers and offering words of encouragement. I've always said, "This is a great job during the recession because people still eat." My stomach is in knots and my mind is reciting that famous speech/poem "First they came..." because that is how I feel at the time.

First they came for the construction workers,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a construction worker.

Then they came for the factory workers,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a factory worker.

Then they came for the office workers,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an office worker.

Then they came for me,
and there was no-one left to speak out.

I know, totally tacky to steal that quote. It was from a much more devastating time and my worries are tiny compared to what was faced by so many back then. That just sums up how I feel about the situation in general. I have been affected by the recession previously but not as much as so many others have. So many more have lost work and not been able to find work. Many have lost their savings, their home, their health. I feel I've been almost smug thinking it wouldn't happen to me. I felt safe in my little nook waiting for better times to arrive so I could jump off into something else. Now I have to rethink everything and create swift new plans.

I'm at the edge of the pool of unemployment dragging my big toe through the water, waiting to dive in. Those of you already having a swim, "How's the water?"


  1. Gosh how sad/awful but lucky to find out early. I'd start job hunting right away. It seems people are more likely to be considered for a job when they are still employed. If you had to relocate, would your kids be able to keep paying the rent & bills on your current house and continue living there? If they pulled together it might be less expensive for them to stay together than moving to separate apts. Last night on "Rock Center" a new news show highlighted the hiring frenzy (due to an oil boom) in a North Dakota town, $15/hr to work in fast food. But you'd need that RV 'cause there is an extreme housing shortage, food/supplies are costly and winter is brutally cold and very far from Florida. I think deep down we all know we could lose our job anytime, even if it is very secure, union with lots of seniority etc., but you can't worry about it constantly or you'll get an ulcer! You've done what you could, being frugal and debt free. I hope another job is on the horizon. Keep us posted if only a brief update. Wishing the best for you and your family. Take care.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear this. Not good timing at all. The only good (?) thing is that you know ahead of time. You can (hopefully) prepare. (Congrats on being debtfree! That will help!!)

    Sending {{hugs}} and good job finding vibes your way!

  3. :(

    good luck!

    And it is GREAT that you are debt free.

  4. Thankfully, you have managed to come to a debt-free point. Can you all relocate to the other part-time job? Can anyone in the house get a bit more money short of being a criminal? Can the new mother find a part-time job in a bit to help?

    I hate this for you. How is the water?--too cold to stay in it for long and too hot to stay in it for long.

    North Dakota is where I would like to move, anywhere but here! I just don't want to move anywhere that I don't bring someone or already know someone. Adventurous me is not feeling like being alone in ND.

    You did not steal it. Here is where the original or one of the version of the originals talks about Nazi Germany:
    "In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up." Niemoller

    As a last ditch effort, is there any other expense you can cut.

    Please have your daughter get all the help from social service agencies so that she can help hold things together. There is a plan...she works and the govt will help pay for a sitter. She may qualify for 100% of the cost of a sitter. AND, the sitter can be a family member. But, it has to be one sitter on the official paper, not just whoever is available. The sitter sets the fee, say, $10/hr. The govt pays 3/4. So, the sitter accepts from mother $2.50/hr and $7.50 from the govt. But, the income of everyone living in the house may be counted. I would miscount! Of course, all the household bills are counted too, even car expenses, I think. Check it out.

    Good luck.

  5. sorry to hear that this is happening, it seems to be going on everywhere! thank goodness you are debt free and have a little prior warning

  6. Oh, IATWP, I am so sorry to hear this! I'm glad you got an early heads up, though. Definitely start looking and applying for other jobs--is there anything that is closeby? Do/can your kids pay some rent (not a huge amount, but a little something)?

  7. I live in Orlando. The thing that helped me most when I had my daughter was 4C or community coordinated care for children. It helps pay for daycare. This was a great help to me reducing my daycare in La petite from $150 a week to $40. My check was barely coving the expense but I figured having $20 in my pocket a week was still better then zero. Maybe that is a program your daughter could check into it seems like if you help your family it will help you in the long run. Im sorry to hear about your job but am glad you found out early nothing like coming back from a a holiday to realize you have no employment. I hope something comes your way.

  8. So Sorry to hear. This sucks, big time. I'll pray that you find a job before you have to consider unemployment. I was unemployed for a few months between jobs and even that short period of time (compared to so many others)was pretty hard on us.

  9. Sorry to hear about your situation. I can feel your pain. In 08-09 was the last time I had a full time teaching job at a living wage. Since then it's been subbing and para work. Finally found a 15 hour per week teaching job. It sucks for my income - down and down more. But I took whatever I could get. I live in MN and would move to ND if I didn't have kids in high school and husband with good job - thankful for that.

  10. Oh, boy. What awful news, and so close to the holidays...But I agree that it's better you be sucker-punched now than in January.
    I know there's not much more room to tighten, but do look for small money drains. Good thing you canceled the Internet and cable.
    Do your daughters get WIC? That would help your food bill. Probably also time to look for any food banks in the area, i.e., time to start building a pantry as deep as you can make it.
    I just sent you a private e-mail, and will continue to send good thoughts your way.
    Deep breath. Let it out. You can do this. But it still stinks.

  11. I'm still looking for a decent job, but in the meantime I applied for anything and everything. Now isn't a time to be picky, just go for it! I'm working at McDonald's, which is embarrassing but I tell myself it would be worse to be unemployed.

    It's great that you found out early. Make the most of your head start! :)

  12. I have been reading your blog for a while now but have never posted. My thoughts are with you. There are many, many of us in the same boat. After working for my company for almost five years, they did not inform us that they were going to start cutting hours, they gradually reduced them until it was unprofitable to continue working for them. Keep your head up.

  13. I, too, am sorry that this is happening to you. While it certainly is a devastating blow, you are debt free and have a good, stable, rational head on your shoulders.

    I know you will be able to pull through this. You found out early, which gives you an advantage. I'm sending lots of good juju your way!

  14. Thinking of you, WP. You are strong and resourceful: draw on that while you start to refigure where you are and where you are going.

  15. I am always amazed that you do not have advertises on your blog. Maybe you can ask some of those who make money off their blog how they do it. I would certainly click on places you put out.

  16. Oh, wow, Working Poor! I'm so sorry that this is happening to you.
    Management had no intention of telling the "peons" that the store was closing? They were going to allow everyone to show up for work after the HOLIDAYS and just lower the boom, huh? What a crappy thing to do!
    I wish I had some advice for you. Best of luck to you and your family.

  17. Wow... bad news about the job... good news about being debt free. When one door closes another door opens. I am in the same boat job wise... just waiting for the axe to fall. And wondering at what point I should start mentioning this on my blog ....Hang in there

  18. I have been reading your blog for a while now and I feel for you! But thankfully you are debt free and have a little breathing space. Start applying for stuff now as if you wait you will be competing with your fellow employees for the same jobs. Whilst my hubby and I are now in FT employment, previously we were on one income and three weeks before Xmas my husband was told the company he worked for had filed for bankruptcy and that was that. We moved towns and hubby got a job he hated, but if we hadnt moved neither of us would have the jobs we currently have and like. I suppose I am just saying to keep your chin up and that good things can come out of adverse situations. Good luck.

  19. How awful! I hope you find something soon. Our daughter lives in Florida and tells us how hard it is to find work. It's a bit easier here in Texas but still worse than normal. Many blessings to you and your family.

  20. Good luck! Save as much as you can. Start applying for work now.

    We were debt-free, too, but the lack of income was long. We went without shopping for anything for over a year, eating from our pantry. It's still tight. We still often eat from the pantry for long periods of tiem. We garden and glean as much as possible to keep adding to our pantry. Your season for gardening is just starting in Florida; there may be opportunities to glean food for canning and freezing food to add to your pantry.

  21. I'm curious why your blog is not earning ad money.

  22. It's been awhile since we've heard from you... I hope things are ok and that you're finding a smooth transition. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey and being so honest along the way. If you believe things happen for a reason this is just your next step into somehting new.

  23. Thank you to all who have commented. I have been too busy with work and grandbabies to travel for WIFI lately. I'm still glad I canceled internet. There has been a savings and slightly more has been accomplished around the house.

    Some of you asked why I don't have ads, that is due to my lack of time to put into this and my ignorance. I once had Adsense until it dissapeared one day and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. Perhaps one day I will be able to afford a tech-guru to create a really cool site for me.

    Bryallen, there is nothing wrong in having a job at McDonalds. You are honestly employed and that's a good thing. :)