H was let go from dream job, not sure I can cope.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Signorina, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    husband's company let everyone go from his division. People with 20+ years there! His boss was fired at 2, husband was fired at 3 and by 6pm his company email acct was gone. This was husband's dream job and an answer to many, many prayers.

    husband closed his own business to take this job exactly 1 year ago. It was a trade off- more long term stability for less earning potential. (His first day was 9/4/2012! )We were told to expect a severance pkg tomorrow. From what I understand, it's two weeks pay, return labels for company property and his (our) insurance stops at the month's end which is Saturday!

    The recession took a toll on husband's biz and in turn, our marriage. 4 years of financial hell. When we officially closed the business on 12/31/12 (in accordance w his non compete clause); we took a huge hit financially & tax wise but it seemed like a really good trade off for his new job. The steady paycheck & supposedly stable career were a godsend to our relationship.

    Struggling to make ends meet & keep his business afloat those 4 years put me in a really dark place & nearly ended our marriage. Our savings were depleted almost entirely, and it was horrid. I feel that panic rising again. I can't breathe, I want to throw up, it's 3:45 am & my heart is still racing.

    I went back to work f/t in jan & travel 2-3 days a week for work & my salary plus his was putting us back on our feet. The nicer things in life slowly came back-restaurants, movies, cleaning help, manicures, tennis. We sacrificed liquid savings to rebuild our 401ks which was stupid in retrospect. We still had to be careful but then I got a huge raise last week and was so excited to realize it would put us over the top. I had exactly 1 week to enjoy it. In fact, the credit card bill for the splurge perfume, dinner out & easy child's brand new cleats will REALLY hurt when it arrives next week. I know I sound selfish and entitled- but I can't stand to lose those things again. I feel horrible & spoiled admitting it. We were so careful for so long & having to reverse everything hurts more than losing it the first time. And we will still have a considerable gap between income/expenses each month. And we've deferred a ton of maint on our house- we sunk some money into it this summer and we finally booked a bunch of repairs for September that we will have to cancel. And I dented & scraped my car this week. I have to cancel that repair too. I don't want to go back to struggling and I can't do a darn thing to stop it. And to top it off- we're having a party Friday night! Too late to cancel that & I dread the expense & the smile I will need to fake. We were so cautious for so long. We waited until the 1 year mark to breathe easier & then BAM!

    Plus the takeout food, dry cleaner, house cleaner, even the tennis lesson made my long hours feasible and alleviated the stress on my family. I commute 80-120 miles one way and I just committed to doing so regularly - and my company made it worth my while. I won't get the same $$$ closer to home. I literally told them if they wanted me they had to buy me and they did & now I must perform at the level I promised. I'm under a ton of pressure.

    What scares me the most, is that it was DHs new job that empowered me to do well & advance in my own job this year. Because he had a steady & supposedly secure income & GREAT benefits, I could take risks in my own job because we were no longer 100% dependent on just my salary & benefits. Knowing i could walk away, empowered me. I've even said such OFTEN at work (as recently as today) I was afraid to rock the boat at work when I was beholden to my job. husband's job gave me the freedom/confidence to rock away & it paid off. With husband's job gone, I may end up under someone's thumb AGAIN. My company will know husband lost his job when I reapply for health insurance and "needing" my job may bite me. I'm constantly jockeying, competing with- 2 co workers & they will pounce if they sense weakness. And I have no idea how my incredibly demanding schedule & 4hour commute could mesh with husband's new job-IF he finds one. He's a 50 y/o man with an AA degree (associate not bachelors) in the commercial construction industry. Not exactly a hot job market.

    And the worst? I an a horrid wife. husband is devastated; really broken hearted. He LOVED his job. And I am so panic stricken that I couldn't even comfort him. Instead- I shared my panic & he feels like he let me down. He cried. He never cries. And I was too shell shocked to respond lovingly. I still am. He's snoring beside me and I am mad that he can sleep while I worry wide awake. He is a gem, he loves me and we had finally healed most of the failed business resentment. On Sunday he toasted my raise, thanked me for getting us thru the rough times and said our hard work had paid off & it was time to start enjoying life. We were literally pinching ourselves.

    I am so angry at life right and now the wounds of the past are reopening. I didn't have it in me to comfort him tonight. That's so wrong. And that's on me, I see it and I know I should fight off those feelings and yet I don't; I CAN'T. Crazy, I know. I feel like I am free falling into a really bad place. And I am powerless. He said he feels like he failed me. He walked away from me tonight and sat alone. I love this man and yet I didn't act that way and he needed me. And the small mean part of me does feel like he failed me. It's not like he was singled out. His entire division was cut. Wth is wrong w me?

    This is way too long. I feel like I should delete it but will post it just the same...I'd love a good vibe or two or even a strong stern "talking to"... I am so lost. And I haven't even touched on difficult child...
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    I am so, so sorry that happened. I have been there. husband has fine through some really bad times at work and just a couple years ago he was working less than forty hours a week in the shop and we were struggling...bad...it stunk and I always fear we will end up back there...
    BUT, your husband did absolutely nothing wrong. This was truly out of his control. My mother is married to a man that goes through jobs so often I wonder how in the world he tracks his tax papers each year. He goes through jobs because he is a LOSER that doesn't wasn't to work. That is NOT your husband. He sounds like a man that works very hard to provide for his family. I am sure he is devastated. :-(
    As much as they Hoover to get through, I think it is getting through those bad times together that strengthen a marriage even more.
    Just try to remember that your husband did nothing wrong. He is hurting just as much as you are...

    Hugs for you and yours. I do hope something better is waiting for him!!
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    OK, it's completely normal to be devastated, and panicked, and angry. Whether it is your job or your spouse's... No matter what your feelings are not wrong, they're your feelings. If you didn't care at all, that might be a problem, dear.

    So... Did he fail you? I don't think so - or it wouldn't have been all those people, just him. The company failed him - and by extension, you, as well.

    Men cope differently... While I lie awake and worry, husband sleeps... And sleeps... And sleeps. When I am depressed, I don't sleep. He oversleeps. And it sometimes makes me mad because things aren't getting done. He's gotten a LOT better about this since a few months before Rose was born.

    You're mourning the life you thought you had - fair enough. Perhaps you and husband could comfort one another?
  4. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry that this happened. I don't have any wise words just ((hugs))
  5. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I am so very sorry this has happened.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Very sadly, there is no such thing as job security anymore. I'm sure it won't make you feel better, but you're not alone. In fact they have support groups for, what they call, displaced workers. After the shock wears off, you will adjust and be fine. Everyone who has gone through it has survived. You will too. It's ok that you were too shattered to comfort your hubby. You have the rest of your life to do that. You have a right to be upset too. We are all human. You're a GOOD wife AND a good mother. This affected YOU too and you have normal emotions...you will end up being very supportive in the end, I know :)

    Hugs to both of you a nd I'm so sorry that this happened.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so very sorry Sig. You and husband have just received a terrible blow, try to be kinder to yourself and realize you can repair whatever you need to when you can breathe again............sending hugs and saying a prayer for your family...........
  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I can't get it together. I'm in crisis mode with my own workplace- which is also being restructured. I have security for now, but I have a toxic co worker looking to bury me. I need to be at the top of my game.

    My husband's former employer had to make a big payout settlement to the federal gvmt this week. It was the sister division who was fined & they let go nearly everyone there two weeks ago and husband's boss's boss personally called h to let him know that these terminations would not affect their division. Surprise! He did say something to h about perhaps finding a place for him once the dust settles but also told him he should not let that stop him from pursuing opportunities elsewhere. I think h is clinging to that but I feel it was more of a gentle break up let down-like "we can be friends."

    I just can't go back to where we were before h took this job . H wants to rekindle his business and the idea makes me sick to my stomach. The taxes, the collections, paying everyone else first. I can't carry us again. I can't do it. I just can't. We lost so much ground trying to save the business. We financed it w personal loans which we are still paying off. And I pushed hard-too hard- for my promotion so we could make up the difference and get some security. And now I will be working at great personal cost & under tremendous pressure and we will be struggling anyway & losing security. I can't do it. I can't take the pressure if we're struggling. I know I'm not counting my blessings, I get how fortunate we are and how so many people have it worse. I want to be positive and thankful. But I have been there done that & we thought for one brief shining week that it was all behind us and it's NOT. And now I have bills coming from that brief shining week. I can't do this again. I don't think my marriage is going to survive it. I can't put my kids thru the simmering hostility AGAIN. My saving grace was that when I came home from work it was to a peaceful clean house and I could leave the strife at work. If there are bills to pay and h is working from home at all hours of the day & night again trying to get by by stringing sales together & customers are yanking his chain I will lose my mind. This is like a bad dream and I can't wake up. I am not even supposed to be home -but i came home last night knowing that I could steal a few hours with h before driving back to work this morning and another night away. I didn't expect this. I wish I hadn't come home. I just can't do it. This is so unlike me. I usually hit things head on. But I am past my breaking point.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending supportive hugs your way. I, too, am married to a good man who truly believed "his dream business" would net really high financial rewards. He was wrong. I have worked by his side for thirty five years (long after it was very apparent that his assessment was wrong). It was not possible for me to go back to my career. We are senior citizens with no financial security and it is scarey.

    in my humble opinion it is normal for you to be disappointed and frightened and resentful. This is quite a huge shock! As soon as you can suck it up..do so. Try to keep positive thoughts. For example, "maybe" some party guest is actually a potential employer or knows of someone. Obviously you'll avoid the job loss at the party but size up the crowd for later possible leads. Regarding your job position your co-workers may think this weakens you but in fact it will make you all the more determined to succeed. Do try to "play act" with the kids so they don't absorb the anxiety AND, as hard as it will be to do, when you've gotten thru your emotional reaction be sure to double up support for your husband. It truly is harder for men to bounce back from career blows. Chances are you are the only one he will actually listen to and be encouraged by. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sorry! DDD
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand, Sig, I really do. My husband had a high salaried corporate technology job which disappeared at the start of the recesssion. He was in his late fifties and no one would even look at him twice despite his 30+ years of experience. In fact, that got in the way because they wanted someone younger and cheaper.

    He is now in a second career as a math teacher and makes 1/3 of his old salary. We had to make many adjustments to our old lifestyle and there are still times that I resent it (and him) for the changes that we had to make.

    I'm pretty fatalistic, though, and have a "it is what it is" kind of attitude and so I just moved on. When I miss the old nice things in life, I remind myself that we still have a joint income that many others would be thrilled to live on.


  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Sig. My Hubby was laid off and hired back three times by the company he currently works for, once when I wasn't working. Big scramble to find a job so Hubby could go back to school (he had no college, just HS diploma). I hear you about carrying the entire load...very scary, especially when you're fighting for your position. Hope the severance pay is decent and your hubby can find something quickly.
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Being in "crisis mode" brings all those feelings of fear, anger and loss flying into our faces........I don't think you can expect yourself to jump into warrior mode right now.......you're reeling from the blow. Doing what you're doing, writing all your intense emotions down can help to quell the hurricane of feelings............take some deep breaths and let yourself know that decisions do not have to be made now, you're both in shock. At some point the dust will settle a little bit and you'll be able to see a little clearer. I am really sorry, I know from my own experience how devastating this is for you..............
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry Sig. husband is also in the commercial construction field but he is in the labor part. He is also 50 but nothing but a HS diploma. He knows just as much about running the company as his boss does. He works for a small company which wont admit that these people are employees and calls them independent contractors. After having some knowledge of the tax laws, I know he is an employee.

    Commercial construction is taking a hit in some places and not in others. I will give you one hint if your husband has to reopen his old company. Have him look for those small jobs. Redoing banks or drugstores. Find smaller grocery stores that need remodeling. I think you and I have talked about Piggly Wiggly. I cant tell you how many of those husband has redone. It seems those smaller jobs are the bread and butter when finding the really big jobs are harder to find.

    We have been through these layoff's many times. At least your husband can get unemployment. Hopefully he can find another job with a big company.
  14. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thanks Janet. H is actually in the sales end of a niche type of commercial construction materials. He went to school to become a draftsmen but his first job was working on architectural specifications for these niche products. He never actually worked as a draftsmen (stroke of luck there). He's really good at what he does but the industry has become cannabilistic. He worked for a rep firm originally, then got snatched up by a competitor who was a distributor. Stayed there for 10 years- was supposed to buy the business but when the deal went south-he opened his own distribution business. After 9/11, the manufacturers started skipping the distribution step, and many customers went to consolidated vendors - so he became an independent mfg's rep. That worked out well until 2009 when the manufacturers started pulling lines and customers in house once they became lucrative and cut out the reps. Last August, one of his lines asked him to work for them directly & he bit and here we are. In 27 years, he's worked for just 4 companies including his own for 12 of those years. He dropped many lucrative lines to go work for them & exceeded his 2013 sales quota last month w 4 more months to go in the year.

    He made bad financial choices unbeknownst to me to keep his company alive 08-12 & we were finally making good on them & I thought I had gotten past it and WHAM. Scab off
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I, sadly, do understand the mfg, distributor, jobber, end user steps. Also I sadly understand that in my humble opinion there is no longer loyalty and integrity in the mix. We have been a regional desitributor for a lighting mfg. for thirty five years and have "sales awards" on our walls. Recently I have not been healthy AND our regional economy has not been economically healthy. Two months ago I placed an order and...........was informed we have been dropped by the Mfg. WTH? Yep, we lost one of our top lines because our orders were smaller than usual for a few months. I called the National sales mgr., expressed my dismay and asked that it be extended to the end of the calendar year. Not! He told me "top management really no longer cares as it's a dog eat dog world". Geez. I'm sorry your husband ran into the buzzsaw of current business practices. It's ugly. DDD
  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sig, I am so very sorry. This is a devastating blow but you already know it is not one that your husband did on purpose. Blame him for the past, but not the future. I know you will come to that point. You already know you do a da*n good job at your profession - don't let fear of what might be remove all you have gained in the last 12 months. Remember, it is how YOU TELL YOUR STORY, that gives you it's definition. How you define it affects how you react to it.

    Now to hijack this thread and address Janet. Janet, the IRS has an extremely clear definition of what an independent contractor is. I deal with this all the time in my business of hiring subs, paying for day labor, doing payroll, etc. According to the legal definition by the IRS, an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to Self-Employment Tax. You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed. If an employer-employee relationship exists (regardless of what the relationship is called), you are not an independent contractor.

    Some small companies/employers would rather skirt the law and tell employees they are independent contractors because usually the liability is much less. Employers have to match all social security and medicare deductions of their employees, they have to pay state and federal unemployment taxes based on the employees wages, they have to carry liability insurance which is higher the more employees you have, and they have to carry workers comp insurance or they are in violation of state law. Workers comp rates are based on a value given to the job one performs - the higher the physical risk, the greater the premium.

    It is very clear the he is not an independent contractor but raising too much stink could cost his job; but then he could take him to court and the whole merry-go-round gets faster and faster!

  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LDM, that was my exact definition of employee! His boss tells him what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and when it needs to be done. He sets the hours of work. He even has vans that he sends workers out to do these jobs. The only independent contractor is the boss! The general contractor's on the construction sites probably dont care if these people work from noon till midnight or 7 to 7!
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    (((Signorina))) It sounds like you've kind of had a ptsd reaction. It's understandable under the circumstances. You've dug in and scratched out a new life for you and your family in the wake of the Great Recession despite formidable set backs. It must feel like your hard work is splitting through your fingers. I would think that you need to feel in control right now.

    Here's some thoughts: Make sure husband signs up for unemployment ASAP. Review your finances: what's coming in and what's going out. Where can you adjust? You can save hundreds of dollars a year just by buying a decent travel mug and making your own cup of coffee instead of going to Starbucks or another coffee shop. Do you have the newspaper delivered? Do you actually read it? If not, cancel the subscription and get your news online. Try to meal plan to cut down on waste and make life easier for you. Also, your division of labor should be revisited if husband will be home. Maybe he could do the daily chores and cook during the week while you take over on weekends.

    You are a very strong person and you will get through this. (((Hugs)))
  19. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry for husband and for you, and the ripple effects on your whole family. No doubt you're beyond stressed right now, and you may think you can't cope, but you can, and you will. You're a tough girl, of strong stock, and you've done this before. Thank God you just got a sizeable raise and you're no fool, you do a great job and will continue. It does seem cruel that just as you were celebrating and exhaling from your financial issues, you're going down that road again.
    Remember, husband may soon get rehired, he may get another job, and you're still working. It's for better or worse, richer or poorer, and I know you and husband will console one another once the dust settles a little bit. The earth just seems to spin off its axis when a spouse loses a coveted job, for no good reason, and you haven't regained your gravity just yet. You will, honey. Economizing and cutting back, even drastically are not fun, and should not be romanticized, but you've been there before, and you made it. I have faith that you will both land on your feet again by virtue of your grit, determination, courage and mutual support.
    Don't forget, you're the mother of a difficult child - you've seen it all and you're not to be trifled with!!
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The others have given excellent and TRUE advice. Allow yourself to feel what you feel on your own time, your non-work hours. At work you have a toxic coworker. Time to deal with that is NOW. Don't let the fear undermine you at work not one little bit. You are every bit as good as the company thinks you are, in fact, you are BETTER than that. You are the mother of a difficult child. When you have dealt with a difficult child, the merry go round of life with a difficult child, a toxic coworker is a rank amateur trying to play in the Superbowl. In fact, this coworker is a high school junior varsity benchwarmer trying to play in the Superbowl. they don't have a PRAYER against you, and it may be that you are the only one who doesn't know it. Your company sure thinks you are awesome, or they wouldn't pay you what they do or want a worker who has such a commute. Believe me, I know commutes. My dad drove 70+ miles one way to work for over 20 years. My husband did it for four. Until recently if we wanted to shop at a big store other than Walmart we had to drive that far. NOw we can add Ross and Bestbuy and Joanns but that is about it. So we still drive that far to doctors, shopping, and many other things. It is do-able, and you can and iwll do it. Get some audiobooks fro the drive (they make it much easier) and check the local library AND the library in the city where you work for free audiobooks to check out. Get some on dealing with toxic coworkers and boosting your self esteem.

    I PROMISE that you can handle this coworker with your hands tied behind your back and a bad hair day. She has NOTHING on you, and that eats her alive. Let it. Be yourself, and know that it is way more than enough. Learn to use the commute time to recharge, to plan your day, to think things through. Even my dad learned to do this and said it made his day so much better and made him a better teacher.

    You and husband will pull through. Understand that your reaction IS PTSD and you needed time to cope with the sheer shock, as does husband.