Tuesday, April 21, 2009

V.R.I.P.

(V)oluntary (with a gun to your head) (R)etirement (because you are getting old and expensive (I)ncentive (severance) (P)rogram (because it's easier to label it this way than to say you were laid off.)

Yep...we have become a statistic in our nation's economic woes. Two days before we went on vacation, my husband received the bad news. Twenty-six years at the same company, eleven of those years as a Partner didn't matter a bit in the eyes of the big guys.

My husband has been leading a pretty stressful work life over the last five years. Many of those years have been spent on the road, living out of a suitcase and eating bad food. I always told him I would be happy if the day came and they "retired" him. But, when it became reality it really hurt. It hurt because my husband is no slacker. I have never met a more conscientious and loyal person. He puts his heart and soul into everything he touches. These attributes were even brought up at our own wedding ceremony. The spreadsheet he created for our wedding would put wedding planners to shame. The support we have received over the past few days has been overwhelming. People are shocked, angry and questioning how such a thing could happen. It feels good to hear, but yet...it makes me more angry and I find it difficult to look beyond all of this, because I get caught up in my bitterness.

We are not risk-takers, so I think this has happened to us to force us to look outside of that nice, neat box that we have created. It has forced us to look at our own personal relationship and discover that seeing a spouse on the weekend is no way to live. It has forced us to step back and see the toll this has taken on the boys. People tend to think kids are resilient to all the travel and lack of "Dad" time, but the boys have talked a lot in the past week about how excited they are to have Dad back at home. Home on time to watch baseball games, go golfing, and to plan summer trips.

So, we are lucky enough to have saved for a rainy day, to receive a year's severance and to be healthy. We are planning on taking advantage of this "bonus" time. Lists are being made for home improvements and general cleaning out of the stuff that has accumulated through the years. My husband is even planning on playing a little golf.

And remember, if you hear of a job for an auditor with twenty six years of experience, let me know.

9 comments:

Sandy said...

Jane, I am sorry to hear this. But I am relieved to hear you have saved for that rainy day and can maybe declare this the year of family!

Lee-Anne said...

What an awesome opportunity for your family! Too bad it had to be thrust upon you in such a fashion, but I am sure the sting of that will be long forgotten before the year is out. I must admit to being a little green. Good luck with your lists!
Lee-Anne (aka "The Lamp Post" on flickr)

Michele said...

I'm very sorry too to hear this. Job loss can really shake us.

Your husband looks and sounds like a wonderful man and I hope this year and the changes are good for you all.

Joslyn said...

hooray for the year of family.
we love you guys!

xoxoxox

TD wool design said...

oh, hugs your way jane. i'm so sorry you find you and your family with this stress. i hear you on all points, the work ethic, the time away and the toll on kids and family. you're not alone. enjoy that time together. there is after all, just one life. hang in there. and if you ever need to talk...:)
xx

MadMad said...

This kind of job loss always seems like such a betrayal, and a rejection, but I think that - especially in this economy - one has to try not to take it personally. (I say try, because I know it's hard, but it sounds like he is a great guy, and that this wasn't so much about him - other than that he is at the end of the pay scale that no one wants around...) I wonder if he works for the same auditing company my husband used to work for (on the consulting side)? He left a couple of years after becoming partner, and life has been so much better, because you're right: parenting only on weekends is tough on everyone. Hope this becomes the opportunity for rest and change that your family needs.

a friend to knit with said...

i am sorry for the stress this has put you all through, but i am actually excited for your year... and to the future ahead of you. i am certain it will be BRIGHT.
xx

t does wool said...

{HUGS} and everything ,and I mean everything will have a way of righting itself for the better...

Holli said...

Jane,

Sorry to hear such disappointing news, but am glad to hear you are finding that silver lining and seeing that perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. Dad time, spouse time, personal time -- all good things!

I admire your optimism.

All Best,
Holli