(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.