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How do you respond to the writing on the wall?

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Elmorton

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Jul 5, 2007
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There have been so many threads about job loss lately (my heart sinks every time I see one here), so I figure there are probably a lot of people who are also in the boat of watching their companies try to downsize even though your job is still safe for now.

DH and I had been feeling relatively optimistic that we''d get through the recession OK because our jobs tend to be somewhat stable despite difficult economic times. But this week, my DH''s employer announced mandatory week-long furloughs company-wide. It definitely rattled us, because for the first time, we really had to open our eyes and say "what if...?"

It''s also made me very aware of how differently DH and I respond to bad news. My view (the naive one) is to be thankful that it wasn''t much, much worse (we can manage something like this and still get all our bills paid, etc), while I continue as if everything else is fine. My DH''s initial reaction is talk things out with me more out of frustration than anything else. He''s also been talking a lot about what would happen if he was laid off (which of course, with the way I feel about it, is really unsettling because I don''t want to think about it).

So my question is this - how are you coping with "the writing on the wall" at work? (I tried to make this a poll but I had no idea how to do it).

Optimism? - If the company is doing layoffs/furloughs etc, that means they''re trying to save my job, so these moves by the company are probably in my best interest.

Pessimism? - The worst is coming.

Planning ahead? - Getting resumes ready, saving, looking for job openings.

Avoiding thinking about it? - Need to focus on work, it doesn''t make sense to let fear consume me.

Or...?
 

violet02

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
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2,201
We just had 1400 layoffs last week with the looming truth that we'll be having 3600 more in the next 18 months. I was told yesterday that I had to get a promo this year or they'd most likely be finding a way to get rid of me. That's the mentality around here now they want you to EXTRA perform or you better be worried you won't have a job later on.

So to answer your question.

Pessimism, YES. I heard on the news today that the economy hasn't even seen the bottom yet and to expect that mid-year ugh.

Planning ahead - YES, I'm out and about so to speak.
 

purrfectpear

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Mar 31, 2008
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4,079
That''s easy. Unless you have at least 12 months salary in cash savings, it''s time to cut back seriously on expenses and bank everything you can. Now, before you lose your jobs.

Trust me on this. When you know you could sit on your rear for an entire year looking for a job and not be in financial trouble, it makes your stress level MUCH, MUCH lower. It''s the best thing I''ve ever done for myself. I''m practically emotionally immune to this current economic mess because I know the cushion is there (and it only took 2 years to save). It''s the first thing you should establish, before home ownership, before vacations, new cars, or flat screen TV''s
 

onedrop

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 24, 2006
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2,216
PP: you gave me something to think about in terms of preparing for what could happen. DH's company was one that laid off folks this week, so the prospect of him losing his job is out there. My job is fairly stable but we had lay-offs when the dot com bubble burst, so I am not totally immune.

Given all of that, we recently paid off a huge chunk of debt, and are now all about socking $$ away just in case. No large expenditures, trips, etc. for us this year.

ETA: I am also going to start getting my resume tightened up, and have DH to do the same with his. Pessimism isn't going to help pay the bills if a job is lost.
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
Date: 1/30/2009 4:03:20 PM
Author: purrfectpear
That''s easy. Unless you have at least 12 months salary in cash savings, it''s time to cut back seriously on expenses and bank everything you can. Now, before you lose your jobs.
Ditto...well somewhat. We don''t have 12 months salary in cash savings but we do have 12 months worth of bill payments so that if one of us loses our job, we won''t lose our home, go into debt with credit cards, and/or get our credit completely screwed up even if that means going months just eating the $1 box of mac-n-cheese with some cut up hot dogs inside. What''s funny is that we have enough money in there to fund a really great wedding but we won''t even consider it. To us that money doesn''t even exist.

This was something that I learned from my mom and something we started as soon as we moved in together. I don''t want to sound cocky or offensive but my job isn''t going anywhere. I work for a company that when times are rough and everyone is in a recession, we actually make more money (can''t say anything else without giving away where I work).

FI on the other hand is in a career that can plummit any second (it already is) and that cutbacks will happen. 20 people in his department were laid off (don''t know about company wide). And on top of that his skill set, everything he has trained for, is in the travel industry. If he gets laid off, there is no way he''ll be able to find a job quickly. I hate to say that but its true. No one is hiring...not any of the hotel chains or cruises.

So I guess to answer the question we''re a combination of both planning ahead and avoiding it. We avoid it because we planned ahead.
 

tlh

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Dec 31, 2008
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4,511
Dh and I are saving... and not doing much frivolous spending.

Our company closed two offices... and put a hiring freeze and salary freeze in the meantime to prevent any more layoffs.
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
5,526
I tend to focus on work and not let the fear get to me. FI's company had huge layoffs this week, but I was never worried that he would be let go. I don't know why ... I had good reasons for thinking he wouldn't, but you never know and I'm sure most people there were worried. I guess I didn't worry because he didn't seem worried.

I'm fairly sure my own company will not be letting people go any time soon since they are actually hiring a few more people right now, but once again, anything can happen. I occassionally get nervous because my boss and I don't have the best relationship and if he had to pick someone to go it would probably be me (there's only 4 of us, so it's not a big group to choose from) ... except that I make probably half of what my co-workers do (I'm the youngest), so maybe they'll keep me because I'm cheap labor


I probably have the naive view of things, but I just can't let stuff like this bother me too much or I would drive myself crazy. It's absolutely a self-protection thing.

ETA: I have to add that we're getting married in September and I absolutely hate that all of our savings is going towards that. We're having by far the cheapest wedding I've ever seen, but the fact is that we're still having to save for it. If one of us loses our jobs, what would we do? If we just had the savings sitting around and no wedding coming up, I'd feel a lot better about things. Stupid wedding. We absolutely would've put it off or eloped if we hadn't put all of our deposits down before the crash.

ETA2: And I'm absolutely looking for another job. Though I've been looking for a year and haven't been able to find anything local so I'm not very optimistic about that.
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 1/30/2009 4:20:59 PM
Author: elrohwen
I tend to focus on work and not let the fear get to me. FI''s company had huge layoffs this week, but I was never worried that he would be let go. I don''t know why ... I had good reasons for thinking he wouldn''t, but you never know and I''m sure most people there were worried. I guess I didn''t worry because he didn''t seem worried.

I''m fairly sure my own company will not be letting people go any time soon since they are actually hiring a few more people right now, but once again, anything can happen. I occassionally get nervous because my boss and I don''t have the best relationship and if he had to pick someone to go it would probably be me (there''s only 4 of us, so it''s not a big group to choose from) ... except that I make probably half of what my co-workers do (I''m the youngest), so maybe they''ll keep me because I''m cheap labor


I probably have the naive view of things, but I just can''t let stuff like this bother me too much or I would drive myself crazy. It''s absolutely a self-protection thing.

ETA: I have to add that we''re getting married in September and I absolutely hate that all of our savings is going towards that. We''re having by far the cheapest wedding I''ve ever seen, but the fact is that we''re still having to save for it. If one of us loses our jobs, what would we do? If we just had the savings sitting around and no wedding coming up, I''d feel a lot better about things. Stupid wedding. We absolutely would''ve put it off or eloped if we hadn''t put all of our deposits down before the crash.

ETA2: And I''m absolutely looking for another job. Though I''ve been looking for a year and haven''t been able to find anything local so I''m not very optimistic about that.
That is a good attitude.... good luck w/ the job search, and a wedding is a great thing...

What I tell myself is... They will let me go, whether I worry about it or not... so why get wrinkles?
 

julesbeth

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
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My boss is wonderful and the first week back from vacation he sat us down and acknowledged how times are hard, business isn''t great, etc, BUT stressed that none of us would be laid off or losing our jobs. It was really great to hear it from the main boss considering DH WAS laid off.

While my department is not laying people off - our employer match 401K has been put on hold - and if it means more people can stay on, I am fine with this.

I am trying to look on the brightside - I am employed, DH and I have money in the savings, and my salary can pay for rent and necessities - we don''t have a mortgage OR kids at this point. We will be fine.

There are always others worse off, I need to count my blessings! :)
 

AmberGretchen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
7,770
We are in a weird situation, because I''m still finishing school and had been job searching for the last 6 months before New Year''s. Now we''re in a position where I''ve got an offer (which I''ve accepted) which will start in August of this year, assuming all goes to plan. The new job will be more than enough money for us both to live on, especially since we''re moving to a much lower COL place than we are in now.

So in the meantime we probably aren''t being *quite* as careful as we probably should be. But we are trying to reign in our spending somewhat and just make sure we have enough in saving to cover us should my DH lose his job between now and the summer.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
Sorry to hear that things are a little shaky at your DH''s company...unfortunately I think many of us are feeling a little insecure these days.

I''m a marketing analyst, so my job depends on our clients and we''ve recently had some layoffs. In fact, I was on the GM account, but they were able to put me on another account, so for now I''m fine, but not secure.

My husband is an actuary, so his job is very stable. The kicker is, he took a break from his career to take some graduate courses and invest more heavily in the market (which hurt financially). As soon as his classes wrapped up we decided that graduate school was going to have to go on the back burner. We can live on less than half of his income, so it''s a no-brainer that he would go back to work. We do have a couple years'' worth of savings in the bank, but our goal is to put all of that towards a house so we like to pretend it doesn''t exist.

We haven''t cut back, per se, but that''s mostly due to the fact that we were never really livin'' it up to begin with. Some things have been put on the back burner (like buying a house--we''re happy with our cheap rent now), but some things haven''t. We started interviewing breeders over the summer before things turned south because we were committed to getting a second dog, which meant a bigger vehicle, and we''re still committed to that, but that money had already been set aside for a long time. We''re certainly not taking on any new financial endeavors.

Hopefully you guys will know more soon...trying to make decisions about your future with this kind of uncertainty is very difficult.
 

jcarlylew82

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
413

Optimism? - yes - becuase i work in the catering call center, and we only have 5 people i am not too worried. Also, E has a fairly stable job at the state, and i work two jobs that i try to stay upbeat.


Pessimism? - slightly for the rest of the company

and my other friends who are affected (in the same company). Also knowing how the owner "works" makes me pestimistic.


Planning ahead? - yes - we have major cut backs in december/jan dropping hours to 20 a week. I got a second job


Avoiding thinking about it? - work is so busy throughout the whole day that i tend not to worry about it while i am there. only when the head honcho comes through and then you see people leaving upset do i worry at work.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,396
my wife got her furlough notice yesterday....


By Patrick McGreevy and Evan Halper
January 30, 2009


Reporting from Sacramento -- California officials must immediately implement Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger''s order that state employees take two days off without pay each month, a judge ruled Thursday, denying claims by unions and the controller that the governor''s directive is illegal.

The decision clears the way for the biggest rollback of the state payroll in decades. Starting next week, 238,000 state employees will be furloughed on the first and third Fridays of each month. Some state offices that provide public services, including DMV field offices, will be closed on those days.

The governor wants the furloughs to remain in place even if he and lawmakers reach a budget agreement that addresses the deficit. The equivalent of a 9% pay cut, the move will save the state about $1.3 billion through June 30, 2010, officials said.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
sorry to hear that, violet, because right now its almost impossible to get promotions.

re the OP: i think too many have been thinking we''re immune and we''ll be able to ride it out. now is the time to be optimisitic about having an alternative plan and cutting back. don''t have an alternative plan? now is the time to have one and cut back. did i say cut back enough times yet?

movie zombie
 

deegee

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Messages
1,638
My husband was laid off 12 years ago when his employer decided to get rid of all of their chemical engineers and use contractors. That experience, as crappy as it was to go through, taught us so much. We learned to save money and to live well below our means. His company had a major layoff (about 60% of their office) at the beginning of January, and there are only 3-5 people left in each department. He''s one of the senior, critical people so he''s safe for now. He''s optomistic, so I am trying to be also. If hubby loses his current job, I can support us on my salary without having to dig into savings. My salary is about a fourth of his, so there certainly wouldn''t be any wasteful spending or luxury items! Thankfully my job is safe.

We haven''t really cut back because we don''t spend a bunch to begin with. We had planned a kitchen remodel and some other work on the house, and we''re putting that on hold for now. We were going to buy a new car last October, and have put that on hold for a while too. We haven''t cut back, but we''re not spending either.
 

laurel25

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
800
Our company has cut 40% of it''s workforce since August and both Mr.L and I work there. We were both supposed to lose our jobs in the beginning of December (didn''t find that out til after we''d been spared though) and so we were in absolutely panic mode and applying for any job we could find, just to get one of us out of there. We both felt like we were walking around completely disconnected from life for a week or so after we''d gotten the news. Thankfully, I''ve found a decent job that I''m starting on Monday, but it''s farther away than what I can easily commute, so Mr.L and I are going to have to live apart during week and that sucks. But we figure it''s what we''ve got to do for the time being and it will be better than having no jobs, so we''re willing to do it.
 

Lynnie

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1,166
I had been thinking optimistically. I''m a nurse with a decent amount of seniority on our unit, at a major metropolitan hospital. UNTIL I got a letter from the Pres. a few days ago (it was sent to all employees). It stated that the healthcare industry is not immune to economic turmoil, that now that more and more people are losing their jobs, more are losing benefits, thus the hospital''s costs are more, and profits are less... BlueCross/Aetna, etc pay hospitals a lot more for procedures/hospital stays than the state or welfare, and if you bill those without jobs, how are they gonna pay? Although there isn''t technically a hiring freeze, all new positions must go through the board first. And they will supposedly be cutting overtime and outside agency hiring.
I don''t know what to think of this letter. I still feel pretty secure in my position. I really wasn''t worried at all, but the letter is kinda making me rethink that.


We could probably live for 7-8 months from our savings, however a chunk (maybe half?) of that is going towards paying for our wedding. Hopefully, we''ll get most of it back (fingers crossed). FI had had his hours cut, and has an interview today for a gov''t job with the census bureau (fingers double-crossed!!).

I''ll try to not worry about it, and continue to be frugle and save as much as possible. People make fun of me for driving a 17-year-old beat-up car, but I don''t want that car note!!

Good luck to you all (well, those who are worrying, anyways!
)
 

DebShine

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Joined
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Messages
239
I work for a non-profit human services agency. It''s only been by the grace of God, a great executive staff, and a very understanding boss, that I haven''t been laid off. I know I was on the list. I''ve been looking.... there isn''t much out here though. Arrgg....
kids, divorce, low pay.... just praying and being thankful for my job a whole bunch!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Things are really bad out there. I''m sorry to all the PSers who are affected by this. My advise is to be pessimistic and start saving, updating that resume and be actively looking. Once you are prepared, should it happen, your mind will be more at ease. And if it doesn''t happen, well, at least your bank account will be fatter and you''ll be happier either way.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Date: 1/30/2009 10:20:01 PM
Author: deegee
My husband was laid off 12 years ago when his employer decided to get rid of all of their chemical engineers and use contractors. That experience, as crappy as it was to go through, taught us so much. We learned to save money and to live well below our means. His company had a major layoff (about 60% of their office) at the beginning of January, and there are only 3-5 people left in each department. He''s one of the senior, critical people so he''s safe for now. He''s optomistic, so I am trying to be also. If hubby loses his current job, I can support us on my salary without having to dig into savings. My salary is about a fourth of his, so there certainly wouldn''t be any wasteful spending or luxury items! Thankfully my job is safe.

We haven''t really cut back because we don''t spend a bunch to begin with. We had planned a kitchen remodel and some other work on the house, and we''re putting that on hold for now. We were going to buy a new car last October, and have put that on hold for a while too. We haven''t cut back, but we''re not spending either.
in my book that is cutting back!

movie zombie
 

justjulia

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Joined
Apr 4, 2006
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2,308
Sold cars and paid cash for older yet still reliable ones= no car payments.
Bundled cable/cell/internet.
Stopped eating out.
Stopped going to movies.
I don''t carry cash around. To easy to spend on little things.
Stopped the land line a long time ago.
Hubby maintains/fixes the cars.


Substitute splurges for mental health: ocassional candle, 1/2n1/2 for coffee

When everything bounces back (year? 2 years?) I want to remodel the kitchen and add on to the house.

My best friend says she cannot cancel their landline. I think it''s a sign of a stable past/nostalgia for her. She still has movies on demand which is like $10 more per month--I''ve tried to tell her that these little things add up. Dropping the land line would save them substantial money. Oh well, I guess we each decide what works best for us.
 

Skippy123

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Ah, I think is hard not to not think about this. I hear about company''s laying off often and of course we think about what if it happens to us too. I think all a person can do try and save and work on their resumes and try and network for possible jobs out there in case it were to happen. I do feel horrible for others who have been down sized and pray for everyone during this time and that things will turn around very soon. It is a difficult time and it is hard not to feel a bit pessimistic about uncertainty, but things always do seem to turn around. I think a lot of people are feeling that way right now so I guess for us we are trying to stay positive.
 

Rhea

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6,294
I''ve mostly been avoiding thinking about it.

DH is employed in the family business as 1 of 5, down from 1 of over 25 last summer due to semi-retirement. They take in enough money to employ DH. But it could happen, they could let him go.

I am employed in the charity sector, funded in part indirectly by government. Our charity is still winning contracts and the charity is still hiring. It''s a booming business right now because of the economic state. But I could lose my job.

I feel like we''re both safe and protected, at least for a few years until trickle down, because of what we do or who we employed by. DH is less worried than I am. Right now we don''t talk about it much.
 

MonkeyPie

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Joined
Apr 23, 2008
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6,059
How did I react? I didn''t, because it didn''t affect us at the time - we both work in healthcare, in the admin side, so we are relatively safe. Our jobs were made specifically for us in the worst of the job crisis and we are ok.

However...I recently had to sell some things due to an, eh, emergency I don''t wish to discuss. The diamond I just acquired went back, and the one that was in my original e-ring has also been sold. Stuff happens. I didn''t bat an eyelash, but I have decided that I will no longer look at or buy diamonds. I will invest in cz''s if I need sparklies. (Part of why I have rarely been posting here.) I just don''t need this stuff, and I would rather be secure.
 

akmiss

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Joined
Jan 8, 2008
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Date: 2/1/2009 5:05:58 PM
Author: MonkeyPie
How did I react? I didn''t, because it didn''t affect us at the time - we both work in healthcare, in the admin side, so we are relatively safe. Our jobs were made specifically for us in the worst of the job crisis and we are ok.

However...I recently had to sell some things due to an, eh, emergency I don''t wish to discuss. The diamond I just acquired went back, and the one that was in my original e-ring has also been sold. Stuff happens. I didn''t bat an eyelash, but I have decided that I will no longer look at or buy diamonds. I will invest in cz''s if I need sparklies. (Part of why I have rarely been posting here.) I just don''t need this stuff, and I would rather be secure.
I am sorry to hear this but it sounds as if you have a really "good head on your shoulders." You are right, it is all just stuff and times are getting hard....
 
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