Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

A Solid Plan B

We live in scary times, yo. It seems like every day I’m hearing another sad story about someone losing their job, and those stories are beginning to have fewer degrees of separation. The circle is closing in, going from affecting total strangers, to people I kinda-sorta know, to people I know quite well and have worked with until very recently, and while my department isn’t directly threatened, it’s still feeling like time to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst.

My employer has already completely shut down an entire branch office and downsized two departments, and told two more departments that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for them to brush up on their resumes and networking contacts. The admin staff, meanwhile, was told not to worry, that we would be the last on the chopping block, that it will probably never come to that, that if it did part-timers and temps would be the ones to go, and that the full-timers are safe. Probably. I guess we’re not quite as replaceable as they tried to tell us we were, huh?

I mostly believe them. We’re the least expensive employees, for one. We’re also pretty necessary. We might not be this company’s reason for being, but we are its backbone, and without us everyone else would flail around in a panic, not knowing where to find anything or how to do any of the mundane behind-the-scenes necessities that keep things running smoothly. But then again, stuff happens, and it wouldn’t be the first time I went from being told I was too necessary to be cut to holding a pink slip and trying to figure out how long I could live off of my severance package.

So this time, a little more wizened, I’m not trusting their assurances. This time, if the worst happens, I’ll have a plan to put into action immediately instead of sitting around, dazed and depressed, wondering what the heck I’m going to do next. As soon as my novel’s finished, these are the things I will do to prepare for the possible storm:

1. Sign up for that copyediting course, while I’m still in a position to have the company pay for it.

2. Update my resume.

3. Apply for disability (actually, that’s Husband’s job), and get a plan in place to appeal if his claim is denied.

4. Think of things he could potentially do to bring in money if the disability doesn’t work out for some crazy reason, like maybe they’ve handed out too much money already this year for people with depression or bad backs to be able to help out the guy with one leg (not to disparage anyone with crippling depression or back pain).

5. Hope that Husband’s band is successful and they get lots and lots of paying gigs and sell a lot of CDs and get a record contract and become rich rock stars.

6. Hope that my novel is so successful online that it gets discovered and bought before I even finish editing last year’s NaNo to try to sell.

7. Stop dreaming and start blogging for money again.

8. And stocking my Etsy shop.

9. And culling my stuff for more things to eBay.

10. And writing shorter things to try to sell.

11. Get very familiar with the Virtual Assistant industry.

12. Get very familiar with the freelance networking sites.

13. Get in touch with my contacts at my old temp agencies.

14. Brush up on obscure Word and Excel functions that I never use in case I have to take an Office test again.

15. Pray. A lot.

Oh yeah, my husband’s in a band now.

It’s a Christian rock band. Well, it’s more a rock band made up of Christians, and not so much a band that’s out to write and perform “Christian Rock,” because let’s face it, “Christian Rock” is, for the most part, not good art. They’re not out to evangelize with their music. Rather, they want to make good music with a positive message and an eye toward not causing people to stumble with their lyrics. At any rate, it’s full of talented people who met for the first time only a few weeks ago, and already they’ve written a radio-worthy song. Even so, it’s too soon to tell whether this will ever be anything more than a group of talented people sitting around and jamming together for fun (although with all of the Christian coffee shops and mega churches around here, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get a gig). Either way, I’m very proud of my rock star husband, even if I don’t get to play bass in his band (darn that total lack of time for practice).

I haven’t written today.

Boo on me. I have a headache, though. I didn’t write in the morning, when I felt fine, because lately the late afternoon has been my most focused and creative time of day. But now my head hurts and I can’t focus on the story and I’m just biding my time until I can go home and lie down. Tomorrow night, though, I’ll attend a write-in, and then I’ll have a long weekend to work on it. A busy weekend, mind–I have appointments and errands all day Friday, and tickets to see a show with BFF on Saturday. But if she has family plans for after the show, as is often the case, then I’ll have another write-in that I can go to while Husband’s at band practice. I hope she can hang out, though. We don’t do nearly enough of that since I got married.

And now it’s close enough to 5:00 that I can go home and crash. See ya.


  1. garnigal

    Sadly, you can add Derek to the list. He got let go yesterday.
    He’s already apply to some really good prospects, so hopefully it won’t last long.

    • Jean

      Aw, that sucks. I’m sorry. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him.

  2. bojojoti

    It is swirling ever closer. We had a customer come in to tell us he can’t pay for the job we just did for him. Sigh. His business is suffering, and he had to know that before he contracted us, but, on the other hand, if he didn’t get his new equipment installed by us, he couldn’t make new product. Anyway, we’re left owing the wholesalers, and he hopes to pay us a third by February. Another customer is talking bankruptcy.
    Our son decided to wait on buying a home. He’s only had his job six months, and it seems prudent to be cautious.
    Darn economy!

    • Jean

      That also sucks. People are pretty much focused on themselves right now, and seem a little more willing to screw over others. And that’s very wise of your son. When we bought our house, the word from upper management was that we were making good profit and everything was peachy. But I figure if we didn’t have a mortgage to worry about, we’d still have rent, and the payments would be about the same.
      I’m fairly confident we can bring in enough money to float us, if it comes to that. My main concern is health insurance. We can’t afford to lose that.

  3. wanabemore

    All the news from home makes me thankful for what we do have. My husband’s job isn’t tenured, and honestly, they could let him go with no notice, and no benefits if they wanted to (and no reason, and no way to ever find out). But for now, he works at a job he enjoys, and even if they do fire him, I can still work. Nursing is a field that (in the forseeable future) will always need workers.
    This is odd, I’m having a reverse “Support the troops” feeling – I’m in the Middle East wanting to send you something to let you know I’m thinking of you (and praying for you). How’s about a hug? 🙂

    • Jean

      Yeah, I recently saw Nursing on a list of recession-proof jobs. Made me momentarily consider nursing school. I’m way too much of a wuss to be a nurse, though.
      Hugs and prayers are always appreciated. 😀

  4. fullofwhispers

    We definitely live in some scary times, but I’m confident that it will all work out in the end. I, too, am hoping my husband becomes a famous rock star and we can live off their legacy. 😉 It doesn’t help to dream!

    • Jean

      Yeah, I’ve got other aspirations, but at this point I’d be pretty content to have myself a rock star sugar daddy. ;^)

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