Thursday, May 17, 2012

Unemployment: Father Figures Out of a Job

Hold on y'all let me grab my soap box....

Ok, ok, here we go {please bear with this emotional rant as it is too close to my heart at the moment not to put into words}.

Four father figures. Four jobs lost, going, almost gone.

Where should I even begin here. These thoughts have been swirling in my soul for a couple months now and they continue to stack on one another as the days go by.

Politics aside, at least until later in the post, unemployment is not improving. I don't care what you've heard or what the "numbers" say, it's not. Plain and simple. And today I'm going to lay it out there and use my family as an example.

My FIL: a hard working man who was laid off officially as of two weeks ago. The paper factory he worked for has closed their doors indefinitely. And now? A man who just recently bought a house and took over his step-son's custody full-time is scrambling to find a job at the age of 58. Are there jobs to be found that want a 58-year-old despite his many, many years of experience? So far? No.

My Step-FIL: served two tours in Afghanistan, recently completed his masters degree and worked his job teaching young girls at a juvenile detention center with great vigor. More so, with passion I've never seen. But that budget? It was cut. And now he has no job as of this month. Will he land on his feet? I hope so.

My Dad: a longstanding businessman and entrepreneur working often for government sectors to create and patent environmentally friendly products. From baby carriers to high end military weapons, I've seen no boundaries to their research. Several years ago the Democrats took over the house and despite their push for us to be environmentally safe, they cut many of the scientists' budgets leaving them jobless. Bet you didn't know that. And again, their budgets are being cut {yes, I realize this time at the hands of Republicans, I'm of moderate political views so I judge both at times, deal with it} Come October, my Dad's team will be out of money and it seems there will be no grant for them to continue their research. Jobless he will be in the Fall. Per usual, my Dad has business plans in the works, but again a man whose yearly income has already been slashed by at least 20k is also scrambling to ensure his income will be stable once their team's money has gone.

And then there's my husband: a young college graduate, who has been with his company five years come July. I've mentioned before he works for a major retail company doing IT work. I won't name the company, but over the last five years B and I have watched them beat out the competition as the recession hit every other retailer. And as it stands, it's them and one other company left. An editorial in Forbes several months ago seemed to get the ball rolling on what has now put my husband, his local co-workers and the company at a national level into a complete frenzy. CEOs have resigned, been fired and investigations are underway. Their messages to employees and their families are that the board is wiping the slate of these CEOs and starting fresh. But with a fresh start comes stockholders who are weary and yesterday we watched as the stock of our company dropped 4 points lower than it had even at rockiest moments of our recession 4 years ago. It's an unsettling feeling to say the least. My husband is great at what he does, adores his co-workers and the company he works for. They've been good to us and we hate to see the company shaken the way it currently is. Personally, unless they can get their shit together fast, I give them three to five years. So we begin a job search, make a back-up plan and pray that the board of our company can get it together.

I look to the "numbers", to the speeches, and the resounding message that unemployment is down and people once again have jobs. To that, I say bull shit. Excuse my language, but if you take one look at an average American family right now I bet they'd tell you the same thing. We are still struggling, our economy is still dwindling with only small bursts of improvement.

Brandon and I realized while weighing our options the other day that every Father figure in our life is out of {or soon to be out of} a job.

Now tell me unemployment is improving because I truly beg to differ.

And now I'll resign from my soapbox.

8 comments:

  1. Oh sweetie. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with all this. I so wish I had answers or y'all lived nearby so we could at least go get coffee and bitch. Huge hugs!

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  2. Oh girl, that's awful. Both my family and I have been there. Not fun and oh so stressful. I hope they'll be able to find some good news soon. Sending you lots of hugs.

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  3. Thanks for sharing. My husband was out of work for 17 months. I am thankful he is working again. I know what struggling is and I wish it on no one. The numbers lie.

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  4. I'm so sorry Erin! I want to live near you and Sarah too to have in on the coffee and bitch sessions!

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  5. New follower here, but this post tugged at my heart strings! My husband was told, on the day he returned to work after our son was born, that the company was letting him go. He actually drove into work, started doing his daily duties, and was on the phone with me 30 minutes later saying he was on his way home....that he lost his job. Doesn't get much worse than having a newborn at home and finding out half of your income is out the window! That was four months ago, and not a single word from another employer about a new job yet. My husband has a Bachelor's Degree from an amazing University yet we remain searching everyday for new opportunities. I am a Registered Nurse and even nursing positions are hard to come by these days...that right there proves the economy is in a rough place. Unemployment is definitely not down! Best wishes to your entire family during this tough time!

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  6. I am so sorry Erin! I want to reach out and give you a big hug!!!

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  7. We're laid off for practically almost half the summer so I know first hand it's not getting much better. I thank God that I have a job to go back to but even now there making cuts where they can.

    Yes, there has been job growth but not enough for people to be happy with it. I don't think we'll ever have enough sufficient job growth due to so many cuts and the economy.

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