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Layoffs – 3 weeks and counting…

Storm on the horizon...

Storm on the horizon…

Well, we’re drawing closer to the date, and the outlook is getting grim. We will find out what the verdict is by Oct 5th, but morale has dropped significantly around Mrs. SSC’s office, and our house. Initially, the spin from management had been that there would be available jobs to apply for in Business Units, and therefore some hope was instilled in the troops. When job postings came out last week, and everyone began combing them for positions that they could apply for, it became very evident that the amount of actual jobs posted, versus the amount everyone was led to believe would be available was dramatically different. There were about 8 Houston jobs available, and 12 or so overseas jobs, if you want to move to the armpit of “enter country name here”. For those jobs, the compound life, horrid commute (an hour plus each way, but at least you’d have a driver) and longer work schedule make Houston seem like Shangri La! Also, most of those positions are already spoken for and aren’t an option for our family for many reasons.

On the positive side – yes there are lots of positives, we are in a better position than most of our friends who are in the same situation, and may or may not have a spouse with a second income. We’re also not leveraged heavily in our house, cars, credit cards, or lifestyle, so we can continue on and figure out what the heck to do from here, fairly unscathed. I can switch my work schedule to a 6:30 am – 4 pm sort of schedule and get home in time to have dinner with the kids. Plus, I get to see them for an extra hour each day. That also means I will probably have an easier commute in the morning, and well, my afternoon commute will probably stay the same, as a LOT of people leave the office around 3:30pm and later in our fair metropolis. I’ve actually found that my commute is lighter and quicker leaving at 5:30 pm on the rare days that has happened.

The biggest toll here is more emotional than anything. Mrs. SSC has been having a hard time getting okay with the fact she will most likely be let go. She understands it’s not her or her performance as a worker, it’s just a wrong place, wrong time scenario. She’s the newest and least senior person on her team, and when compared to her peer groups in the same job, they have more seniority in that position. Coming to accept that has been trying. Also, losing the sense of worth that is innately tied into working. She has been struggling with the fact she will feel like she’s not contributing if she gets laid off. We talk about these things and I tell her that I’m perfectly fine with her getting laid off. I understand the emotional toll, but she’ll be contributing in way more ways than a paycheck. Plus, it’s not as if this job is really making her feel happy, or giving her any satisfaction right now anyway. It’s like a catch 22 – losing the paycheck will hurt a little, but keeping the paycheck for a job that’s not very satisfying is almost like a lose too, especially when we discuss the positives for our family life that will change.

How will this all relate to our Fully Funded Lifestyle Change date? Well, we’re not too sure at the moment. We had recently changed it dramatically, even if it meant it was a Mostly Funded Lifestyle Change, but there’s no point in putting all that out there until after Oct.’s layoff deadline. So stay tuned for that, haha! We did decide that this life event has us re-evaluating what is important to us and what our priorities are. We’ve realized that we’re not driven by material items, but rather how we can spend more quality time with the kids and ourselves as a family. Not that we haven’t realized that before, but it sure has driven that point home. The sooner we can make our Lifestyle change, the better.

Until then, everyone have a Happy Monday and a good week ahead!

22 thoughts on “Layoffs – 3 weeks and counting…

  1. Steve @ Think Save Retire

    May the force be with you as you continue down this uncertain road. If it’s any consolation, which I know it probably isn’t, if you’re going to leave a company, getting laid off is THE WAY to do it, usually. Hopefully there will be some kind of severance if it does turn out that Mrs. SSC will get laid off.

    But hey, like I think that you’re alluding to, this might be the perfect opportunity for the Mrs to look for another line of work that might make her happier every day. Honestly, I’d do that as well if we weren’t so close to our anticipated FI date.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I agree that getting laid off is the way to go. I didn’t get anything when I left except a “well, thanks for the notice, but this will be your last day.” Hahaha
      There should be some severance tied in with this if she gets let go, so that’s a plus. In fact, I saw this morning that she’s already built it into one of her many scenarios in her spreadsheet. :)

      I think this will be a great opportunity to find something else that’s more rewarding, she just doesn’t like getting forced into anything. I personally think it could be one of the better things to happen to our household, for numerous reasons. However, if in another 6 months I’m in the same position, well then we’ll both be forced into looking for something different, but I sill don’t see it as the worst thing that could happen to us.

  2. Brian @DebtDiscipline

    Having face an unexpected elimination of my 20+ year position yearly this year, I can understand what you guys are going through. I looked at it as an opportunity to move on to something more rewarding, still looking, but have never looked back. Good luck!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s a tough way to end a run that long with a company. My dad worked at BellSouth for over 33 years, and there were many years I remember him sweating layoffs. He was the lowest man on the totem pole with 18 years under his belt at one point, and 24 years during another. Crazy…
      Glad to hear you haven’t looked back on leaving.

  3. Our Next Life

    It should be illegal for companies to do what Mrs. SSC’s company is doing to her — that’s like psychological warfare! Good luck to you guys getting through it all.

    I love, though, that you’ve created a plus side to the whole situation, and have used this time to think through what’s really important to you and figure out your true priorities. Your mostly funded lifestyle change sounds a lot like our plan to quit by our FI date come hell or high water. :-) We only get so much time, but there’s always more money to be made if we need it.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      This morning she described everyone she ran into at the office as “demotivated, and everyone was acting like a big balls of grump.” her words, not mine. :) Yeah dragging it out his long has been tough on the morale of all involved. It will be nice when Oct 5 gets here, let me tell you. I’m guessing they’ll wait until the 7th since it’s a Wed. and that’s a “good day” to let people go.
      At this point, I think Mrs. SSC is going to be disappointed if she doesn’t get let go. There will be other ways to make money, and we’ve already investigated the budgets and savings and all that to know how it will affect us. She’s just worrying about things we can’t control at this point. So we keep our fingers crossed that oil recovers or at least stabilizes and the stock market doesn’t also go stale… Eeeek! Hahahahaha

  4. Sue

    Personally, I think the waiting is the hardest part (Tom Petty maybe : )). GL to you and your wife and if she is let go may she find something even better.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Haha, nice music reference! :) If she gets let go, we’re pretty confident that even nothing will be better for her mindset at this point. Thanks for the well wishes!

  5. TheMoneyMine

    This is crazy that Mrs. SSC’s company even has a deadline on layoffs, this is the best way to keep everyone’s morale below 0. This could in return affect the company’s profits and start a vicious circle.
    But you guys have the right attitude and you’re seeing the positives of the situation. Whatever happens, it will be an opportunity to re-align with your life goals. Take care!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That is definitely the case with low morale. Since the Business Units know this is happening, they’ve been asking for all the final reports on projects so they can have them before teams get disbanded, people moved and new teams formed. Which leads to even less work to do, so now lots of people are just sitting around trying to look busy because there’s no real work.
      I can’t wait until October, and fortunately Mrs. SSC is in the pool to find out early Oct. and not have to wait another month like the majority of our friends. I couldn’t imagine 4 more weeks of the same stressed out, low morale, un-motivated time killing, after a bunch of people are let go.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks! Win-lose or draw, better things are coming our way. Although, I’m kind of hoping she gets out of the toxic work situation sooner, because until oil rebounds, it will be a repeat of this same cycle through next year too.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      You and me both! :) I agree, we’re in a great spot for now, so it makes us feel a lot better about how this may go down.

  6. Fervent Finance

    Hey – it’s not over yet! I wish you and the Mrs. the best, and if she does get laid off, I hope she gets a decent severance package. You to are in a great position, I know it’s inevitable but she shouldn’t feel down at all about it!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Thanks for the well wishes! Fortunately and unfortunately, she’s had enough time to try and get over feeling down about it, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow.
      Countdown continues though and you never know, she may get a spot yet!

  7. May

    I may have said this before – so sorry if I am repeating myself – but my company is going through restructuring and layoffs have happened and continue to happen. I have spent many hours dreaming about it happening to me BUT when it became apparent that I might be on the list – I spent a solid weekend before the announcement sweating and wringing my hands. Not at all what I expected. So I can understand what you are going through. We tie up a lot of identity in work – so even if you don’t love the work there is still a feeling of loss. A door to lots of new possibilities though. Good luck.

    1. Mr. SSC

      Man, sorry to hear you are going through that too with your company. It is a pretty stressful event, and like you pointed out, even if you don’t love the work there is still a sense of loss. Most of the day we’ve been talking about the emotions tied up with either outcome. Mrs. SSC has decided she’s probably going to be happy and sad regardless of the outcome, lol. Good luck with your company moving forward!

  8. Tawcan

    That’s a tough situation to be in. Like you stated, it’s not due to poor performance, it’s simply caused by the poor oil & gas sector performance right now. Perhaps you should consider this as an opportunity to try something new and branch out to do something outside the norm. Perhaps spending more time blogging and see if you can generate some income?

    Good luck.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      We have definitely been looking at our options, because like we were discussing tonight. It just seems like trading money for time. I like the job I have currently, but Mrs. SSC doesn’t exactly feel the same, even before the layoff stresses came up. We definitely have some evaluating to do ifwe get forced into certain situations.

  9. Mrs. FI

    At the risk of sounding insensitive, I am thoroughly enjoying your “Layoff Series.” It’s nice to hear from someone else who is going through the same type of uncertainty of having a job in the next weeks/months to come. I have to wait until December, most likely, for another update. The worst part is the waiting. If I just knew an end date, I might be more inclined to find another job or think more seriously about what I want to do next. Like Mrs. SSC, I’m not particularly happy with my job (it has it’s benefits, but I don’t enjoy what I do) and have no idea what field/business I would like to pursue next, and that’s scary. Not only is there uncertainty with my current job, but I don’t even know what type of job I’d like to pursue after this job is completed. Luckily we also have in common extremely supportive husbands who will help us through these emotional times 😉 Tell Mrs. SSC to hang in there. Things will work out, I’m sure of it!

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Not insensitive at all, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it.:) Not knowing what to do next seems pretty scary, but it shouldn’t be. If you’re able to take time and try to figure that one out organically, it could turn out really awesome and you might find something you never thought of. You could do like me, and start finding out all the things you don’t want to do, lol. I hope things turn out okay with your jobs, in whatever form that may be for you. We are currently on iteration 8 of our plans of “when I find out next week” and they’ve swung full circle. We’re now back to, “What if I DON’T get laid off?!” Hahahahaaaa…..
      I think being forced into looking at what life could be like without both of us working has been good, but maybe a little “too good.” I think if she does get let go, our family life will improve along with other things, so there is an upside even though it’s a bit outside of the box. Regardless, things are going to get shaken up around here even if they’re not company forced.

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