Thursday, April 14, 2011

24 Hours

It's now been 24 hours since I found out I was losing my job. Based on preliminary reports it would appear that in fact the world has not come to an abrupt halt, and life is still going on as we speak.


There were obviously some tears as I packed up my office, and the fellow who has (had?) the office across from mine looked like he was choking them back as well. It hit everyone I talked to as a surprise. One of the admin ladies drove me home personally so that I wouldn't have to go home in a taxi (the firing manager had given me a taxi chit). I had a quick bath, got changed into more comfortable clothing, and caught the bus back to the university. After swinging by the Engineering Employment Centre to check if there were job postings (there are), I went to my lab. After that I went home, returned a mitre saw I had borrowed from a friend, and drove over to The Boy's for dinner. We ate BBQ chicken, chatted, had a couple drinks, looked at XKCD comics and SNL skits online, then went to sleep.

You know, if it wasn't for the whole getting laid off part, it was actually a pretty decent day. Well, except the stress related chin breakouts, but what can you do about that?

I need to thank each and everyone who commented yesterday for your show of support. I appreciated it very much, and it did help me deal with the turmoil.

For anyone facing a similar situation, Krystal of Give Me Back My Five Bucks and Moneyville has a post worth checking out for how to survive unemployment:

Anyway, today is my first day of true unemployment. I don't like to jump without seeing my next step, but in this instance I was kind of pushed. So far the landing looks... okay? As a result of some social networking I have a couple leads on places that are hiring right now, so I'll be meeting with people and looking into them shortly. I'm meeting one of my (former) coworkers for coffee today at lunch, so I'll ask about potential references for my job search. Other than that, here is my to do list for the next little bit:
  • go to doctor, get prescriptions filled before medical coverage runs out (currently writing from the doctor's office lobby)
  • Talk to former employer's HR department about how to take over my insurance coverage before it expires.
  • Check into other insurance provider costs, see if I can get a better rate than my former employer's plan.
  • Apply for EI.
  • Make a (tightened) budget
  • Switch mortgage from accelerated biweekly payments to monthly
  • Cancel magazine subscriptions, see about lower cost of cell phone plan.
  • Polish up my resume.
  • Start applying for jobs.
That's my game plan for the next little bit. To those of you who have been in my position, would you add anything to the to do list?


banclothing said...

I didn't read your post from yesterday but here is my two cents. Getting laid off is one of the worst feelings and is universal. Most of us have all been laid off at some point and although you feel sick about it; we have all recovered. I was laid off from a job that I really enjoyed, planned on staying for a long time, and develop my career. I was great at my job however, got laid off because someone threatened they would leave unless I was gone. Needless to say I got kicked. I only went a week without work and ended up finding a phenomenal career which is FAR superior to my previous job. I just started reading your blog but it seems that you didn't necessarily love your job... well this may be the opportunity for you to make a change you would not have otherwise. I wish you the best of luck, apply for jobs 8hrs a day as if it is your fulltime job. You will absolutely get re-employed.

JustWriteACheck said...

We've played with numbers on paper a bit to figure out what we would do if one or both of us lost our job, or had a significant pay cut.

We would have our student loans put in deferment (through the US Direct Loan program), so that we wouldn't have to pay on those for awhile.

We would try to reduce all of our utility bills. Reduce electric and gas consumption by keeping lights off, turning down the heat, using less water, etc. We would drop down to a lower package for our cell phones, cable, & internet.

We would reduce our food budget by not eating out, and we would spend more time planning meals based on sales/coupons.

I'd probably use the time off to reorganize the house, selling (eBay, Craigslist) things that we don't really need anymore.

Daisy said...

Cassie - read over some labour laws and make sure you got what you were entitled to based on your time working there. Even if you feel like you were treated fairly, many companies don't follow the rules - you could be entitled to some more severance! If everything is all good, a reference letter from your last employer would be a great boost to your resume.

God... can you tell I'm going into HR or what? Haha

Louise said...

ask HR if you are entitled to any job seeking assistance/ counseling. I've done this when there are layoffs and my job was to work with people for up to six months (at company expense)as a careers consultant to help them find jobs set up their own business and to act as an advocate to make sure they got all there entitlements. Often HR don't advertise all that employees are entitled too.

glad to hear you're doing OK today :)

FB @ said...

I have no tips except to check to see that you aren't entitled to some sort of severance pay.

Sounds like you're handling it like a pro, even thinking about switching your mortgage payments to monthly!

Cassie said...

@banclothing - I'm glad to hear you got an even better job out of your experience :) I've had a couple people say that's happened to them, so I have my fingers crossed :)

@justwriteacheck - I'm actually planning a garage sale in a couple weeks to help clean up the house and bring in a little extra money. I'm thinking as well that I'm going to put some of my vintage clothes on e-bay as well.

@Daisy - I checked the labour laws, no additional severance :( I did however get a reference from one of the senior Engineers at the company :)

@Louise - I'll talk to the HR guy when he gets back to me about switching my benefits to individual rather than group.

@FB - Thanks, I appreciate it. I'm planning on making some changes at home. Your minimalist blog is serving as inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I'm so sorry to hear this! It really is true - a sad and sobering reminder that corporates have no loyalty to you.

In the meantime, I guess you will save on transport and can potentially save on food by taking the time to shop carefully and cook from scratch.

The Asian Pear said...

woah. WHAT?

That was fast! They told you Wednesday and you left THURSDAY? Are they compensating you for 2 weeks at least?

Don't forget to ask them for ROE immediately. At least you can apply for EI right away and get some cash to help you during this time.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any advice, but can empathize. Hubby was unemployed last year, so I have an idea of what you're going through. You sound like you're a forward-looking person, and I sincerely wish you good luck. Oh I guess I have one piece of advice - bury your pride and tell everyone you ever run into that you're looking for a job. At first it winces a bit, but it often pans out.

Cassie said...

@eemusings - Sad but true, you're correct about corporate loyalty. It's surprising to me that people don't understand why the younger generation isn't loyal to their companies anymore. It's a 2 way street.

I have a decent freezer and pantry stash, I'll be good.

@TheAsianPear - They gave me until the end of the day, but I was gone within the hour. Some companies are even faster. I get 1 week's compensation, as per the law in Alberta. I've put in my EI application, and I'm checking for my ROE in the mail tomorrow.

Cassie said...

Sorry anonymous, your comment was sent to my spam inbox for some reason. Thanks for the advice :)