Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life at the MLC: Paycuts & Layoffs

I vaguely remember mentioning in a post about losing a day per week at work.  Times have been somewhat stressed and strained here at the Mexico Lightbulb Corporation.*  For starters, my paychecks have all been rather late, and this gives way to a stressful existence from time to time.  As we're a private consulting firm, our work comes from winning contracts.  Our biggest employers are either the State or the City/County.  Unfortunately, as the economy is in a slump right now, so is the number of jobs generated/ funds allocated/ money in my pocket.

Yet, I am so very thankful to have a job.  I could be a statistic in the Unemployment Camp right now, and I'm not.  I don't know what I would do if I lost my job.  I mean, I know God will take care of us, but the way He would do that may not be to my liking.  So let it be known that I am very grateful to have a job, even one where I've taken a 16% decrease in my net income.

My boss called me to his office yesterday.  "Take a seat," he said.  A bit nervy, I obliged.  "First off, let me start off by saying your job is safe..."  Well, starting off this way was both comforting and equally terrifying, but he continued.  The MLC has made the decision to layoff six employees.  That's 20% of the workforce.  I instantly felt sad for these people, especially considering that Christmas is next week.  Again, I'm extremely grateful to have my job, and I'm pretty sure that I'll have it for as long as I want.  Nevertheless, it's still worrisome to know that the MLC is having these troubles. 

I'm sure I'm not alone.  I look around and see so many businesses closing up shop and people struggling to make ends meet.  The MLC has been established for 70 or 80 years, and we've been through things like this before (so I've been told), but it's a first time for me.

Really, the worst thing about the changes is knowing that Keisha and I are going to have a baby next June.  Before then we had planned on having some debt gone.  We don't have that much debt, comparably, but still, it's more than I want, and I want to have money for our kid.  Plus, my insurance sucks ($5000 deductable, which I was informed is going up next year), so I'll be paying a lot out of my pocket to have a baby.  Knowing that finances are going to be crazy for the next year or so, I've been looking around the house for things I can sell and things I no longer need.

I'm an optimist.  I believe that things'll pick back up soon.  I mean, I am getting to take off one day per week where I don't have to work, which clears up free time for plenty of things (Video games!  Keisha!  Writing!).  On the other hand, I think I'd rather make a little more money.

Oh well.  There's nothing I can do about it.  It's forcing us to really look at our purchases and spending and make smart decisions.  Hopefully these are lessons we'll keep for the rest of our life.

*Mexico Lightbulb Corporation is not the real name of the company for which I work.  It was chosen on a whim to remain somewhat anonymous.  Plus, I just thought it was funny.


Anonymous said...

i'm glad you still have your job. my husband is just coming off two years of unemployment (he's an Architect). it was very, um, stressful.

it is good to find the positives in times like these, it's important... and it sounds like you have some good positives to bide your time on the days off.


Bill said...

I'm sorry to hear about the troubles your company has had, Logan. But I'm very glad they've kept you. It's a real testament to your work ethic and value as an employee.

If you decide you'd like to spend some of that free time reviewing video games I've got a friend that runs who could use another reviewer. Word is you get a lot of free games out of it.

Anyway, I hope everything else stays well, and that I'll get to see you and Keisha soon!

Kristopher A. Denby said...

Yeah, you probably know that I was laid off in September. It was tough for about an hour, and then (in uncharacteristic fashion for me) my wife and I shook it off and decided how this event could be a positive thing for us. It's weird how God works, man. But this has been the most positive experience, and I can't remember when I felt this good.

Good luck to you, Logan. I'm glad you retained your job. I, like you, think things will only get better.

logankstewart said...

@L: Aye, gotta keep perspective. It's funny, a lot of people think I'm an architect, confusing civil engineering with architecture. I just laugh.

@Bill: Thanks friend; I'm very glad they kept me, too. Fortunately, I'm the only one here (other than my boss) that can do what I do, and my boss has made it clear (more than once) that I'm an asset to the company. Still, it's a stressful situation. Take care!

@Kris: Yeah, that's what I've been doing, looking at the positives from being 20% laid off. Thanks for the well wishes!