Friday, January 10, 2014

Losing the JOB!

What I would have done differently...I would have kept my tax returns current.  Once one year gets away from you, it gets so much more difficult to go back and put it all together.  I kept telling myself that it was OK because we did not owe anything.  I was so very wrong!

Losing the Job!

You can go anywhere in the United States and find people from everywhere that over the past 10 years have lost a job.  Some of these jobs were career jobs and some of them were moving up type of jobs.  It doesn't matter what kind of job you lose, losing it is so very traumatic!  Our story is so very similar to so many people in this country and even in other countries.  We have all experienced the devastation that comes with losing a job!

My husband was in the graphic arts/commercial printing business.  He was at the company for 21 years and was considered a "union" job.  For the most part, it was a good job!  He made a very decent hourly wage and there was always plenty of overtime available.  We were not rich, but we were comfortable.  Life was moving along quite well.  Many people in the United States might have thought that what we made was nothing compared to many others, but it was fine for us.

The problem was that this was a very specified field and you could not really transfer the trade except to another printing company.  At this time, the printing industry as a whole was disintegrating. Personal computers and programs were becoming more available so that people could do it themselves.  Finding another union job in this same field was going to be almost impossible!  The thing is that we just did not see it coming and even if we did, I really do not know if we would have done anything different.

Unemployment at that time went for about four months.  When that ran out, we were in trouble.  My husband was diligent about finding work but came up empty handed.  When he did finally find something a year later, it was seasonal and paid about $8.00 per hour with no benefits.  I was making about $9 an hour working for another restaurant as a manager.  It was very tough getting by on this amount of money and things started to slide financially at this time.  We tried to cut out as much as we could but it did not help much.  We lived very simply compared to most people so there was not much to cut.  We had two boys that were 5 and 7 years old at the time.

We cut up all of our credit cards the day my husband lost his job.  We had a mountain of debt from the restaurant business that we had closed two weeks after losing the job but we decided that day that we would not create any new debt.  We could not afford to purchase anything on credit because we had no idea if we would be able to pay it when it came due.  We have lived for 10 years without credit.  We have gone through losing our home and bankruptcy during that time but we have not used any credit.  I am not saying that because I am proud of it, I just saying that it can be done.

Next post...the feelings and emotions that happen with losing a job and how to control them.