Thursday, April 13, 2006

Taking care of our own

What would you do if you'd been living a fairly consistent existence for more than 30 years only to learn one day your world was about to be turned upside down? My mom finds out today if the company she has been with for close to 30 years is being shut down. She called me this morning just to hear my voice, but she cracked a little towards the end. The fissure in my heart cracked just a little more that I wasn't there to put my arms around her and tell her it would be ok. Thirty years of knowing your routine, knowing where your paycheck was going to come from. While in this day and age the thought of staying at one job for that length of time may seem like torture, this kind of tenure at one job seems fairly common for older generations. The question is, how do you cope with such radical, life-altering shift to your status quo? The town I'm from is not ripe with opportunity. I don't want her having to pound the pavement looking for another job in this competitive job market. She could work circles around recent college grads, but because she didn't graduate from college and has such narrow (maybe focused is more appropriate) experience she might not get the opportunity she deserves. All I know is that we have each other and that with brainstorming and support things are bound to be okay.

10 comments:

  1. Hopefully, if the worst happens and her job isn't there anymore, there will be SOMEONE who values experience.

    I'll be thinking good thoughts!

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  2. That was really well written.

    I worked for Nine West, and we took over U.S. Shoe to gain control of the Easy Spirit brand. I had to go to help shut down U.S. Shoe, and it was awful. They were in Cincinnati, and while not a small city, these women had been Customer Service Reps for 30 years. They were best friends, they hung out together, etc. When we left and they were closed down, it was really sad. They were all so upset. Gracious, but upset. We don't build that kind of comraderie here in the big cities, because there are so many other opportunities to be distracted by. Not too many workplaces can boast employees with 30 years there.

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  3. it's so hard to deal with the pain of a parent. it's hard for both of you. i am certain things will work out, especially since she knows she has your unconditional love and support. makes things more manageable and less lonely.

    you are so sensitive and empathetic. i admire that.

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  4. That is terrible news. I am originally from Michigan and tons of people are losing there jobs there. It's awful. I hope--if this happens--they will give her a great severance and perhaps try to get her involved in some eduational programs. Me = the optimist. So sorry!

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  5. My mother went through a divorce ten years ago. She didn't lose her job but she lost her husband. That was her 'crack'. It's hard. Support and late night chats help.

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  6. Thanks, guys! I'm keeping positive and have some really cool ideas for things she can do. Maybe she won't need to "do" anything at all. It's just hard to hear tears in her voice.

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  7. The prospect of having to find a new job after 30 years is so completely frightening.

    I am sending good vibes that this ends up being a wondefully positive experience for her in the end.

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  8. My parents were both teachers for close to 30 years in the same school. After all that, they didn't seem to mind finding other work. Dad went from teaching math and physics to working in construction management, and mom went from home ec and health to the receptionist at a gyno office.

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  9. It's official. She'll probably be in the middle part of the phase out on June 1. A new door is opening I suppose.

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  10. Time for her to start perstering you to give her grandchildren. Which means you better get busy and find someone to get busy with :D

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