Friday, February 29, 2008

The Last Day

Today will be my DH's last day at his present job. (breathe in...breathe out).

He had a job interview yesterday, and was offered a job at less than half his current pay. The work would be mind-numbing. The amenities (access to a phone or computer) are non-existent. Did I mention that the pay is less than half of what he is currently earning? The thought of working at that job thoroughly depressed DH. The thought that, that would be the only kind of job that he would be offered has sent him into a tail-spin.

I least he has a job offer. But at what price? Would it be better for him to take the job (any job) and continue looking for work (at least he would be bringing some money in)? What if each day at the new job would slowly eat away at him? Depress him? Reduce him to being less than he can be?

Would it be better if he doesn't take the job and continues to actively look? What if at the end of his severance pay period, he still doesn't have a job? Would he then kick himself for not taking the one job that he was offered?

It will be interesting to see what happens when he meets with the HR people for his exit interview. He has been offered 6 weeks of severance pay with a possible additional 6 weeks. There is some form that they said he would have to sign, in order to get the additional 6 weeks. DH has already spoken to our family friend/attorney and will fax the form to her as soon as he gets it. I am hoping that his receipt of the extra 6 weeks of severance pay is not contingent upon him not working. I guess we'll know later this afternoon.

In the meantime, DH told these people that he would let them know next Wednesday about the job. DH and I clearly have a lot to talk about. Did I already say... breathe in...breathe out?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Amending a Comment

A few weeks ago, Ms Chica wrote a post which she titled "On Leaving and Being Left Behind". With my DH's impending departure from his place of employment, I got to thinking more about the post.

In my comment to Ms. Chica, I stated that "You are so right that it is much easier being the one leaving than being the one left behind. Part of that is that the person that is leaving gets to experience something different (even if it is not new), while the one that stays is left with a void to fill."

I would now like to amend that comment. I think that the circumstances of leaving are really key as to whether it's easier to leave, or to be left behind. My DH will be leaving his work at the end of next week. On February 29th he will be expected to relinquish his employee I.D., turn in the key to his office that he has worked in for twelve years, take all of his personal belongings, log off of his computer, turn off the light for the last time and leave.

Once he has taken care of business, he will then need to say goodbye to his coworkers, some of whom he has worked with for the past twelve years. I think that it will be a difficult good-bye. It is one thing to say goodbye to people, when you have the clear expectation that you will be seeing them again, and it is an entirely different matter when you have to say goodbye to people with the reasonable expectation that you will most likely never see them again.

Having worked in education in an itinerant position for many years, I have learned to cope with saying goodbye to students and staff at schools at the end of the school year. Some schools have been harder to leave than others (schools that I have been assigned to for longer periods of time). Some schools have not been so hard to leave. I think that the difference between the two was how 'involved' and 'attached' I allowed myself to become with the staff at the school. When the staff welcomed me, as one of their own, and included me as part of the staff (even though I was only there 1-2 days/week), I found saying goodbye far more difficult, than when I kept my distance throughout my time there.

Over the course of my career, I have learned to emotionally keep my distance from most staff at my schools...because I know that I could easily be reassigned at the end of the year. I still walk into the office in the morning with a smile on my face and greet everyone. I still smile and talk to the teachers in the course of performing my job. I still bring gifts to the office manager, plant manager, and other personnel over the holidays, as my little way of letting them know that I appreciate that they make my job a little easier. But I have learned over the years to maintain some distance and separation, because it makes the leaving not as painful. I realize that this means that I lose out on the bonds of friendship that I could have formed...however, after years and years of having to say goodbye to people...I have learned to protect myself from being the one leaving. I have learned that once I have left a school, despite the best of intentions, I don't keep in touch with anyone. The common bond that we have shared together (our experiences at a particular school) no longer exists. Our reasons for speaking together, or for sharing pleasantries is gone.

For this reason, I anticipate that next Friday when DH says goodbye to his co-workers for the last will be tough. He will be saying goodbye to people that he has spent 8 hours a day, five day a week with, for twelve years. Despite the best of intentions, I seriously doubt that he will keep in touch with these people. I'm pretty sure that when DH gets another job, he will let them all know. I'm pretty sure that he will tell them to keep in touch, as they will tell him to do the same. But it won't be the same...and the bonds that kept them together, that kept them involved in each others lives will be gone.

In this case, as DH walks away from his office, and shuts the door, he'll be leaving (hopefully to a better experience)...but he'll be leaving alone, and he won't be returning. I think in his case, being the one leaving might just be harder than being in the group that is left behind.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"You've Got To Have Friends"

Sometimes I worry about Elle. She seems to prefer my company to the company of friends. She would much rather hang out with me on the weekend (read that in the past that meant shopping together) then call a friend to get together.

While I am happy that she seems to enjoy my company, I worry...shouldn't a 13 year old girl should be hanging out with her friends outside of school...and not her mom?

I think that part of the problem is that Elle likes to be in control (I wonder who she gets that from?lol). She has a hard time being tolerant of people who are acting in a less mature way then she thinks they should act. She describes the girls who are the "poppy's" (as in popular) as girls who only think about themselves, how they look, and their place in their group. She tells me that they are all stuck up, thinking that they are better than everyone else.

Over the years, she has had special friends that she's wanted to spend time with...but then they grew apart (for whatever reason). She's been without a special friend at school since one of her friends moved on to the high school this year. Elle says that she hangs out with a group of kids (guys and girls) at school, and she has walked out to my car on many occasions...talking to different boys (egads!). I realize that if she was hanging out with her friends all of the time, I might have a whole different set of concerns/worries.

I love hanging out with Elle...I love that she enjoys volunteering with me on Sundays...I love listening to her perspective as we come across different situations during our time together. I am grateful for the time that we spend together. I just worry whether or not this is the best thing for her.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In Honor Of Valentines Day

A PUPPY has been born in Japan with a large, clear, love-heart-shaped pattern in his coat. The Chihuahua was born in May as one of a litter to a breeder. Shop owner Emiko Sakurada said it was the first time a puppy with the marks had been born out of a thousand she had bred. She had no plans to sell the puppy, which has been named 'Heart-kun'. The long-coated male Chihuahua puppy was born in Odate, northern Japan

Happy Valentines Day:~)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Six Days A Week.

After six days straight of cooking dinner I can definitely say that I am not enjoying myself. I don't mind cooking...but everynight??????? If I'm not careful, pretty soon I may be sporting a dress, pearls, high heels and an apron just to cook dinner...Donna Reed, June Cleaver, and Betty Crocker better watch out.

Now I realize that most normal people probably cook every night, and will go out to eat, or bring something in once in a while, or maybe even once a week. Up until this point in my marriage, I haven't had to do that. I've been very fortunate that my DH hasn't minded eating out or bringing food in a few days a week. My excuse (not that I need one) is that I work everyday, then bring the kids to their various activities and by the time we're finished...I am too tired to cook. I want some time to kick back and relax...and what better way to do that then to have someone else cook for me.

My DH is a fabulous cook...he loves to cook...he is a creative cook. However he doesn't get home from work until 7:30pm...and although we eat that late, it is just too late for him to start cooking dinner. His current job will end at the end of this month. Unless he finds another job before then, (and I certainly hope he does), I will gladly pass the cooking torch over to him.

I just had an idea...this may solve my dilemma over what to give DH for Valentines Day...maybe I should buy him an apron...just in case:~)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Mrs. XXXXX,

For just over two years, I was an only child, and then you decided to have your son, Sport. For over eleven years now, Sport has been a big part of my life, usually not in a good way.

Sport is addicted to online games such as "Trick.ster" and "Rune.scape". If there's an available computer, Sport is on it. On the rare occasions that I get online, he complains that he should be online, and not me. Or he will be in the same room as me, successfully figuring out ways to annoy me to no end, which, as you can imagine, makes being online, not only a rare, but also an unpleasant time for me.

Sport uses the phone more than anyone else in the house. The downstairs suffers from noise pollution, not only from Sport, but also from whichever friend he decides to call because he has become too lazy to hold a phone up to his ear, and talk quietly into it.

Sport is losing focus on the important things in life such as family, and fresh air. These games are a bad influence in his life. He talks about the games he plays like they're real, and loses his temper a lot more than before he started playing these games. I love Sport, but right now, it's just too hard to be around him.

In conclusion, I think Sport needs more time outside, and less time in front of a computer screen with a phone in front of him. I believe that you can help change his attitude about the computer, and make his virtual life his secone priority. I want my real brother back.



Elle had an assignment in which she needed to write a business letter either: registering a complaint, paying a compliment , or making a suggestion as to how a company could improve their product. Elle decided to write her business letter to me. Please note that all the names were changed to protect the not so innocent...sigh.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Say What?...and then my jaw dropped.

For those in a is the abridged edition. (for a more comprehensive edition continue reading):
DH told me yesterday that he has been laid off of work effective the end of this month. He'll get 6 week severance pay.
Company downsizing.
Need advice on budgeting...and on sticking to a budget.
Did I already say YIKES?????

Here is the long winded version:
Yesterday, I got a call from DH. He said to me "You'll never guess what just happened." Mind you he said this with a quiet voice, not an excited enthuastic voice, so I knew that the ensuing dialogue was not going to be happy. However, what he proceeded to tell me left me with my mouth agape, and truly speechless. (which for me is quite a feat)

When I didn't bother taking a guess (after all he had just told me that I would never why bother) he went on to tell me that he had just been laid off of work. Not fired, laid off. While I understand that there is a distinction between the two (and for the purposed of explaining what happened to Elle and Sport, it is an important distinction) the results are the same. As of the end of this month, he will no longer be employed at his current job. They're giving him 6 weeks of severance pay, which I guess means in essence that he will continue to receive his paycheck for another 10 weeks. YIKES!

At this point in time DH is optimistic that he will be able to find another job before his paychecks run out. In fact the HR person at his place of employment asked him to bring in his resume and that she would work with him on any changes that need to be made to it. In addition, the HR person said that she will try to help him find a new job...possibly with the same company, in a different department.

I spoke with DH this afternoon and he has been very busy making phone calls and putting the word out that he is looking for a new job. I am glad, that for today a least, he believes that he will be able to get another job soon...and I hope that he is right. When we were first married, DH used to freelance. There were times that he would be on "hiatus" but know that he would have the same job back when the new season started. (During those breaks he was able to enjoy the time off, knowing that he had a job waiting for him) There were other times that the show that he was working on was cancelled...those breaks were filled with looking for work and stressing out that he'd never find another job. The stress level at those times was palpable.

Fortunately during the times that my DH was 'seasonal' we didn't have children, I worked full time plus I also had a private practice in the afternoons. Money was flowing quite freely during those times and his lack of income was just a blip on our radar.

Now we have two children, I work part time and while I am already taking on a full-time caseload, during my part-time hours (for extra money) the lack of DH's paycheck is a huge speed-bump on our radar. The thought of him not having a job (or a paycheck) is actually a huge, big deal on many level...the money level and his mental welfare (mine too).

I have lots of thoughts on this matter. I will save them for another post, once I am able to collect them and put them down to paper. In the meantime, I realize that I need to develop a budget, to prepare for a possibly worse case senario. Over the years I've developed many budgets...I'm just not sure how to stick to them. Food shopping/planning is the hardest for me...I just don't get how to make a shopping list (that would mean that I know what I want to make for dinner more than 5 minutes before I start cooking). Usually every afternoon finds me running to the store for whatever items I need for dinner that night. I realize that this is not at all time or cost efficient and with my DH's impending loss of income, it will not be a wise thing to continue to do.

Does anyone have any suggestions or helpful ideas...they would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Ballad...Part 3

Here is the ballad that Elle turned in...

Late at night when the moon is high
and the air is calm and still.
I hear a sound outside my window
Beyond the window sill.

I hear the storm that's coming
I can smell the smell of rain
I think before the morning sun
My world will fill with pain.

I open up my window
see a movement in the tree
I fear that something evil
Will be coming after me.

I hear the storm that's coming
I can smell the smell of rain
I think before the morning sun
My world will fill with pain.

A flash as quick as lightening
Bursts before my eyes
I try to call for help
But no one hears my cries.

I hear the storm that's coming
I can smell the smell of rain
I think before the morning sun
My world will fill with pain.

Appearing right before me
with eyes as black as coal.
A vampire stands, shows his fangs
and decides to take my soul.

I hear the storm that's coming
I can smell the smell of rain
I think before the morning sun
My world will fill with pain.

This is the ballad that Elle turned in...what do you think?

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Ballad...Part 2

As promised, here is ballad number 2. Elle did not turn this one in either.

Buzz goes my alarm clock
Monday morning, very early.
My ipod sounds out music
Mom will let me stay home, surely.

I don't want to go to school today.
Oh, please don't make me go.
I don't want to go to school
I think I'll pray for snow.

My father makes me breakfast
I don't think that I can eat.
I don't want to go to school today
Staying home would be a treat.

I don't want to go to school today.
Oh, please don't make me go.
I don't want to go to school
I think I'll pray for snow.

I think I have a fever
I'm sure my temperature is high.
My throat is sore and achy
My mother says "Nice try."

I don't want to go to school today.
Oh, please don't make me go.
I don't want to go to school
I think I'll pray for snow.

My excuses fell on deaf ears
I can't go back to bed
I'd rather be at Disneyland
But I'm stuck at school instead.

I don't want to go to school today.
Oh, please don't make me go.
I don't want to go to school
I think I'll pray for snow.

Fortunately Elle understands the futility of praying for snow, here in Southern California. Stay tuned for Ballad #3...the one that was turned in.