Want to know how you DON’T want to find out you’ve lost your job?
Via FedEx overnight letter received on a Saturday morning.
Yet that’s exactly what happened to me last weekend. The overall company that owns my magazine decided to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy on our smaller company, but they didn’t have the decency to tell anyone — not even the founder/editor — in person beforehand. No HR sent our way to answer questions. No company owner coming to talk to us. Nothing. Just a FedEx letter that I had to read in front of my two young girls.
Not cool. (To say the least.) I can’t say that the job loss itself was too much of a surprise, as things have steadily gone downhill over the past four or five years. But the method of delivering the news certainly left a lot to be desired.
I could go into a lot more detail about what a mess this is and how the trustee is looking into several red flags in the bankruptcy filing (basically the owner seems to be declaring himself a creditor through a few of his other entities that have nothing to do with our company). But I really shouldn’t get into the details here, so here’s the bottom line:
*I still don’t have my personal belongings from the office, as we’ve been locked out since this happened. (There was even a security guard on duty there 24/7 for most of the first week.) I still don’t know yet when I’m going to be allowed to go to the office and GET my personal belongings. I’ve heard an estimate of late next week, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
*I will receive no severance pay, and my final paycheck and the pay from my unused vacation time are tied up in the courts now, meaning the latest estimate is that I won’t receive those until at least February, and even that’s still a guess. I was able to apply for unemployment, but with the delay in that, plus a one-week delay to get benefits in my state, that first benefits check will be for just one week. All of this means that I will go a five-week period with just one week of pay. Ouch.
*We don’t know how long this unemployment will last, so we need to take steps now to save money. I think we’ll be switching to Internet phone and cutting out cable completely (basically the few things we watch are available online, so really not a big deal for us). We put in our notice at The Big Sis’ after-school program and her last day there will be a week from today, after which point she’ll ride the bus home. (She’s excited about that for sure!) We also decided to switch The Little Sis to Tues/Thurs at daycare, and I’ll keep her at home with me the rest of the week. My first instinct was to take her out completely, but for a variety of reasons, I’d prefer to keep her in if we can, so we’ll give this a try for a while and re-evaluate later if necessary. Hopefully it won’t come to that, though.
Overall I’d say I’m doing okay. I’ve taken this week to kind of refresh and regroup. I’ve kept up with my morning bike rides, and between that and dog walks during the week, I’m at about 30 miles for the week so far (and would still like to get out some this weekend if possible). I’ve read. I’ve napped. I’ve done some piddly things around the house. A break is what was definitely in order. Hopefully I find the motivation to get serious about job hunting soon, though I’ll admit that so far my motivation is lacking at the moment. In the meantime, I’ll certainly enjoy the extra time with my girls and hope that something good comes along soon.