In Her Words
Who says it can’t happen to your family?
Well, that didn’t take long. They used my husband as a scapegoat to fire a dozen-plus people at the beginning of the year. He did the dirty work. He did it because he is a team player and that was what was expected of him. Well, thanks coach, because now you’ve fired my husband.
Irony or bad karma, or whatever you want to call it, has a harsh way of biting a person in the employed ass. My husband was terminated last week. In the 15 years he has worked for the company, there has never once been a bad performance review; he’s never not shown up for work; there has never been a problem. He has been promoted within twice and was most recently the president of the third-largest market in the country.
What did he do wrong? Is this a numbers game? Not in his case, because his replacement was named the following day. A replacement who just happens to be ‘in’ with my husband’s former boss.
Isn’t that nice?
So now, we sit, a family of five, on a severance that is nice, but there are stipulations. He has a non-compete. He loves the industry he works in and has already fielded more than a handful of calls from colleagues who would love the opportunity to have him work for them. But can he? Is his former company slitting his throat twice? Saying he is no longer welcome to work there, but now, he can’t work for any of the competition?
I can see if he did something wrong. The only thing he did wrong was everything they asked of him, in my opinion. He has been a hard worker, a motivator, a mentor; he’s a people-person in the way that his presence makes you like him immediately. He is a go-getter; he can make a difference; and he can do what is required of him.
And he did exactly that. He did what was required of him. In January, he had to let a portion of his staff go, because of the recession, because the company was suffering, because the numbers weren’t there, because the big guys told him to do it. So he did. And it was a really difficult time for him. He knew these people were hard-working, goal-oriented employees, and he didn’t want to have to let them go. But he did it, and at the time, we were thankful that it wasn’t his head on the chopping block.
Now, his head’s been chopped. Severed at the core with no notice, no inclination that they were displeased with him. Actually, they weren’t displeased with him, not his immediate bosses. He’s welcome to work in other markets within the company, but this was a decision based on numbers made by the private company owners. People who know nothing of my husband’s work ethic, integrity, dedication to his job and the industry he loves. They knew nothing but his name and the numbers that were being punched in, and because those numbers weren’t adding up, his name was the one that got cut from the list.
Through all of this, we are looking at the good of it. And first and foremost what comes to mind is that it is only a job and not anyone’s health at stake. It’s practically summertime, which, if you had to choose a time of year to be without work, this would be it. He’s very helpful around the house, and I am already reaping the benefits of having an extra set of hands around. And there is the mid-day sex, afternoon lunch dates and carpooling assistance to look forward to. He’s happy to not be jumping out of bed at 5:30 a.m. like he does most days to get to the gym. He’s thrilled to be able to make it to all the soccer, softball and basketball games we’ve got going on. There is much to STILL be thankful for.
And we are “glass three-quarter full” people. Opportunities abound. He is level-headed and smart, has enough contacts in the industry to dream a bigger dream than the one he was living. They may have slammed the door on him really, really hard, but if I know my husband, he’s already looking at all the windows of opportunity to decide which one to leap through. And I can’t wait to watch my husband’s dreams flourish, which I know they will.