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At Least I Still Have a Job, Right?!

Well….at least I still have a job, right?! That’s what I keep telling myself.

Yesterday I was told by my employer that I had a choice. I could take a significant salary decrease—my salary will be cut in half—or, I could resign effective December 1, and continue to receive my regular pay check through the end of February.

At least I still have a job right?

I haven’t felt emotion like that in years. My boss sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher as he talked to me and my head was spinning as I thought about our mortgage, car payment, bills, food, my impending drug habit, and of course, my kids.

I moved my family from Virginia to Chicago for this job—one of the biggest decisions of my life. I lived in an empty house by myself on an air mattress for 6 months while my wife and kids stayed in Virginia trying to sell our house. I saw them once a month during that time, if I was lucky. I’ve busted my ass, taken the organization to a new level on many fronts……and now….

But, at least I still have a job, right?

People all over the world are being handed pink slips today, tomorrow….. People who’ve probably worked twice as hard and long as me are now sitting at home fretting over how to pull the pieces together. And my heart breaks for them.

Yesterday as I sat there I was shaking. I wanted to cry. I wanted to beat the ever loving shit out of something. I wanted my mommy. I wanted to go back in time. I wanted to give my boss shaken-baby syndrome. I wanted to never feel this helpless again.

I stood up, tucked my tail between my legs, packed my shit up, walked out of the building, grabbed a beer and shot of Jager and started my journey home. The longest walk of shame in my life. There’s nothing less manly than coming home to your family, wearing the “bread-winner” hat, and having to explain that our lives will significantly alter and that we have a major decision to make.

I’m beginning to see potential paths appearing in front of me. Some are riddled with obstacles and have risk written all over them. Others are straight, smooth roads and make the most sense. The difficult part will be thumping myself hard enough in the nuts to buck-up, pick a path and start walking down it. The other difficult part will be not letting this beat me mentally….not taking it personally….not letting it affect the way I view myself as a person, worker, father, husband. And I won’t….

So I’ll rally, figure this shit out and hope for the best. At least I still have a job, right?

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Reader Comments (40)

Oh, don't ever think that you are less "manly" because of a pay cut, or even a job loss. That breaks my heart. It is this economy and NOT you. I can tell by your wit and your banter, that you are one strong bastard. I bet those near and dear to you don't care what amount of money you make. They care that you are there for them every night and every day and that you love them. That is what matters. So be the strong bastard you know you are, face the new day, and go kick Karma's ass if you need to. Cheers, Hugs, and All That Happy Shit, LadyWanderlust (LisaB)

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisaB (LadyWanderlust)

Just wanted to lend you some support and hugs. My husband received a similar notice last year in October. We have lost a lot of material things since then, but we have each other, our family and our health. In a way it simplified our life. We moved back home for a bit and now we are on our own in Texas with a new awesome job and a different life than we are used to. I am enjoying the ride. I wish you and your family the best and hope that you can make the decision that is best for you!

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara

See, I knew you could do it! I knew you'd take a seriously shitty situation and be able to put it into words that are not only powerful but also extremely moving. You have a gift that many people do not have. I had no idea you'd sacrificed so much to move to Chi-town. You seem to be a true fighter, and I just know that something good will come your way. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time. Maybe you are meant to do something else, something greater than what you have been doing. Hang tough and keep pouring your heart out into your writing. It's not only cathartic for you, but it's also highly entertaining for those of us who are lucky enough to read it.

NFM :-)

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternuckingfutsmama

thanks for putting everything in perspective. i firmly believe that you and your family will survive. its just one obstacle on the road of life. you seem to be an amazing father, husband and writer. you make me smile with your posts and make me envious of what you do as a father/husband. you will survive this and come out stronger than you went in.

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterffades731

That sucks, truly. The fact that you and your family moved, and this is the 'thanks' you get... I'm assuming you are already looking for something new, and good luck as you do.

Two years ago, my husband lost his job after 8 years with the station while I was on maternity leave (which is one year long in Canada, with a $473/week paycheque from the gov.) Somehow, we survived on my pittance + his severance, and actually ended up having a really great time during those lean, lean months. He ended up giving freelance a shot, and things could not have worked out better for our family. I certainly hope that your story has a similar happy ending.

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkgirl

What nuckingfutsmama said. You write well. Enjoyed the piece tremendously. I am certain you will end up better off than where you began the story. Think you believe that too. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Ackerman

That's a definite hit below the belt, ouch. At least, like you said, you're in fine company these days with everyone on the line, not just the low-hanging fruit on the tree. Not that it makes it any easier to deal with.

On the upside, you're an intelligent, tough bastard and clearly have put lots of thought into difficult decisions before and came out on top, so of all the people who will figure out a way to dust off and get back up swinging, my bet's on you. Good luck and let us know if we need to ship you some fishnets. ;)

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNathan Pralle

Hang in there, honey.

My Fluffy Bear and I both lost our jobs within a week of each other. We only have two furkids, so they cost less than the ones you have (although, talk to me again after I come back from the vet today) but you are right, a lot of us are facing these challenges.

But it's kinda like the Princess and the Pea. Yes, other people are suffering, but you are entitled to go through your own grieving process.

Thing is, as hard as these moments are, when we look back on them after we have moved on, we usually see that they were the start of something good. When a door closes, a window opens.

I got my new job through networking my ass off. After you have taken a few days to process, hit LinkedIn and your address book. For all you know, you'll end up with a new job in California!

If you need some advice on how to maximize LinkedIn, mail me. Also please mail me and tell me if you are looking for another position and what you do. If I know anyone who can help you, I'll connect you with them.

Chin up, mate.


November 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterittybittycrazy

Oh man. That so sucks. I know you will be okay and you know you will, too, no matter what you decide to do. You know new doors opening when others close and all that. I'm sorry you were put in this position.


I kind of enjoyed the image of you giving your boss shaken baby syndrome.

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie (@GoodByeGracie)

I'm thinking it's time to kick off the writing career, my friend. You're damn talented and have the guts to say what so many of us are thinking. You're kind of an adventurer of the written word. So pick up your boo-boo lip and go kick ass at work; prove to them you're worth every half-penny they pay you. The alternative? Phoning it in and hating your life. You're better than that. This economy will improve, but you won't even be worried about it because you'll be writing kickass freelance articles for Men's Journal and GQ six months from now. Aim high ... you've got the goods.

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

You have an immense talent as a writer, but your biggest gift is your heart. It pours out through your words, whether it's your blog posts or your tweets. I hope your humourous (see, I'm Canadian) outlook on all things awesome and all things sucky will help get you through, as will your amazing family. You are passing on a fantastic gift to your children with the way you see the world.

By the way - very shitty. I am in the "your job is no longer needed" camp, and as the main breadwinner, things are very uncertain. With an amazing circle of people, we will survive (cue disco music.... and..... fade....)

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJacki (JackiYo)

Listen daddy, you are ALL man. It sucks for sure but you will come out on top. When one door closes (or gets chopped in half) another door opens. Not to sound all Oprah-y put it out to the universe. It can't hurt, right? Don't worry about the drugs lover. I'll share my hit. Just open your mouth. Keep that tongue inside though. I'm a married woman. Chin up!

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLady Of The House

Pay cut in half?! Well that sucks like no tomorrow. Screw this effing economy and the horse it rode in on.

I have no great words of wisdom for ya. You gotta do what you feel is right for you and your family - whatever that is. But you seem like the type of person who takes the bull by the horns, so I know you'll be okay - you're just going to have to travel on a bumpy road for a bit to get there.

Wish I could write as eloquently as you, but just know your buds (old AND new!) are pulling for you and are excited to see where "the-road-too-often-traveled-by-so-many-these-days" takes you.

Big Texas Hugs (ours ARE bigger!),


November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDRC

First of all, I just want to say how incredibly moving it was to read this post. It is not often that people share their stories like that. IMHO,the whole "breadwinner" thing is overrated. A family works together in good times and bad each contributing in the way that is best. I myself have been in a similar situation and although it was painful while I was going through it, I found that in the end it was much more beneficial for my family and for me. I just needed a good kick in the pants because I never would have made that decision on my own. I'll keep your family in my prayers.... Stay strong!

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenniferG

Damn. This is shitty news.And right before the holidays, too!?! Double Damn. If only your blog could pay the bills instead. You can do it! You're like the daddy version of Dooce, but funny.

Sending best wishes for you. Stay strong!

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAimee @ Ain't Yo Mama's Blog

In 2008, Hubby quit a job to take a new job, only to get laid off from that job six weeks later. Found another job then got laid off again four days after Christmas. I took a 20% pay cut, then two months later was forced to take one day a week off unpaid (which, overall, amounted to a 40% pay cut). But at least I still had a job, right? Was lucky enough to find a new job in August and told my old boss to fuck off.

So what's my point? It sucks a monkey's ass. It's hard, it's stressful, you and your wife will fight a lot. But you will get through it. I know that doesn't mean a steaming pile of shit right now, but it's true. Somehow or another you manage.

I will drink a beer for you.

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLori

I've been wandering the shopping aisles of a store thinking about how to respond to you and your news. I'm one of those bothersome "look on the bright side" kind of people. I decided on KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. We all have tremendous belief in you, your abilities, your heart, your humor, your devotion & commitment. The question is: DO YOU?

Go make something happen. What I know for sure is if you stay open to the signs from the. universe, a way will always be made for you that you would have never seen coming.
Scary times? Yes indeed.
You...weak? Huge f*cking no!
Exciting times are coming? Hell Yes!

Keep your fans posted on the progress. We'll all be applauding....and we're just a tweet away from helping to hold you up when you need it!

Kim Jenkins

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim Jenkins

AW I am so sorry!

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Jones

I know its hard to wrap your head around what's next, for you and you family, but you are strong and you've a great writer and you have a great sense of humor that most people..well you know, lack all together. Hubby and I are sending good vibes your way and we know you will get through this, maybe you could apply at penthouse forum? :)

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCrazysahm

well crap.

you will be ok though... you will be better than ok...

no more platitudes - but commiserating with your stink news

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjane

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