“People Are Our Most Important Asset…”

…is one of the quality mantras that is posted on huge signs and even on everyone’s security badge throughout the company I used to work for. Well, now I know which people they are referring to.

I was terminated in January 2009 after fifteen years of exemplary service (I never had a negative review in all that time) along with a few others to reduce operating cost in the plant. My job there was to design and oversee the building of high dollar manufacturing systems. Our department was the only department in the plant that was actually required to track cost savings and avoidances related directly to our job performance. There was a minimum yearly goal.

In all those years I enjoyed my work, only having to deal with one unsavory issue, that is a manager who didn’t have a technical background and couldn’t fully understand what I actually did and the fact that he spent 80% of his time trying to be promoted. It was an extremely political atmosphere.

Then in 2008 we were subjected to increasing news of the wonderful, huge facilities they were building in China and the multitude of young Chinese who worked for US$70 per month (Yes they actually gave presentations on the subject).

Two months after being terminated I was notified that I was among a group eligible for retraining benefits provided by the federal government for dislocated workers. In light of my situation that did ease the pain somewhat. It gave me and my family something to work toward.

Then yesterday, 3 months after notification of these benefits, taking entry examinations, filling out mountains of paperwork, speaking with counselors, signing up for classes, etc. I received a call informing me that a mistake had been made and that I was not eligible for these retraining benefits. Sorry.

So now here I am, back were I was that fateful day, fearing for our future, having to tell my daughter that I can’t send her to college now, too young to retire and too old to be hired into the most competitive job market in 80 years.

Yes I can tell you who those people are in the quality mantra.

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This post was submitted by jeffrey hildebrand.

One Response to ““People Are Our Most Important Asset…””

  • laidoffguy Says:

    Hopefully you have found some leads or work by now. If not, stay the course and hang in there! It took me 4 mothts to find consulting work, and I too was laid off back in Jan ’09.

    I wish you the best!

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