Oct 14 2011

Story from the Great Depression

This is not my story. It is my Grandfather’s. It has come to me via my father, in one of those “You think this is bad? I’ll tell you bad..” stories.

During the early 1930’s my grandfather was working as a truck driver for Coca Cola in central Kentucky. He was married with two infant children, my dad and my uncle. The depression was not only causing a tremendous loss of jobs, it was causing something we have not seen: deflation. Manufacturers were cutting the cost of their products in a vain attempt to stimulate demand. The only way they could do this was cut wages. My grandfather had his meager wagers cut in half, to a level that could not sustain his young family. There was no second job to look for – he was lucky to have anything, and grateful to Coke that he was not let go. The one consolation was that everyone else around him was in the same boat.

In a time before unemployment assistance and >25% unemployment, how did they survive? The money was just enough to pay the rent and for food for the children. My grandmother and grandfather survived for several years on a garden my grandmother grew in a small backyard plot. She had a green thumb that not only fed them but provided enough extra that they traded vegetables for other staples they needed. My father recalls a time playing in the garden that kept them alive.

Times eventually got better and my grandfather rose in the company and eventually retired as a VP. Still, until my grandmother moved into an assisted living center in her early 90’s, she always had a garden, always canned fruits and vegetables and always saved for a rainy day.

So when I think about how bad it is now, I guess my Dad is right, it could be worse.

We can survive this Great Recession.

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This post was submitted by Roger.

Aug 31 2011

Longevity Doesn’t Pay

All my life I have always heard that longevity in a job shows you are stable and looks real good on your resume’. Well, I am a stable person by nature anyway, so staying at the same job is no problem for me. The problem is the career path I chose. Actually, I didn’t choose it, I fell into it quite by accident.

Way back in 1982, I saw a want ad published by a recruiter for a dental assistant for $15,000. I inquired about it and when I had the interview with the recruiter, all she talked about was a job with Loyola Federal as a mortgage processor for $6700.00. I asked what about the dental assistant job? She said, “oh, that’s not available”. So there goes my start in the mortgage business. I was only 17 at the time and still living at home, so I was not pressed to make a certain salary. Anyway, fast forwarding to 2011, I made an observation. I never lost a job the first 14 yrs in the mortgage industry. In the last 16 yrs., I have been laid off 4 times. I have now been laid off for 7 months. I am a mortgage underwriter and my 30 yrs of experience apparently is meaningless in this crappy economy.

In my most recent job, 4 out of 8 people in our MD office were laid off a week before Christmas and only 9 days after the company Christmas party. Real nice, huh? The rest of us were gone when office was shut down all together, which was no surprise. Problem that I see is that in the first 14 yrs. I never lost a job because I would leave a job before it got bad enough for offices to start closing. I would say safe zone was 2 – 3 years. So I have concluded that longevity in a job doesn’t pay. Keep on moving..

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This post was submitted by Irene .

Jul 20 2011

Creative Micro Systems is a Load(of Sh!t)man

Oh boy! Here we go again! I got laid off from another small company trying to act like a BIG company:

Creative Microsystems, they build on-board truck scales. Loadman is the name of the product.

BOY! Is it ever a LOAD man, a load of s**t!

My job was to build the arm and fork boxes that record the weight of the dumpster that the truck picks up, also I have to build the cables to go with this system, the person next to me builds the meters that the arm and fork, record the weight information too.

When I started there, my trainer, a few months later he quit to go be an electrician, well with the 4 months training I got I took it and tried my best to fill his shoes.

Mind you I was hired as an assembler, not a technician to make this stuff work.

Anyway, I thought that Chris was my supervisor, I could not find him in the company for five mins. to ask him a question on when I got stuck, so I went to the next person up, Larry, his attitude was “why are you bothering me with this?”, I guessed that your supposed to figure this stuff out yourself… ok, with no training manual or accurate diagram of the boards on question, I plowed on the best I could, with no guidance, but a drawn up book I made myself from some old notes of which that book vanished.

2 people came and went of who I trained of what I was given the material to work with…. are you dear reader confused yet?

so then we got a 3rd person in, Peg, I trained her up to what material I had, in fact I made a copy of my book to give to her (mistake on my part never should have copied that book! I did that at Newton, once that got their “training manual” they terminated me) She went ahead and built the arm boxes and the fork boxes, she said she would build the arms if I would build the forks that they were too hard.

Sounds ok, she was having as many if not more problems with the forks, that I was having problems with, also I was building the cables, and putting together manuals on how this stuff works. Also I had to test the boxes, before we potted them.

With the potting material, some times you get a bad bach, well most of them were bad of which I made the stuff work, but wrote a note that the material was bad.

No help there.

Pegs and my work was shipped, my forks were fine, pegs arms were having problems, and came back, who got the blame? ME! Not Peg oh no, she would get upset don’t do that, blame someone who did not build that arm.

Now before you accuse me, I watched her like a hawk to see what she was doing right and wrong before we potted the arm box. They worked like a charm! And so did my work!


The installers must have messed some thing up bad out there, the stuff failed in the field, who got the blame? ME!

Because I got laid off was because of the problems with the fork boards (I got no help with them) Chris all he could do was give me a smarmy smirk and say some thing negative to “help me”

IE: I asked him “Could you please print me a few labels”, “I gave you those yesterday”, “let me look… no none here”, “If I have time I will otherwise I do not, ask Larry”

Nice huh?

There is lots more, but I won’t get into it

So I am laid off, and the production person they have left, cannot lift 50 lbs+ to build the cables, she is fragile, and she claims that she was hired as a assembler not a technician. I am in the same boat. they wanted an assembler. well the unemployment just shot up to 10.2% Thanks to Chris at CMS, HAPPY?

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This post was submitted by MFX.

Jun 22 2011

My Christmas Present? Getting Laid Off!

I was out Christmas shopping with my husband and got a phone call not to go into work the next day.I have been going to school for being a counselor and have three kids and a husband and took off too bring my kids to a doctor’s appointment and to take a final . They told me I took to many days off to keep my job.My son broke his leg and my husband made more money then me . so I ask what would you have done. I guess i was punished for being a mom which is my first job before any other.

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This post was submitted by Jill.

May 6 2011

Fired from TV Station, Now A Film Student!

It was 2008. In May, I left my job at my hometown television station as my wife and I left for “greener pastures” in the next state. A more tolerable schedule and pay scale.

While there were disappointments regarding the work environment, and it was a bad year for local TV overall, I felt secure, even when the salary freezes were announced. I was a hard worker, dependable, turned out my assignments quickly and satisfied clients; plus, the company had just invested in a four-day trip to a major city for training.

Six months to the day after being hired, my company had its annual “Thanksgiving lunch.” After I’d just finished my dessert, I got a call from the general manager, asking to stop by his office. Oblivious, I tried to figure out what he wanted. I still didn’t get it when the HR director was there when I showed up. I thought it might be a disciplinary thing, but couldn’t understand what I could have done wrong.

And that’s when it started. “Hardest part of my job … I hold myself responsible …”

What was I going to tell my wife, who I’d moved down to start a new life? How would we pay our bills? Would I ever realize my dreams of film school and filmmaking?

This story might have a happy ending, though. I’m in film school now, making my thesis feature, and it was inspired by my layoff and nine months of unemployment. You can learn more about it at the webpage I listed. I hope you will stop by.

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This post was submitted by Cineaste Auteur.