I was at work yesterday, working. This has been a very big week on many fronts but the elation of a shiny new President Obama was going to end quickly. I just gave notice that I would finally be cutting back my hours (And it scares the hell out of me, because I just kissed 25% of my income away) due to chronic illness. It was time.
And my Mother has been dealing with issues related to my Grandmother’s health. My Grandmother can no longer care for herself and it was a very tough time for my Mom, to know her Mother can never go back home again.
And then what? I get a phone call from my Mother that she’d just been laid off. She had been working at the same company for over ten years, underpaid and overworked and taken for granted. And to top things off, they escorted her from the building, letting her know she could clear up her desk after working hours.
I understand the need to do this but I also feel it’s just cruel. And to hear my Mother sobbing on the phone, my Mom who had already been dealing with so much recently, it broke my heart. She’s worked her whole life, she deserves better than this.
My Mom knows the reality of things, she knows that at 61 years old she will find it very difficult to get another job and she is just not ready to retire yet. Unfortunately, my Mother doesn’t have much retirement savings and was hoping to really stockpile in the last few years of working.
My Mother is a young 61, she still goes to concerts and loves her life and her granddaughter very much. I don’t think of 61 as “old”, not anymore. And personally, I think it should be her choice. It’s up to her.
The bright side is that she is technically employed until February 18th and she has health insurance, etc. She is going to visit every doctor possible and get anything taken care of before her last work day. She is also receiving three months severence and then will have a chance to apply for unemployment. After she had had a chance to calm down (She told me through sobs that she had to pee and that they probably wouldn’t let her back in the building. My Mom is a spitfire, she said she might as well just pee in their parking lot) she realized that she had time to find another job and time to help the transition for my Grandmother from her rehabilitation home to a new permanent home.
There is a lot to do, they have to clear out my Grandmother’s belongings (I’ve already been offerred her China and her sewing machine) so they can either sell her house or rent it out. My Grandmother has two years savings to pay for her care already socked away and she’s one of those lucky ones. My Grandfater worked for ConEdison for forty years, she gets his pension and his social security. But we know times are different now.
But our whole family has already sworn that we would be there for each through thick or thin and that the next few months were going to be tough ones. I told my husband the news and his first reaction was, “Do I need to clean out the spare room?” Yes, he’s a good guy. If it came to that, my Mother could move in with us and she could rent her condo and pay her mortgage that way. There are always things to be done.
And so, when Barack Obama said that we’d all have to sacrifice, I knew he was right. We all knew he was right, that we would all have to help each other. I just think yesterday’s news was so out of the blue. But just as many here have already proved, most of our jobs are not “safe”.
So please, say a little prayer, send a little thought to my Mother and Grandmother, they need it but I also know that it will all work out just fine.
Both women have worked their whole lives, my Grandmother caring for her four kids and then my ailing Grandfater. She’s always been there to help raise her Grandkids, she also deserves better. She’s 4’9″ and a tiny little Italian lady, everyone thinks she’s just adorable with her chin hairs and her cooky hair cut. She’s just my Grandmother.
Update: I just got this email.
Toshiba/Tabs in Irvine and they laid off about 100 employess between Monday & Tuesdaybasically did the same thing walked them right out and wouldn’t let them get their personal effects they have to come back Friday after 6pm.
And a personal note since this is A California Blog, my husband teaches at Cerritos College and we’re not even sure he will get paid next month. So how are we going to pay our mortgage with an IOU?