Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Unemployment

We used to be D.I.N.K.S (Dual Income, No Kids). Ah the good ole days...the mid-90s; flush with disposable income; buying power-moon-roof equipped, leather seated automobiles; vacations in Bermuda and Hawaii; big screen TV with Home Theater/Surround Sound...*sob* Now look at us. Stock portfolio worth nearly nil. Darling toddler to feed and cloth and GASP both of us are unemployed. From yuppie to Walmart shopper in 1 year. Oh the humanity!

I was on maternity leave from a major telecommunications company when the axe fell on my head. {cough AT&T cough cough} At the time I really thought it was a blessing in disguise. I had pretty much decided when my leave was up, I wasn't going back to work. The Stay-At-Home-Mommy gig was too good to give up! Plus why worry? We could live very comfortably on my husband's salary alone...right? I actually played a few of my old "mosh pit" standards and slammed till my ears bled...the joy! No more hour commute each way, no more early mornings, no more sitting in endless traffic. Life was sweet! And now I was eligible for unemployment benefits, a "pension enhancement" (woo frickin hoo) and special outplacement services to teach me how to interview in the "real" world. Suckers!!

Fast forward a year...HP announces layoffs. Crap! Hubby has managed to survive 2 corporate take-overs (DEC to Compaq and then HP), multiple layoffs, and they finally handed him his head on a platter. In his case, with 20 years of service at his back, his severance was significantly better than mine. We would have more than enough money to live on for a year. Woo hoo! He could find a job in a year no problem...right?

Fast forward another year...unemployment benefits have long since run out for both of us, the bank account has dwindled alarmingly, we are sifting through the tattered remains of our stock portfolio to see what we can unload (all at a loss, of course). Hubby is now seriously considering a career change to x-ray technician...or the wonderful world of Radio Shack or CompUSA (hey, at least they are hiring). How long before we have to dip into the retirement savings? How long will I have my broadband internet connection and digital cable TV? Wonder if anyone wants to buy my house full of hi-tech toys...perhaps on Ebay.

No comments: