My husband Dave has likened corporate America to the reality show Survivor. You’re in it until for whatever reason you’re not anymore, and then you hand Jeff Probst your torch and go home without the million dollars.
Dave was just voted off the island.
After 12 years at the same company, this one hurts. And I’m sharing not because we are looking for your pity. Because that’s the last thing we’re looking for. I CAN tell you, though, what you can do for us, or someone else who has lost their job:
- Please just listen. This is a hard thing for a family to go through. I want to talk about how this wasn’t Dave’s fault; he was just a pawn in a budget cut. And depending on what’s on Dave’s mind, there are a million different things he might want to vent about or talk through.
- While it might sound like an empty platitude, you can tell is it’s all going to be okay. We know it will, but I think it helps to keep hearing it.
- Feel free to make jokes. I think our sense of humor will help us get through this. Once our son Michael adjusted to the news, he asked what was for dinner the night Dave found out he was losing his job. Michael quickly stopped himself and said, “Oh, right, we’re poor. We’re having scraps from when we were rich.” We all need to keep laughing.
- If you know someone you think might be a good contact for someone in a job search, please tell us. Even if you think it could lead to a dead end, share it anyway. You never know.
- Don’t assume that we are embarrassed or ashamed. We’ve been explaining to our kids that this happens to people every day, because it does. There’s no reason for us to keep this to ourselves.
- Understand that this is kind of scary for us. Dave has been the primary wage earner for our family for almost 15 years. Yes, I work, but what I make teaching a few college courses and freelancing would be enough to cover our mortgage if we lived in our mailbox. So while we’ve got this covered, stepping into the financial unknown is uncomfortable.
- Remember that unemployment is not contagious. Please continue to check in with us. I’m sure we’re going to have down days, and once the first few weeks are over and Dave stops getting sweet, supportive calls and texts from colleagues and friends, we’re going to want to hear from you.
And seriously, Jeff Probst? Voted off the island right before the holidays??
Thanks for your support, friends.