So, the back story....
The Grumps had been at his job for over 14 years. The last 6 of them have been miserable. Yet, he's felt a tremendous sense of loyalty to this place, so he's stuck it out. Through years without raises or reviews, of being expected to do a job for which he does not have the title or the pay - let alone the respect. Training the revolving door of newly hired coworkers. Covering for his foreman while the foreman is off managing his other career. Being the only person in the building with the capability of running ALL of the machines in the machine shop (literally, the foreman doesn't even know how to turn on Grump's machine, let alone get parts from it).
Now, that's not to say he has been the perfect employee. Lord knows that he hasn't.
He's had a bit of an "attitude problem" so to speak. But, I honestly can't fault him for that. He's been expected to do many, MANY things that he's not paid to do. Without a raise, and without a review, and without even a simple "thank you" for a job well done. He seemed to have hit the glass-ceiling as far as pay is concerned, as he discovered a couple of years ago that the new -hires he was training were only making slightly less than him.
He voiced his opinions - in a helpful, solution based way - on many occasions over the course of a few years. Some were met with gratitude, others were shot down, and quite a few were ignored all together.
In the last few months, that helpful, solution based attitude has been replaced with a "I'll do the job you pay me to do, and not a whole lot more" attitude. He's asked for raises, begged for performance reviews... all being met with either "I'd love to, but I can't" or his personal favorite, "I'll get back to you on that".
The last 6 months of his time there have been absolutely miserable. I can't remember the last time he didn't come home from work at the very least frustrated - if not full-on pissed off. But, he was still being talked to (by their standards) as a valued employee. We really thought that he had been welcomed in to the "family" there (are all small businesses run that way?).
Until Monday. I heard him come back home at about 7am. Barely awake myself, I asked him what he was doing home. "I got fired" was his response. Unceremoniously tossed out like a piece of trash. He's angry, frustrated, depressed, and quite honestly - heart broken. In many ways, it's like a divorce. (You spend 14 years somewhere, and tell me how you'd handle the rejection of being fired.)
I know in my heart that this is a good thing for him. It's been time to move on from that place - from that industry - for many, many years. The fear of the unknown, and our fear of "what comes next" has been the main thing holding him there, stuck in the comfort of familiarity.
As I mentioned in my last post, he really does have the potential for some great opportunities. A career change is quite possible - getting him out of the dying (at least in MI) manufacturing industry. He has the opportunity to CHOOSE what he wants to do now, rather than falling into a job that he can't seem to get out of, and turning it into a career. There is the potential for him to go back to school for his associates degree, and to enter a field that he's dreamed of since he was a child.
So please, help me to remember that this is all for the best. That in the long run, this really will be a WONDERFUL thing for him, for us. We both really believe this with all our hearts. Yet, it's hard to remember that in those moments when the fear and depression creep in. Being a 1 income family is terrifying. Being unemployed for the first time in your adult life is terrifying. Having to go back to school after not being there for over 17 years is terrifying (especially when he was never a stellar student to begin with).
But the terrifying can be exciting, too. Can't it?
Saturday, August 16, 2008
So, the back story....