Tuesday, October 28, 2008

<-- BUM

As of Friday 10/24/08, I am unemployed. My clients are home builders, and with all the hedge funds and banks blowing up, nobody can get a loan to buy a house... several of my clients have gone out of business, left town, or have downsized to a skeleton crew. It stands to reason that there's not much to do, but our office is small, and there always seemed to be work to do.

Well, I guess the work ran out. Evidently my manager has been fighting for my position for months, but Corporate finally won out and my position was cut. I'm out of a job, and let me tell you, it feels weird.

I always had this idea that I wasn't the kind of person who would get laid off. I sort of felt like for that to happen you must have put yourself in a bad position to begin with, and that if you're good at your job they won't get rid of you.

When I left my job 2 years ago for this other job, my old boss mentioned something about the security not really being there for a company that only does residential engineering because it's tied too closely to the housing market, but I never thought it would happen to me. When the market turned south about a year and a half ago or so I figured there'd be enough work in Tucson to support the 2 engineers in our office, and even if they closed our office I pretended I was so good at my job that they'd probably move me to a California office or something.

Well, the company has been laying off people left and right for months, and while I still didn't think I'd be hit by it, I was clearly wrong... here I am at home on a Tuesday afternoon, still wondering exactly what I'm going to do.

It's really not that bad. I've applied for Unemployment Insurance, and I am going to see about Food Stamps. At first I felt bad about that, since I have some money saved up... then I realized that this is exactly what unemployment insurance is for - I've been paying premiums for 10 years so that if something like this happens I don't have to drain my savings, now that I've been laid off I have absolutely no qualms about making a claim. After all, I only got 1 week worth of severance. I've never been laid off before, but that sounds like it's not very much.

So what's the plan? Look for a job I guess. This is literally the worst possible time to look for a job in structural engineering - especially residential. Not only is the housing market all fucked up, but in addition, it's been my experience that business is slow during the holiday season. People go on vacation, things slow down... it's always been my favorite time of the year because there's so little to do. I find it hard to imagine a company wanting to hire someone at this time of year even if the economic times were better.

But that's OK. If it takes a couple months to get another engineering job, that's OK. In fact, I hope to take this opportunity to pursue some interests in the gaming/game design industry. I've been wanting to do that for several years, but I couldn't justify leaving my nice, cushy engineering job to do it. Now that that part's been taken care of for me, I have a chance to do something I've been wanting to do.

I'm not worried at all. In a couple months I'll probably have another engineering job again, and in the meantime maybe I'll be able to do some things I've wanted to do, and maybe I'll spend some time up in Seattle visiting Renee, Mohan, and Loose Cannon in the process.

No comments: