Sunday, January 27, 2008

And The Breadwinner's Not Bringing Home The Bacon This Week, Either.

So Boyfriend/Fiance was working at this store, and he loved it there. He'd been working there for almost a year, and was about to start being able to take paid vacation time and stuff like that. Well, not too long after he started there, the one guy that hired him started working really hard to move Boyfriend/Fiance to higher positions. Somehow, it never seemed to happen.

Well, then the cool guy transferred out to another store that's bigger because he's on the fast track to management and needed the extra training that he'd be able to get in a bigger store. Funny thing is, on his way out, he pulled Boyfriend/Fiance and a couple of other guys aside and TOLD THEM THAT THEY SHOULD QUIT. He said that that particular store is going down fast because of some crooked management. Well, we didn't think anything of it, and sort of forgot about it until a few months later when a job in loss prevention came up. Well, that's something that Boyfriend/Fiance wanted to move up to, plus it was in the other store, the one that the cool guy had transferred to. So Boyfriend/Fiance applied, and also called over there to let his pal know that he'd applied for the position. Well, the cool guy was there at the interview and the manager of the store went ahead and told him that day that they had to interview a couple of other people, but that he was a shoo in for the job, that they wanted him, and to expect a call in a day or so.

Well, suddenly at his own store, a written warning shows up in Boyfriend/Fiance's file. Totally out of nowhere, and in fact he didn't even know it was there until another manager came up to ask him about it. They didn't bring it to him, didn't ask him to sign it, nothing. Just slipped it in there ... Because you can't transfer, change jobs in the company, or get promoted with any kind of written disciplinary action on your record.

So that sucked, but it worked out in the long run because we had been worried about how we'd handle the extra gas mileage if he got that job anyway. We just said, okay, no big deal, just wait it out and don't worry about it.

Well, then a few weeks later, Big One, one of the friends that had been staying here, got fired. On Thanksgiving night. So he fought the termination because he wasn't fired for not doing his job. He wasn't fired for not showing up, he wasn't fired for any legit reason at all. The termination papers called it, "failure to finish job duties", but what it should have said was "petty manager holds a grudge."

Boyfriend/Fiance and I got a little worried then, and the baby talk that had been going on was pretty much stopped dead at that point. Next thing we know, Christmas comes and goes, New Year's comes and goes ... and a few nights later, Boyfriend/Fiance comes home from work early ... Fired.

I guess you can't fight city hall, huh? They knew that Boyfriend/Fiance was the one that was helping Big One fight his termination, and the stuff that Big One had as evidence was pretty damning. He'd have had a lot of the management team over there fired, and the rest would likely have been disciplined in some way or other. Instead, Big One landed a way better job, and gave up the fight. But since they knew that Boyfriend/Fiance had been in on them having to sweat a little, he was the next to go, simple as that.

Simple as that?

Maybe for them. For them it was simple. Hire another person to step in and handle everything. Hire someone else they could ride for eight hours a night. But for us?

For us it meant something totally different altogether. For our little family, it meant the total loss of our income. Light bill, phone bill, cable bill, rent, gas for the car, and groceries all suddenly started to loom over us in the dark of the night like childhood monsters from under the bed. We'd toss and turn, one or the other of us would cry (mostly me, the stay-home parent who'd have a tough time re-entering the job world), and then we'd finally fall asleep in the early hours of morning ... usually with the early morning sun already starting to glow in our bedroom.

A few short hours would pass, and then our daughter ... our little tiny daughter who shouldn't have to hear things like, "Not today" and "We don't have the money right now", would be there at the bedside. "Mommy? Daddy? Wake up, let's have some breakfast."

So we'd drag out of bed, have breakfast with our little one, and then worry some more while we'd try to play as if nothing was wrong.

And that's the cycle we're still sitting in. No job, no income, bills looming out of the dark all night long, and the sweet innocent face of our toddler in the morning.