Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'm numb. And sick.

I'm sitting here trying so hard not to panic that I can't organize my thoughts. I couldn't even tell DD without crying. I've just been told that the company that I've worked for for most of my adult life has made it known that they are aiming to be pulling out of my city within the next four years or so. In fact the date they have stated will make me 5 months short of being able to go out with a pension. OMG.

To give you some background this company has been around in my city for over 100 years. We had almost 6,500 hourly workers (plus I don't know how many salaried) just three or four short years ago. This is the main industry in my area. My Dad worked here. There was a time I thought my kids would work here. My DD was working on getting the same trade as me (tool & die) to carry on the tradition. I've known that things are bad but I never believed it would get this bad. I've always believed that I'll retire with a pension from this company. And it's not just my company. I was told the other day that my ex's company (same industry) is talking about closing up here in two years if they don't get new product. He may or may not get to go with a pension; it will be close. Ten years ago we were the tool & die capital of the world; now we've got tool shops with for sale signs all over the place as the work is going to China. An entire industry is hemorrhaging here which means my trade will be useless.

I have such mixed feelings I don't know where to start. I feel guilty worrying so much about my own situation when I will likely have at least some options... perhaps even opportunities... if I look hard enough with an open mind, while there are others - young families - where both husband and wife will be out of work. My own brother is currently in the States where he now has to move in order to keep his job (different company, same industry). He's barely seen his wife in the last year as she's here trying to sell their house in a flooded market.

I know that I'll never find a job that pays what I'm earning now, or provide the benefits I currently get. I've been extremely fortunate to have what I've had. But I wonder if I'll be able to find something that will let me afford to stay in my house. Or if I'll have to sell it. I know it's only a house, and a modest one at that, but it's MY house and dammit I love this house and I've done all these renovations and finally made it my comfy little nest just the way I want it. And who the hell wants to start over pushing resumes at 50?! I can't stand the thought of going back to square one financially either. After my divorce I had to start from scratch again (of course the lawyers ended up with everything). I've worked really hard to build up some equity towards my retirement since then and now I'm going to have to start from scratch again?!

On the other hand I could sell the house and move in with DH. He'd be happy with that, and we've always talked about moving in together one day after we retire. I just wanted it to be in my house! lol And I've never been "supported" before in my life. I've always worked even when the kids were babies and frankly always been the bigger wage earner. I don't know how to be supported, as stupid as that sounds. I've always been able to do/buy/go where I want because I was the one paying for it. My independance is a huge part of who I am. No matter what I'll have to find work of some sort. And did I mention DH works in the same industry?

Maybe it won't come to any of that. Maybe we'll be able to convince the company to invest new product in our area. I know we're not going down without putting up a hell of a fight.

Then I think of this young lad living on the streets in Brazil and I feel really ashamed about all this bitching. I need to stop my whining and get a grip. I'll probably end up deleting this post.


Candace said...

Sorry to hear. Lots of people are in your situation today and it's no fun for anyone.

Keep breathing and think about what you can do today. Don't let thinking about tomorrow paralyze you. You will figure out something -- because you always do.

Best wishes.

knitty_kat said...

This is a great BIG HUG for you. I know how hard it is to start over, I seem to keep doing it. But at least it is an option.

Hang in there. I didn't realize you were in tool&die, that is what John does too - so I know what you are saying. At least you are in school & working towards something else.


Sauntering Soul said...

Jacqui, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I don't even know what to say. It just simply sucks.

Hugs and prayers to you.