Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wife to be laid off

We knew this was likely as she works for a bank.

My wife has received notice that she will be laid off in 5 weeks.
The severence package is... unbelievably fair. Over a year of pay
and benefits (minus 401k matching, serously the only cut!).

My job has also become far less secure. :(
Oh, I have an out. By 'volunteering' for a high travel assignment,
I secure my position for a while. (In negotiation, I only found out yesterday.)
My previous boss wants me back and I do not have enough supporters to be
'bullet proof' at headquarters. :( But it means a ton of time away from
my wife and daughter.

Kinda sucks after getting another awsome review
(but pay raises are tiny this year, my lowest ever).
But my skill set has gone from being in short supply to a surplus with layoffs and
a few individuals 'reading the tea leaves' and taking early retirement.

Thank God we didn't buy. Why?
1. Our little two bedroom cottage has low rent (for the area)
2. Lawn service is included
3. Its not that hard to clean
4. Down payment sitting in CD's. :)
5. We can *easily* rent on just one income.
6. We were living as if we had bought a place that cost $850k, money has been 'tight.' Now that is an 'artificial tight' as we were pocketing the
difference into our 'car and furniture fund.'

One of the reasons I haven't blogged as much is the nervousness that these
two events would happen. Now that they have... at least we know how to adapt.
Heck, after travel pay and benefits, we should save more in 2009/2010 than
any other year. But I do hate the travel and we'll have to hire a maid (I refuse to let my wife handle cleaning chemicals while breast feeding).
I did this travel for years and burned out on it.
I've only been off it for three months and did not wish to go back. But in this
economy, its not a time to be picky. At least I'm not burnt out on travel anymore.

Oh, this travel is why I felt so qualified to do the national emotions. I'll be back at it. All corners of the US. Sigh... Hawaii travels to visit us not vice versa.

Family has volunteered to help my wife while I'm away. In particular, there will
be four weeks I'll travel while she must work. ugh...

Oh, if you travel and like to read. Buy a Kindle. I LOVE it! My one splurge lately. What book are you in the mood for? I have over a dozen loaded and two of my favorite authors are about to release a number of books onto the Kindle. Warning: the available selection is much more limited than Amazon advertises. Tons of classics, but weak on releases over the last few years.

Got Popcorn?

ps (late edit): What laptops do you recommend? My personal one just overheated/fried and needs replacement (right after a FULL backup, no file losses). I'm looking for a *tiny* one
as when I travel its best to have computer for work and another for leisure. Why?
#1, work turns off the wireless (no free hotel Wifi).
#2, no installing software on the work computer (e.g., games, firefox, etc.)
#3 I often leave the work laptop 'on site' for file transfers.

I'm seriosly thinking Linux, but how is the photo editing and speadsheets now? When I last used Linux, I had to dual boot into Windows for those features.

What I need:
100GB+ of storage (huge photo collection, mostly of my daughter, that I will not do without)
2GB+ memory
Minimal games capability (I haven't bought a new game in 3 years... I play maybe
one hour per week, but its good R&R when frustrated.)
3+ hours of battery life.
Some ruggedness as travel is hard on a laptop.

I own an external DVD writter (USB), so I can do without that built in.

I'm willing to consider an Apple laptop too. I guess its time to read the reviews..
But then again, if I give up the games, the Kindle's internet access is just good enough (and I could buy a portable USB frame for photos). Decisions... Decisions...



Rob Dawg said...

Macbook 13. Hands down.

The Anonymous said...

Neil - Im so sorry to hear this. Thats just awful news.

Thats the irnony of this thing. When it was just the bubble bursting, houses became cheaper by taking them away from those that couldnt really afford them, and being purchased by those that could. That was the best way, it punished the risky owners, and rewarded the patient renters.

Now that its the recession, houses are getting cheaper not by punishing the risky, but by punishing all of us (renters & owners alike). Homes are cheaper because less of us have the money to pay for it.

I want the bubble to come back :(

In any event, good luck to you and let us know how things are going...

wannabuy said...

Then anon,

Thank you. We should be ok.

My wife was off almost half a year on paid maternity leave and then back to work for four months with a very generous severance package.

Rob Dawg, why do you like the Macbook 13 in particular?

Since writing this post I have received quite a few e-mails from family and friends. I appreciate the support. But again, I'm not laid off. I'm just having to take a job with a high 'suck factor' to be sustainable.

And my sister has sent me information on safer cleaning products. ;)

I did find out more than one friend believes their job is in danger and one relative knows that they will be laid off.

Oh, my laptop fried as I put it down on a soft pillow to pick up and play with my daughter. Apparently sitting overnight with plugged cooling air vents wasn't good for it...

I still plan to buy a home after things 'settle down.' I'm really understanding why some bloggers recommend staying mobile until the dust settles.

Got Popcorn?

Westside Bubble said...

Good planning ahead, that you didn't overcommit to a mortgage, and glad your wife has such good severance.

My next laptop will probably be a ThinkPad T400 (14"). But my current 4-year-old T43 is still going well, just a little slow by current standards.

Rob Dawg said...

Rob Dawg, why do you like the Macbook 13 in particular?

Price point
reliability & warranty
durabilty and project useful life

My kid uses one at UCLA as a botany major with great efficiency. That's an oft overlooked issue. She doesn't slow her cpus and battery life with anti-virus and restarts and disk cleaning and crap.

I have a slightly dated last gen 17" which is great but a bit heavy/bulky.

HS kid has taken over the Macbook 13 in polycarbonate (white). She ummm, treats technology like cats treat garden lizards. She gets the same quizzical disappointed look when her toys stop working just like the kittehs.

IMO the Macbooks are cheaper and faster than most fully functional laptops based upon MS OSes. If less than fully functional is acceptable then one of the ASUS sub-notebooks Eee PCs are worth a look. I've even seen the Mac OS grafted to some models.

onewaypockets said...

fujitsu. Japanese engineered, reasonable prices. Macs are almost 100% more money for the same performance and mostly Chinese content. Try the for some attractive pricing.

Rob Dawg said...

Macs are almost 100% more money for the same performance

I think you mean the hardware purchase can run 20-40% more for equivalent hardware performance. Big difference.

James said...

Hello Neil,

As mentioned on the HBB, we are all going to end up eating a shit sandwich. I'm sure my turn is soon.

We have a couple long term contracts over at NOC. So, my area is growing. I would expect however, since we are touching on depressionary numbers in unemployment, that funding will be cut. These are pretty core programs too. We are doing some hiring still. Not sure if you are at Ray or NOC. Some EE/RF jobs are still available.

We of the NOC HBB crowd were wondering if we'd ever get a chance to meet up.

Anyhow, Good luck


sandman said...


Sorry to hear the news, but glad to hear that despite the suckiness, things aren't desperate. I know quite a few people who are backed into a corner right now. I really feel for them, but I tried to help a few years back. Sigh.

Don't discount a netbook. If you can live with the 10" screen (it grows on you), the new Eee PC 1000HE is great. I got one for $350 on sale, then for $20 I upped it to 2GB of memory (only supports 1 SODIMM, so you have to replace the existing 1GB - and you have to go into BIOS to recognize the new memory since they skip memory scans on bootup for speed). It should play any fairly old or non-demanding games. Like Half-Life, roller coaster tycoon, maybe WoW. Google is your friend, look up your specific games + "netbook". It has a 160GB disk and claims 9.5 hours of battery life (more like 8). You'll need your external DVD writer, this has no optical drive.

I have to say, I was very surprised at how fast the netbook was. I'm a major computer enthusiast, I have an overclocked i7 with 6GB of memory, SSD, and over 3TB of storage (plus tons of other stuff - THE ultimate high-end gaming system). Friends have bought this same netbook, since if I endorse it, it can't be slow :)

china-satibo said...

Satibo natural herbal sex enhancer - Satibo capsules are a Chinese herbal alternative to viagra!

[ ]

Satibo 100% Natural sexual enhancement herbal supplement!
Satibo capsules are the powerful energy agent which combines the ancient skills of traditional Chinese knowledge with state of the art manufacturing techniques to produce a most remarkable recipe.
Satibo capsules have been used extensively throughout Asia and the Middle East for many years, and the product is now rapidly gaining popularity in the western world.
Satibo is a natural alternative to the famous tablet manufactured by Pfizer. Satibo, however due to its 100% natural ingredients, does not have any of the side effects of its pharmaceutical competitors, such as headaches, fatigue, nausea and the infamous blue peripheral vision.
Satibo not only improves ones sexuality but also rejuvenates the whole system giving an intense feeling of well being. Satibo is beneficial to all age groups and is used by people from all walks of life, people who have never had sexual or erection problems use Satibo as it greatly enhances the sexual experience.
If you and your partner want to experience the best sex ever then choose Satibo!

bearmaster said...

Oh man that sucks, I'm sorry to hear about Nancy getting laid off.

We figure we better enjoy our time working while we can. After this Bruce and I will probably hole up in a ramshackle mobile home park somewhere outside of Las Vegas! I refuse to piss away good savings on California rent !

bearmaster said...

On the other hand, aren't you glad you didn't buy into the hype and get sucked into a bubbleminium mortgage? :)