May 18, 2014

Life Changes

There's been a whole hell of a lot of upheaval in the Z world lately. A lot of downers, truth be told.

GfZ was let go from her new job with no notice. "You're not a good fit for us." Well ... shit. Until a week later, when GfZ got a call from NY that her grandfather had a stroke and was in the ER. Immediate flight back, a week of keeping Grandpa company and comfortable, then a week or so of funeral and estate stuff. Suddenly losing the job looked pretty insignificant. On the upside, he's back with Grandma, and not suffering.

About five hours after my last post I went in to work for a scheduled mandatory staff meeting. The top brass and the union board were all present. Not a good sign. Short form: due to budget constraints, the department is closing the comm center and contracting out those services to another agency. There may be jobs for some of you but it's not in concrete yet. Estimated time frame: 90-120 days. Well ... shit.

MrsZ is fighting back and forth with an orthopod and an imaging center to get an MRI done on her shoulder, which has been bothering her for months - sometimes to the point of non-function. She's still trying to find a job out here and getting frustrated by the lack of response.

Now, to turn it around...
GfZ has a new "temp" job lined up. Starts next week. Unfortunately, it's three hours away. We went and scouted the area last weekend and checked out a room she's renting from a young soldier. He's squared away, the house is squared away, the commute from there to work is tolerable. She should be home with us for a day or two every week, although schedule changes may sometimes prevent that.

I will have a severance package and I'm cautiously optimistic about being hired on by the new agency. There are some speed bumps and it will likely be a pay cut, but it's a job with benefits. If that's the case, I can stuff the severance check in the bank and not worry about it.

In parallel with that, I'm starting to seriously consider going back to school. I'm hoping to take at least one class in fall semester, with an eye towards going back full-time in a year or so. The flavor of the week ... is nursing.

Don't get me wrong. I (usually) love dispatching. I'm a damn good dispatcher. But one point was driven home to me over the last eighteen months of job hunting and moving: the skillset is eminently portable... and the pay generally sucks. I read dozens if not hundreds of openings for dispatchers when I was looking last year. Most agencies were paying in the low-teens per hour or less. I was making the same money working for BBHIS, with far less responsibility.

But that's a rant for a whole different post.

Right now, we're addressing a few expenses we'd been putting off, while we know we have an income to handle them. We're making a few conscious splurges - nothing extravagant, but important to us. We plan to spend a day on a rental boat this week. My suppressor is still in the works. And, unfortunately, we're car shopping. (More on that in another post, soon.) The belts are being tightened, because we don't know what's coming ... but we'll get through it together.


Borepatch said...

Crap. I hope things settle down toute suite.

Old NFO said...

Thoughts and prayers Zer... Upheaval is NEVER easy... especially not all three at once!

Brigid said...

Sorry about the loss in your family, among all the other issues. It does seem to come in batches lately. Let me know if we can do anything at all to help. You always have friends and a roof over at are place when you're in the area.