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Finding Friends

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It is really hard to find friends. Maybe that is only my experience and no one else’s. I don’t know. Maybe I expect too much out of a friend. I am a Capricorn. I tend to expect perfection in everyone (including myself) and I am always disappointed. (Hmmm…I wonder why?)

My inspiration for this post is that two people who are really no more than acquaintances are moving away. But I was hoping, someday, my husband and I could consider them friends. It is actually the Pastor. Of my asbestos friend’s church. She often drags me to their events (see River Raisin Festival parade float for her church). We aren’t really members of that church. Although our names somehow ended up in the church directory (I think it has something to do with my asbestos friend being the church secretary). My asbestos friend and her family are very close friends with the Pastor and his family. But then again, they live on the same block. The only two houses on the block, to be more accurate.

OK. I’m babbling. But it seems like this always happens. Especially with a lot of my former co-workers. There are many I thought highly of and would have liked to hang out or go shopping with outside of work. But it never seems to happen. Then they move. Or get laid off. Or the whole company closes. And I will never get the chance to develop a real friendship with them. I will never see them again. Sure, Facebook will give the illusion that we have stayed in touch. But it is just an illusion.

In a few cases, I have actually gotten to hang out with co-workers more meaningfully. But as I had one of the longer commutes to work, distance makes things difficult.

As I said earlier, I expect too much out of my friends. I expect more than just a Christmas card once a year to consider someone a true friend. I expect a friend to be there for major life events. Maybe not all of them, but most of them, with a good excuse for the others. I don’t like to feel like I am the one making the effort all the time. I am a petty person who keeps mental notes in my head. I know life gets in the way. But if I made the effort to see you multiple times with no return, it wears on me. It darkens my friendship aura. And if I haven’t heard from you in five years (and I know you have my phone number and address), don’t expect one message announcing your marriage on Facebook to make me count you as a friend again. I don’t care if you were my maid of honor at my wedding. I hope the best for you out in the world, but we don’t know anything about each other’s lives.

So, Ya. I expect an occasional email or letter or phone call or lunch or visit or major life event participation. Call me a bitch. As I write this, I realize I am not always a very good friend according to my own standards. This goes back to what I said about being disappointed in everyone, including me.

Back to the Pastor. He and his wife always welcomed us to church functions, even though we were just tagging along with my asbestos friend. They welcomed us to their house for food and casual socialization, even though we were just tagging along with my asbestos friend. The Pastor came and visited us at the hospital on day four of our two day stay (of an eventual eleven day stay) at the hospital for my son’s first surgery. I coordinated Halloween costumes with the Pastor’s wife and my asbestos friend (we were girls from the 80’s. Because we are.) The Pastor stayed with us at the hospital for like five hours on the first day of my son’s two day stay (yes, it was only 2 days total) for his second surgery. He was a pleasant distraction. But there is no denying he has seen us at our worst. He saw me break down and cry as they wheeled my son into surgery, and he pretended not to notice. Although he was probably just grateful it wasn’t one of his kids. And I wouldn’t blame him. He is someone I thought if I was really freaking out about life I could go and talk to him. Now I guess I will never know.

So, two more people I will never get a chance to fully be friends with are leaving my life. It is so hard to find truly nice people who are funny and goofy. I need to find a way to hold on to them better.

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What I Learned This Week – 6/17/12

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This week I learned that seeing my old co-workers feels like we all fought a war together. I am pretty sure most co-workers that get together don’t feel that way. But in a lot of ways, working for the company I used to work for felt like fighting battles. It was one thing after another, which I guess is always how it is in business. But somehow our company was always the underdog. One year at Christmas time, we even had a general leaving company-wide voicemails telling us that if we didn’t make the plan numbers for the year, our company would be history. Little did he know, we limped along for another year (without him).

Seeing each other again, we all seemed happy (although some sad circumstances surrounded our reunion). I don’t remember anyone looking happy the last year my former employer was in business. So, I guess the more correct statement would be “we all fought a losing war together.” Instead of comparing battle scars, we compared what companies we have sent our resumes to, interviewed at, and what we have done to keep or lose our house. It was kind of like a giant unemployment support group.


I also learned this week that I need to start a driving school. Drivers are horrible! I do not seem to be the only one who is noticing this. The laws of the road are one thing that I already know. And I feel like they are going to waste, as no one else is following them. The only thing I would need to start this business is buy a car and fit it with one of those Driver’s Ed extra brake devices. Which, I don’t have the money to do. But it I did, the car would be mostly tax deductible, as it would be for my business.

Normally I am scared of teenagers. But there is one area where they are vulnerable—their quest for a driver’s license. After all, a license if a privilege, not a right. If I owned a driving school, I would have ultimate power over them! (Insert Evil Laugh here.)

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

An Epiphany

I had an epiphany the other day. Unemployment is the new retirement.* Think about it. Ponder the deepness of my thought.

Now, past generations had pensions from their companies to provide them income in their retirement years. Gone. Social Security was always standby monetary security (it is in the name, afterall). Social Security will be gone sooner, rather than later. 401ks are a good idea, if your employer puts in contributions (mine stopped several years ago) and the stock market doesn’t take any giant nosedives. Oh, right.

So, from the unscientific examples above, you will see that people will have to continue working longer. This will cause them to miss out on those “Golden Years”, of providing free daycare to their grandkids, going on casino trips, and spending winters in warmer climates.

But, think about it. Retirement was at the end of your life! You had to WORK for 65 years (or 66, or 67,…) to get there. I don’t know about you, but 8 hours a day seems like a long time to me, let alone 8 x 5 x 52 x 65! And you could be in bad shape physically or mentally by then, and not be able to enjoy retirement. Or, the worse, YOU COULD BE DEAD BY THEN!

Now, think about this. In this economy, it seems as though everyone gets a year (or more!) to be unemployed. Hopefully congress keeps passing bills to keep the unemployment beneftis coming as well (fingers-crossed). This has become my current state of affairs. And I swear I am truthfully doing a dilligent job hunt. But I am also going to enjoy my time off. While I am young. While I am healthy. While I can watch my son master the art of crawling and buy him cute things at garage sales. I want to reconnect with my husband again. I want to shop at Ikea with my asbestos friend. I want to take a breath. I was at my last job for 12 years. In another 12 years I will be 47. Whoa. See, I need to take a breath.

I realize I should be worried. But I just am not. I had little control over my company liquidating and laying me off. While I look for my dream job or my next job to pay the bills, I am going to enjoy a little of my retirement now.

*NOTE: funnygurl2 is not a moneyologist and you should always make all money and life decisions for yourself.

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