During my nice Christmas break, I spent more money than I should have. I am normally careful about my spending, but I decided to let loose a little, and not feel guilty for every dime I spent. (That is not to say I did not feel guilty for many of the dimes I spent.) And in the back of my mind, I pondered the what-ifs. What if our old roof went? What if one of our vehicles needed a major repair (I did replace four tires on NY's Eve)? And what if one of us lost our job?
I think I can go ahead and make this generalization: Once you have been laid off, you know it can happen again, so it never leaves your mind completely. It may be tucked away, under some older memories or perhaps next to a to-do list. But it is there. And when your husband has had two pay cuts and no raises in six years, and neither a holiday party nor any type of gift the past few Decembers, you wonder how much longer that company will last.
Well, I think we are getting closer to an answer there. No one got paid last week.
When one of the hub's coworkers realized his direct deposit did not go through, he emailed the sort-of HR guy about it, and was told he was not sure when it would happen, because the PT payroll person was let go. The fact that that PT person and another were laid off sent a slight panic through me, but anytime she had taken off in the past, their paychecks were inevitably late, so I was not too worried.
The next day or so when there was still no paycheck, the same coworker sent an email to the owner, who replied (just to him) that things were not good, and although some things were in the works, he did not know when paychecks would come, but hopefully soon. My husband, however, received no email about this. If he had not talked to this coworker, he would have had no clue how bad things were (are!); husband, the coworker who sent the email, and one more guy work from home; the other 10 or so employees work out of the office several hours from Pittsburgh. Maybe they were told something.
I am trying not to panic, but I am not entirely succeeding. When you get laid off, you can at least collect UC. But I have no idea what you do in this situation. I like to think I would be on the phone or sending multiple emails to the owner, but the hub thinks there is little point. Yes, I know it would not change anything, and I would not expect much from a guy who could not even buy his in-house employees a pizza on Christmas Eve or send a (free) email thanking his employees for their work or wishing them a happy holiday. But I just don't think I could accept the complete lack of communication in a situation like this.
In the meantime, I will try to take some deep breaths and be glad we have some cushion in the bank. I will, however, probably continue to worry and be angry (in case you could not tell from my previous paragraph, I am pretty peeved).
And I will remind myself that like so many other things, this too shall pass.