This story started a few years ago. To be more exact, it was December 15, 2008 after coming back from my vacation. The plan was to stay working with the same company that I had been working for the past 13 years as a contractor. I just returned from a well deserved vacation, after having worked for almost 4 years, as a member of the transition team. We were in charge of moving two plants or mills, located in the northwestern part of the United States.
We had to work as many hours as was required to get the job done. My responsibilities were to make sure all the technical requirements were met. I was involved with 75% of the equipment leaving these plants. I had to prepare the equipment and make sure everything was functioning accurately.
Drawings were reviewed, and I made sure they were corrected if the need was there. The developing of the spare parts was done, and the critical parts were ordered from machine shops I was using for this transition. I had the responsibility of training the technical personnel, coming from the other two plants where the equipment was going.
Some of the training was done by me, consequently it was indicated that my expertise was very broad, and that I needed to make sure the transfer of knowledge was done, including all the small details. This responsibility was very important to the success of the transition.
I was involved in many other projects, since production needed to keep going until the end. I was called all the time with technical issues, but everything was taken care of with much dedication.
The transition was a success. We moved the last machines in September 2009, tests were performed, and the machines were put back in production. The project of 4 years was done in record time. This was the moving of two complete plants.
Because of my knowledge of the equipment I had my last assignment, and it was to be the mechanical consultant for the 3.5 million dollar project, which started a few months earlier. I had to work many nights, checking a mass of drawings, to make sure the packages were correct. This corporation had the contract to build 5 machines, and to improve the outcome of each machine. This was the first time they had seen our products. I had to spend many months with each of the divisions during the whole process of building these very unique machines. What is more ironic is that the managers in charge of the transition project were already promoted, and moved to their new assignments. I had been assigned to the engineering team in charge of the project, as none of these managers had any idea how the machines performed, yet they all had come from headquarters.
This is the background of my story, as I was expected to report after my return from vacation to the manager in charge. I had a flight already set for the coming Monday after my arrival from my vacation, but there were a few things not very clear. The day that I was returning home before going to my vacation, a message came via e-mail, in which I was asked to be in a teleconference meeting. The meeting was very close to my departure time but I made the call. A few things were said, such as management was planning to extend my stay with the company, but not as it was originally planned many months before.
To me that did not sound good… something was wrong with this scenario. After listening to their plan, I just told them right now I couldn’t make any decisions. Apparently they were awaiting or expecting a decision right away. I just wanted to get home and leave the next day for my long anticipated vacation. I was very tired, and very stressed; I had been traveling for about six months straight, and Living out of a suitcase one or two weeks at a time…which doesn’t go well with me, especially not having my family around.
When I returned home from my vacation which was Sunday, it was snowing. I drove all the way to the airport and received a call from my traveling partner, saying I was not to board the airplane. I asked why not. Apparently the manager in charge thought that I was not employed any longer with the company. That raised a big red flag, because as far as I knew, I was still employed by the company, as I had not agreed to anything. Did the manager know something that I did not know? It is very possible that he did. This occurred to me when I was trying during my vacation, to get access to the internet on my laptop. I needed to see what was going on in the company, but the system kept rejecting my access code. Since I was on vacation at the time, I did not pay much attention then. I figured it must be a glitch in the system.
I decided that I would fix it when I returned to the states. Later in the week, after I was home from the airport, we had our last meeting. I was able to understand the deal they were proposing. They would keep me on the payroll as a regular employee, until about March of 2009, and then they did not have any other plan for me. This meant I was going to be laid-off, and lose half of my severance pay. The original plan was for me to get my full severance pay at the end of December 2008, and then they would put me under contract to work from home. I would earn my salary without any benefits, which I was willing to do. They had many other projects at the time, and they wanted me to be involved with those projects also, or so they said. Was that true? Or was it baiting tactic?
I felt at that moment, that I had been betrayed by management. I made my decision that I wanted out, since they were not willing to work with me. If I had accepted the job I would have lost thousands of dollars. I thought this was very unfair, especially since I had been working so many years for this company, and dedicated my entire time to them during the past 4 years. I sacrificed the time I should have been with my family.
This is when everything started; at the beginning I was so busy doing many projects at home, as I had been absent from home for so long the list of projects was lengthy.
I started working on each project, trying to finish them. My stress level went down to almost nothing during this time. I was just eHampton Roadsoying life working at my house, and designing my own furniture, and picture frames. I laid the tile in the entrance of the basement, which had been sitting undone for much too long. I worked on the outside of the house planting trees and lawn, decorating the outside with rocks, as my wife loves rocks.
During that time I thought it would be nice to bring some income from home, thus I started researching the possibility of having a business through the internet. I am a little savvy in computers, so I thought I could set up our website and introduce it to the market to make some income. It took us awhile to set up and we finally got a name for it. We sell stools that are very unique, and are made with a lot of pride and beautiful craftsmanship. Most importantly, they are made here in the USA. We spent many a sleepless night working on our site, but we told each other it is for our own good. We figured we were going to start making some money and that would help the finances at home.
As far as I know it did not work like what I was told by the PMI Corporation we were dealing with. They made it sound good, but we would have to invest more money than we had done already. I wrote many articles about the product we were about to sell, which were wrought iron stools. These stools are made here in America. I do believe in selling our own products.
I Keep trying to bring the website up in the ranks with Google and Yahoo however, these cost money every month, and I thought this is near impossible if you don’t have a few more thousand dollars to invest in a business, therefore, we were very disappointed. We have spent a total of about $16,000.00, and I presume they want us to spend more money advertising. The writing of articles is fun for my wife and me, because we both discovered we like to write. We have not however, seen a mayor change in our website at all.
After almost a year of being home, I started looking for a job. I always thought that I would find a job very fast, because of my extensive background in medical devices and automated equipment. I always presumed that it would be easy. Time went by and nothing…I did have some good leads and interviews but with no luck. The months keep going by, and as yet I have not been able to get a job.
I sense it is because of my age, and being so close to retirement. I am having much difficulty getting a job. I have changed my resume, lowered the money I need for salary, and have applied to anything I know I could do. I have joined a network of professionals dedicated to Medical devices, and I have many connections but still no job.
What am I suppose to do? My savings is running very short, and I will have to return my home to the bank, my car also, and declare bankruptcy. Is this the American dream I always heard about? I am not the only one going through this situation; many other families are facing the same challenges. I am much dismayed, as I have worked since I was eighteen years old, and have never liked to miss a day. I worked my way through, the learning of many skills. I just do not understand why this is happening to me. My wife is the most wonderful support I have. She pushes me to keep my chin up, and be positive. My conviction helps me very much as well.
All I want is to have a job, finish paying for my home, and retire living the rest of my time here on the earth in peace, and eHampton Roadsoying the wood working projects which I love to do.
Anybody out there can you read my disappointment? Can you sense the sadness I carry in my heart? After many years working for the American dream, I am right now almost close to losing everything I have worked my entire life to attain.
Does this make sense to anybody? Can anyone understand my frustration? Can somebody help?
Sadly, this is the reality of what is happening in the good old USA. This is just my story, which is one of many. My family is struggling through this recession. Discrimination because of my age, this is the new reality of one family, and one person.
As always it is my pleasure to write to you, it is my responsibility as a USA citizen to write this type of story, because this is what is happening in this blessed Country.
As usual, “Let me remind you, this is solely the opinion of the writer and as any article you may use as you wish, but the whole intention behind these articles is to alert people of this country to the reality happening, and to inform you of the true facts.
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