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My Husband is Losing His Job

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My husband is losing his job. Our net income will be reducing by about $900/month. Ouch.

My husband is one of those guys that tells things like he sees them and if someone belittles him, he won’t take it. Now, there are always two sides to the story and I’m only hearing this from my husband and one of his co-workers. I haven’t heard her side yet and I’m not sure if I ever will.

By her, I mean the wife of the owner of the business. She works alongside my husband and often she would belittle him and start treating him like a child. Knowing her (I used to work there years ago), I can see that happening. She treated me the same way but I’m quiet as a mouse and won’t speak up. I did my job so I could earn minimum wage and that was it. My husband is just the opposite. He’s brave enough to speak up to try to change the situation.

My husband got upset at the boss’ wife not too long ago for treating him like he didn’t know anything, which I feel is unfair. My husband has been there over 3 years in a business that has a high employee turnover rate. She does that often, but this time when my husband said something a heated argument ensued.

Not good.

The boss sat my husband down and talked to him. He asked, “What am I supposed to do, fire my wife?” When my husband told me that, first thing that crossed my mind is that he is going to get canned.

After that meeting, my husband was dead silent to the boss and his wife while working. He didn’t say a word for fear that he would get fired. Well, he basically is…but isn’t.

My husband looked at his schedule last night and noticed that he was no longer working 5 days a week. He was down to three. And the three he was working his hours were cut in half and he was given the worst shift because it’s the one where people get sent home early a lot. He went from 34-36 hours to probably 9-12. If you’ve ever worked minimum wage jobs – having your hours cut way down is the kiss of death. That’s what they do when they want to get rid of you. Your hours will continue to get lower and lower for their goal is to get you to quit. I know for a fact that this is a tactic that my husband’s boss uses often because he’s told me so.

My husband will make his own choice in the end, because it’s his job. My opinion is to quit. Although that is what they want him to do, let it serve as motivation to find something better. He’s been there too long, and the way the boss’ wife has been treating him has not done well for my husband’s self-esteem.

I can’t say that I’m happy about this, but I do think things happen for a reason. My husband does have a college degree, but there are no jobs for him in the area. It’s time for us to get creative and I believe the end result will be him making more than he is at his current job. We were getting used to him earning low wages at a dead end job because it was income. Him losing his job will force us to make changes.

What this also means is that we REALLY have to curtail our spending. I’m talking drastic cuts. Expect to hear more about our gameplan after my husband and I have another financial meeting. I am glad about this in a way because I will pass this information onto all of you.

When life gives you lemons…make lemonaide.

Oh, and don’t work somewhere where you will be working with the boss’ wife πŸ˜‰


30 Comments

  • Reply 2SpottedDogs |

    Yikes! Here’s to lemonade, I suppose. Good thing is, I suppose, now you are much better equipped to deal with a curve ball like this than you were a year ago. Good luck!

  • Reply Tricia |

    That’s a great point 2SpottedDogs and I didn’t even think about that. Thank you for pointing that out πŸ™‚

  • Reply Poorer Than You |

    Will he keep going to his job while he looks for other work? I know they’ve severely cut down his hours, but is he going to keep taking the hours they give him?

    Just wondering. It sounds like the smart financial decision to take what he can get from them, but then again, maybe he just needs to make a clean break, for peace of mind.

  • Reply EasyChange |

    Well, good luck. I think that there is quite a bit to learn and here’s to hoping that your husband gets a better, higher paying job that he likes! hang in there. You can do it!

  • Reply Tricia |

    He is at work right now, and I’m sitting at home wondering how it is going for him. I’m sure how tonight goes will affect his decision on what he is going to do. Plus, we need to sit down and look at the finances closely. Who knows…with the next schedule he may only have 4 or 5 hours.

  • Reply John |

    Holy crap, that sucks. Who knows, maybe it’ll work out for the better. Maybe that job was holding him back. Hopefully he’ll find a bigger and better job. My wife and I ran into a situation like this several months back, she hated her job. After some searching, and a few interviews, she’s working a job that she really likes and is getting paid more to do it. Whatever happens, good luck!

  • Reply KL |

    >>When life gives you lemonsÒ€¦make lemonaide.

    Hopefully it squirts in boss/wifey-poo’s eye in the making. Good luck to you. I think it will make way for a bigger better opportunity for you in the end.

  • Reply Tricia |

    John – I do believe it was holding him back. It was holding us back. Adversity can bring great things. I know it can for us as well. Thank you for sharing the story of your wife. That’s great things are working well for her πŸ™‚

    KL – That made me laugh so hard!!! I needed that πŸ™‚

  • Reply The Digerati Life |

    wow! that’s stressful! But yes, new doors will open for you. Take care and wish you guys the best. As I have said before, when there’s fire you can always make flambe!

  • Reply triple-e |

    I’d work there and poison the well behind the boss’s and boss’s wife’s back. Or, try to work back into their graces and get the hours up. Depending on the market, etc. if you get fired is that a bad thing? Would it be “fun” to work toward that? I don’t know, I guess if the boss’s wife is working a minimum wage job, how good can that be…

  • Reply reggie |

    ouch, ouch, ouch, and ouch

    this hurts,
    as i read the headline on your page tonite, i felt the pain, just when u think u have everything in control, there comes a curvedball over the left side of the plate, to throw u off again..

    are there no Labour Laws to proctect the innocent employee in these type of situations overdeh in the USA…?

  • Reply moneysmartlife |

    Sorry to hear about your situation. Sometimes when things are crappy it helps to put them in perspective.

    At least he was fired because he couldn’t stand the boss’s wife instead of “liking her too much”, which sometimes happens in the workplace.

    You still have a great family, now you guys are just in search of a better job.

  • Reply MotoMom |

    That sucks! We have been there, done that more times that I wish to count. Got the house the same day John got laid off from work. Had a baby, he lost his job. The list goes on and on. However it did spur him on to get a degree in a different field. And each job change has been for the better. Sometimes we just need a little push to move onto something better.

    In response to Reggie. It depends on where you live. Most states are At Will, meaning you can be let go at anytime for any reason (as long as it is not discriminatory), and you can quit at anytime for any reason. If the company has fewer than 25 employees you have even fewer protections.

  • Reply D |

    One thing to look into, is unemployment. As an employer in Illinois, if I should do this to an employee, they can still get unemployment. Why? They took the job and worked more hours and I cut hours. So, don’t let him work to long at these hours, it will lower his unemployment dollars. Which I believe to be the employers plan. Minimize the damage.

    I would apply for unemployment and begin a massive job search. Especially, with this being a minimum wage job, the next will probably be a significant improvement. Stay positive and motivated – all things are possible.

  • Reply GInger |

    I to believe things happen for a reason there is a better plan for you. If he does get fired this will give him the time to reserch and to look for a much higher paying job.I know someone who lost his job and just started being a handy man and word of mouth got around and now he makes more money than he ever made before. And if his kids your sick his wife still went to work and he just called and went later so they never lost money. You and your family will be in my prayers!

  • Reply Drew |

    I think this is definitely a great opportunity for lemonade. I don’t know anything about your husband’s line of work, his work experience, or where you live. But I can say with confidence that if you live in a town of 15,000 people or more, your husband should get (nay: demand!) a job that pays at least $10 ($12-15 is more reasonable). No matter what he does he has the three qualities: He’s of a decent age, with a college degree (no matter what it’s in), and he has held the same job for three years. The fact of the matter is that a smart and reliable person can be taught almost any job out there. So good luck to you both and I truly hope he finds himself in a much better place very soon.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Reggie – MotoMom is right. Our state is an At Will state and the employer can fire you at any time for any reason. The employee can also leave at any time for any reason.

    moneysmartlife – Good point. There is actually a lot of “good” things about the situation and I don’t think there is any way the problem could be liking her too much. It’s quite the opposite πŸ˜›

    D – Thanks, I’ll look into unemployment.

    GInger – My husband does have a blog and he does have a side business. Neither have taken off yet. I think we need to focus on both of those and then he can be his own boss πŸ™‚

    UPDATE FOR EVERYONE

    He quit last night. He will not be showing up to work today. More later…

  • Reply CPA1298 |

    I can empathize with your situation, but I have to ask: why is your husband, with a college degree, working at minimum wage for 3 years in the first place? Like the other poster, with a national unemployment rate at ~ 4.5%, I would think that superior opportunities exist. I live in a largely rural area, and there are an abundance of jobs with no educational requirement in the $8/hr to $12/hr range. Did he foresee some future benefit to the job that never quite panned out? I, too, think this event is going to be a catalyst for positive change, if your husband embraces it. Good luck!

  • Reply Lua |

    I am sorry that your husband lost his job. I too work for minimum wage and know how losing hours hurts. It is good that you are able to maintain a positive spirit….and make lemonade instead of doing something negative.
    All the best….and we in the PF blogworld have you in our prayers.

  • Reply debtinseattle |

    Hang in there Tricia. I left my last job because it was a mother/daughter owned company. The daughter was the ceo & i was making more than I’m making now and things were okay. My boss was very bipolar but was not on medication and though never rude to me, she was often quite rude to a lot of other people. My mother had a stroke and I asked to take 2 weeks off to take care of her during her recovery & multiple office visits. Instead of saying no in the beginning, she wanted until I was out of the office for an afternoon, then pulled everyone in our office into a meeting. She told EVERYONE how much money I was making, how if I went ahead and took my leave, she would have no choice but to let me go. My coworkers were so kind to me, and stuck up for me. I requested a meeting and asked why she felt compelled to share my salary with my co workers and why I couldn’t take the 2 weeks off. Her answer to me was, “your mother had a stroke..she’s not dead, therefore, you cannot take 2 weeks off.” I knew at that point that I would have to leave. She didn’t fire me but I resigned within a month. I found a job where I was making about 5% less but am much happier and am treated with respect, and dignity. Sometimes, these things do happen for a very good reason. Keep your head up and I hope that this is just the beginning of something wonderful sure to come around the corner.

  • Reply Will |

    Your story makes me so mad Tricia. I cannot stand authority in general (that’s why I’m trying to make a living blogging instead of working a 9 to 5 job). I’ve been following this blog for a bit and I can tell that you and the hubby are both smart and capable folks. I’m sure you guys will be ok. *sends positive vibes*

  • Reply ricemutt |

    I’m sorry you guys are having to go through this…for me, one of the toughest things is to see a loved one treated unfairly.

    I’ve always worked for large corporations and at one point thought that smaller businesses had to be better, but I found out quickly from my mom (who worked a couple of years at a small, family-run art gallery) that the situation you mentioned isn’t all that uncommon in family-run businesses, unfortunately!

    But I hope things get better and whatever you guys decide to do next, be it working for someone better or finding a way to be self-employed πŸ™‚

  • Reply Got Wealth? |

    So sorry to hear about this. But it may just time for him to move on. Just make sure he moves on with dignity and puts in a two weeks notice if he truely wants to leave and move on to something else. That way he will have (hopefully he has another supervisor he has on his good size?) a good refrence for his next venture.

  • Reply Matt |

    Tricia,

    This is rough news; but I’m sure that things will turn out for the better. I lost my job about a year ago; I hated it with a passion but now I’ve gotten one that I really enjoy and one I will grow and make more at. Like you said when life gives you lemmons, make lemonaide.

    Good luck!! I’m sure things will turn out for the best in time.

  • Reply kassy |

    I went through this with my bf who spoke up at work and ended up getting fired. He was unemployed for a year and now is only working part-time. So I know first hand that the getting by can be done. It will be painful at first, but the cool thing was that after he found work, since we were used to getting by without, his income became extra money that I put 100% towards the debt.

    You have an positive attitude and I know that you guys will be fine. I wish you husband luck finding something he really wants to do.

  • Reply Zoey |

    I have to agree with the people who see the opportunity in this. It’s best that your husband spoke out rather than go through his career feeling supressed and belittled. After a while you start to believe you are worth less. I worked for a small company for 7 years and the owner was a basket case. He had zero social skills and would randomly call and harass people. Everyone hated him because he was a lunatic. But he owned the business so there was nothing you could do… except leave. It’s better that your husband has. Look into larger companies in the area. They almost always have strict HR policies about workplace conduct. The corporate world sucks in many respects, but it’s definitely a more structured and safe environment. And they even give out pay raises! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply mary |

    i know this post is old and hopefully someone will read it but my husband got his dream job (finally) and was working SO hard and then got fired at the end of his second week. he accidentally hit someone’s car with an 18 foot truck he was driving alone and the company flipped out and demanded that he be fired or they would pull their business. devastating. my husband’s track record with jobs hasn’t been great but at least consistent. we live in los angeles and it’s hard to only have one of us working. (i work 50 hours a week) i feel your husband’s anger and pain. i really hope things work out and we just have to hope that it wasn’t meant to be!

So, what do you think ?