Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Layoff Limbo

We got the word yesterday that layoffs are coming to our institution, like they are at most state institutions. Months of cutting budgets, furloughs and such aren't enough anymore. Even though we're at record numbers for applications and enrollment, since we are a state institution, a hefty part of our budget is reliant on state funds and right now there's not much going around at the state level. Apparently there's a lot of talk right now about big cuts coming to the Division of Academic Affairs and all the departments/colleges within. There has been a consultant hired to look at business processes and rule out redundancy all in an effort to save money and probably reorganize.

So now we all wait. No one really feels safe since there's no indication of what could happen. Generally, job loss at the university level is fairly uncommon until the economy gets as bad as it's been (or you REALLY suck at your job and even that isn't a guarantee). And while there is signs the economy is improving, the trickle down doesn't hit the public sector until much later (just as we didn't feel the effects of the recession until later than the private sector). Apparently the last time there were layoffs like his was in the recession of the early 90's and you'll remember, that recession wasn't as deep as the one we're currently riding out.

I'm not really sure what I'd do if I lost my job. (I'm hoping I don't, by the way.) Getting back into higher education wouldn't exactly be easy given that obviously, they are laying off people left and right. I certainly wouldn't want to NOT be employed as the life of a SAHM is not something I have any interest in doing. I'd probably go nuts and take the kids and Jason with me on my slow descent into Crazyville.

I remember when Jason lost his job in 2001 during the mini-recession after 9/11 and at the time it seemed like the worst news, but in the end it turned out to be a really good thing in that he ended up finding a position where he is now, which is much more lucrative and satisfying than what he was doing previously. So the best we can do now is bet on the odds that I won't lose my job (which are still in my favor since those that do lose their jobs will be in the extreme minority) and if I do, deal with it then. I won't lie and say I don't have some anxiety about this, because, well, that's the type of person I am naturally - anxious. And who knows, maybe keeping my job isn't always the best thing either since a reorganization isn't exactly the most joyful prospect either. Let's just hope the university doesn't drag its feet with this. No one likes being in limbo.


Anonymous said...

If you were a SAHM, we would have a blast!!! But, hoping you don't have to worry about your job of course. Honestly, I think you could easily get a job as a computer programmer and make tons of money. You are great with computers. Don't deny your "Gene's" (engineering dad pun intended).

Erika said...

Thanks K - I hope you didn't think I was dissing the SAHM thing - it's just something I know I'd suck at. You're right though, if I was off, I would definitely be calling you to get together more.

Heather said...

Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you! Hugs!