February 23, 2009

I know the economy is tough all over but if you live in California and follow the news at all you know that the state legislature hadn't been able to pass a new budget since last June. I work for the state and at first the Governator started by threatening to give state workers 2 days off a month with out pay. Well that came to pass and on February 6th we had our first unpaid day off and our second one last Friday on the 20th. It's a bit tough knowing that they are giving basically a 10% pay cut when we (and by we I mean the lowly peon types) don't make that much money to begin with.

They've also been threatening to take away some of our paid holidays. Now I know that we have more then most people get but those days are supposed to make up for the fact that we don't get paid what people in the private sector make for doing the same jobs that we do for the government. I'm ok with making less because I feel like I'm doing good for my fellow Californians and those extra days off are helpful for keeping me sane. Let's face it, I really should have been June Cleaver. I wanna stay home, raise kids and generally be a domestic goddess. But since that isn't what my life is and I have to work so Hubbs and I can afford to have a home and do things like pay bills and buy groceries, I appreciate those extra days off. But now the state and the unions are in talks about reducing those unpaid days. Not really sure about how trading one day when we're all off to have one floating holiday saves the state any money, but whatever, I guess.

A little over a week ago, the Governor started to threaten the legislature that if they didn't get a budget together that he would issue pink lay off slips to 20,000 state workers. I tried not to think about but as the day got closer for him to issue the slips, the legislature got it together and were very close to balancing the budget, at one point just one vote was stopping them from balancing the budget. The Governor postponed the pink slips in an effort to encourage them, but Tuesday morning, February 17, the slips went out.

The Assistant Chief of my section called a meeting to let us know that they were issuing slips and that there were 13 people in our office that were going to be effected and that anyone with under five years of state service should be expecting a pink slip in the mail. One thing about working for the government is that it's not like the private sector when it comes to lay offs. You don't get a pink slip and then you're just gone. There are things you can do to save yourself and find a permeate position to avoid the lay off. Since I have less then five years I was very stressed about getting my slip and finding a new position or finding a job on the outside.

Since I heard on Tuesday about the slips I've been checking my mail box everyday waiting for my slip to go out so I can start toward finding a job, but no slip ever showed up at my house. Every time I went to go get the mail, I was a ball of nerves. I was sweating, my hands were shaking and I just didn't want to know anymore. So over the weekend, I tried my best to do everything I could keep myself busy and not think/stress about the pink slip. I knitted, I sewed, I quilted, I cleaned but most of all I avoided the tv news. Today I got to work at my usual time, got settled, started working, and about 30 min's later my first co-worker arrived. Of course she wanted to know what the status was and did I get a pink slip yet. Then she starts telling me how she knows someone that knows someone in Personnel and that pink slips went to people with only 27 months of service or less! I currently have 34 months!

I've been saved from the chopping block! For now. I'm thrilled with my good news and really needed it. I've been a mess for days and even Hubbs was getting to the end of his rope with my jumpy, nervous behavior. Now I can go home tonight with a smile on my face and enjoy my evening. Since there isn't a way to check for sure that you're not on the list, I'm just going to have to hope that c0-workers information is correct!

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