Thursday, March 4, 2010


Change always happens, sometimes it is welcomed, sometimes not. Sometimes it is expected, sometimes not. Many times my initial perception is completely off the mark and other times it is right on the nuts. Sometimes the change cannot happen fast enough and sometimes I don't want to ever show it ugly head.

I have been work laid off a few times in my life. The first time it happened was in the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years at Mankato State. I was working in the "Family" Granite Quarry, running a 15-foot long blowtorch, called a burner, that burned a 10 foot deep channel in the quarry floor. Dad had lunch with my brother Rich, my cousin Wayne and me. He let us know that the company could not afford to keep the summer help over a hamburger and fries at the Cash Town Cafe.

At the time, I was young, unattached and not committed to anything but having fun, making a little money and going to school. I moved back home and got a job as a Rent-a-cop. I worked at that job for the next 2.5 years during breaks at school and over the summer.

The next time I was laid off, I was working for ITT Finance. We heard the winds of change blowing in our branch in SpamTown USA (Austin, MN). I applied for a job in the Twin Cities a the Corporate Office and got the position. I figured it was better to be in the cities looking for a job than in a po-dunk town. Chris and I just moved into an apartment and I had a 13 week severance package and very little debt.

The last time I was laid off was in December, 2008. I walked into the CEO/President's Office to see my boss, the HR Manager and CEO sitting at a small table with a blue folder that was labeled CCFCU Severance Package. My office was closing and I had the opportunity to apply for up to 3 of the 30 or so positions that were opening up. Of course there were 50 of us vying for those jobs, but the odds were fine and I was lucky enough to land a great one.

My life by, by this time, has become much more complicated. Over-mortgaged house, debt, wife, two lovely kids and a dog. Not anything like the first two times. No quick or easy outs and a lot of responsibilities to be taken care of. It is the kind of thing that makes Bruce's "Hungry Heart" sound like a welcomed, inspiring anthem.

I am praying that it will be a while before I experience this kind of change again.

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