When my husband, Dennis, first began job hunting, I'd hold my breath as I waited for him to appear at the door, eager for a glimpse of his face to tell me if his day had been a success.But now, 15 months after he became a statistic—one of 300 laid off by his employer of six years—I can tell how his day's gone simply by the way his feet hit the steps leading from the garage into the house.Today his footsteps are heavy, as though he's carrying the weight of the world.All these months I've watched Dennis stuff hundreds of résumés into the mailbox and pound away at the computer keyboard, courageously sending hundreds more electronically.I've waved good-bye to him as he drives off early in the morning to face another day of approaching unapproachable receptionists at companies that "are not hiring." And greeted his slumped shoulders and downcast eyes upon his return after another unproductive afternoon.I've seen Dennis lower his expectations, then lower them further.An electronics technician with a sterling work record and more than 20 years' experience in his field, he first sought a comparable job.After a few months, Dennis expanded his search to include entry-level positions in his field, expecting that would do the trick.
For the third year in row, my employer had to make budget cuts do to state funding. My last day is July 23, 2010 and I'm a lot better than I think most people, including myself, thought I'd be.The sucky part is they want me to be here for two weeks but...I was laid off in 2000 during the dotcom collapse though, ironically, I worked for a 'brick and mortar' company producing eyeglass lenses.It was my first professional job and was a bit of a shock when it happened however in the end the total experience wasn't that bad. I went in to work early today to do some rush analysis of some samples that my boss had asked me to.