Thursday, November 16, 2006

“It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.” ~ Harry S. Truman

My son Michael and his wife have been in a depression since last Spring when they both got laid off from their jobs as draftsmen at Electric Boat in Groton as a result of the downsizing that EB periodically goes through. Sadly, layoffs at EB are as common as the continuous fight to save the Naval Submarine Base in New London, which will no doubt be on the chopping block once again when the government undertakes its next round of base closings.

Mike started out at Electric Boat as a welder a few years back and then became a member of the Marine Draftsman Association when he was able to move into a career that matched the skills he learned while attending H.H. Ellis Technical School during his high school years. After floating around from one position to another, Mike had finally found not just a job but a career and he seemed to really be enjoying it as well as excelling in it. He met his wife Laura at EB where she was also a draftsman and life seemed to be looking pretty good for the both of them.

However the government giveth and the government taketh away and when there are no contracts to design any new submarines on the horizon it leads to layoffs which are, of course, done by order of seniority. Laura was quite close to the bottom and even though Michael was a lot closer to the top of the list, he wasn't close enough to avoid being laid off along with his wife last March.

After getting their pink slips the original idea was to relocate to Newport News, Virginia to work in the shipyards down there but after months of phone calls and paperwork that fell through. I don't think it was as much of a disappointment for Laura as it was for Mike as she has spent her entire life living in Rhode Island with her parents right next door and if a person isn't used to picking up and moving, it can be a traumatic and overwhelming thing - especially when you have kids. Add on the fact that there were issues with her oldest son's father and child custody that would have involved a major headache of legal wranglings and in the long run it was probably a good thing.

Throughout the whole time that they'd been laid off, there were rumors that eventually the layoffs would be rescinded and I know that both Mike and Laura were hopeful that would happen though there is never any guarantee that it will. Yesterday Mike called me with the good news that he and Laura had gotten letters from the MDA stating that they were being recalled and would both be going back to work at Electric Boat on the 27th of November. Not only that but after the first week Mike will be getting one pay raise and Laura will be getting two as that's what they have missed while being out of work for the past 8 months.

Needless to say it's a relief for both of them and comes as a nice early Christmas present as now they'll not only have health benefits for both themselves and the boys but between the two of them they'll be pulling in a decent income again. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed that by the time the next round of layoffs comes around at least one of them will be high enough in seniority to not lose their job again because just as the sun will always rise in the East, there will always be layoffs at Electric Boat!

3 comments:

  1. Congrats to Mike & Laura! This is great news to hear so close to the holidays. Hopefully this means one less thing to worry about, therefore allowing EVERYONE in your family to enjoy the spirit of "The most wonderful time of the year"!!

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  2. Woo hoo... I'm glad to hear that! I know with 2 little ones running around things get expensive quick!! I am sure the Holiday Season will be much more relaxed and enjoyed now this year!

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  3. This is a great post and much needed in these days of recession. First time I’m seeing a blog which shows the positive angle for the current recession. Great Post. Thanks for sharing.

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