I was downsized from my part time job this last week. Even though it had dwindled to just a few hours a week over the last few months, the money was nice and I like keeping my resume updated. It was a small paycheck, but it helped with groceries. When I was working the 20 hours a week in the beginning, it was a bit overwhelming. I liked the money, sure, but it was difficult staying up until well after midnight several nights a week in order to get all of the work done.
A few months ago, the work abruptly slowed way down. At first, I was concerned that my performance was an issue. But I discussed this with my boss and he said that it was just that they were looking for more work for us to do (another woman did the same job as me). She had the same downturn in assignments so I felt confident it wasn't personal.
There were spikes in work, occasional assignments to get done, over the past few months, but nothing consistent. Some weeks there was no work at all. I guess you could say that the writing was on the wall. When the other woman who did my job quit back in May, there was a bit of an increase in work, but not much.
I had a weekly call-in with my boss, and he had not answered the phone for the past two weeks. I would send follow-up e-mails to him to let him know that I had tried calling (they don't check the voicemail on the line I would call in on) and didn't hear anything back. Until late Wednesday, when I got a brief e-mail that let me know there had been some "changes" going on and that he needed to talk to me [cue scary music] the next day.
We talked, he explained some behind-the-scene things that have been going on since March. He was kind, let me know that he didn't want to do this, but my contract was being eliminated, effective the next day.
I know it's not personal, I know there are financial reasons behind why my position was eliminated. A full time person in the same department was let go on Monday. But it still feels personal, you know? This is actually the first time in my life I have been "let go" from a job. I know I am fortunate to have made it this long.
M and I have talked about it and I am going to keep my eyes open for something else, but I am also going to try and relax for the summer with the kids. There are a lot of little projects around the house that I can finally get done. In the fall, I will increase my efforts to find something. Even though the workload had dramatically decreased, it was still always on my mind, a kind of underlying "stressor" and feeling that something needed to be done. I have to admit, it has been kind of freeing these past couple of days, when I would go through my mental checklist of things to be done, and when I thought "work" and I could immediately think "nope, not anymore". I honestly don't work for the income (nice as it is) as much as for keeping my resume active for the day when I will go back to work. Explaining a short gap (a few months at most) will be a lot easier than explaining years of no work. . . well, at least that is my hope.
So, here's to an unexpected summer "break"!