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Old 08-23-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
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Losing my job soon.....

Well, we had the "Big Talk" today. We cooked up a sumptuous lunch buffet of salmon [hat tip Admiral], acorn squash with butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, fresh vegetable medley and roasted pineapple, set it all out in the conference room with fresh sweet hawaiian rolls and called everyone in. The Old Man and I sat at opposite ends of the table and everyone else filled the seats on either side of the conference table. We had a wonderful meal and enjoyed a lot of joking and stories for around an hour and a half and everyone seemed to be at relative ease.

Then, the Old Man dropped a bomb. He called everyone to attention and announced that absent a hail mary of some kind during the last five weeks of the federal fiscal fourth quarter, which ends on September 30, we are closing our firm. We have had a truly awful time these last three years and he is no longer willing to bet what amounts to his life savings that it is going to get any better. It has been a perfect storm of additional regulation, new federal requirements regarding contracting and Obamacare that led to this decision. I have known about it for around six months now, but true to my word, I didn't tell a single co-worker, so it was quite the shock for everyone else.

What is truly fucked up is that I am nearly fifty years old, and have worked in the environmental field now for over half of my adult life. This means I will either have to work for those who have been my direct competition for such a long time or go in to a different field altogether. As for some of the other folks who work with/for me [I'm vice president] they are in an even worse position because our field is one of the first ones hit when things get really tight [like now] and things tend to get ignored a lot more when no one has the money to do proper remediation. This means they will be competing for a job in what is argueably the worst job market in our lifetimes and when pay has been stagnant for two decades. The hardest hit will be my junior managers, who will go from making 800 a week to getting 250 a week in unemployment benefits [Florida is among the cheapest of all the states]

As for me, I have thought about it, and then thought about it some more, and still have not come up with a defined plan of action. There are several paths I could take, which involve working for another firm doing similar work, and others which involve going out on my own and startying a consulting firm to do environmental testing, phase I and II site investigations, soil and groundwater testing and remedial design, but that will require me to risk a substantial sum of money. To start such a firm I will need some more certifications, Errors and Omissions insurance, General Liability insurance, relatively expensive equipment and some help. I figure I can get it off the ground for around 75 large, which when looked at from the sidelines is not really that big a deal, but when put in to the context of Mrs. Ancona and Little Ancona becomes a much bigger deal.

The down side to all of this is that all of my plans for the future are now in jeopardy. I have [had] a nice income, a regular set of perks such as a new vehicle every three or four years, free fuel, a huge garden and chicken coop full of producing birds, regular travel, relatively high level security clearances allowing me to see a lot of crazy shit up-close and personal [like the space shuttle, Delta IV and V rockets, the Space-X Falcon and Dragon vehicles, etc.] as well as a raft of intangibles that come from being an executive. I won't lose my credentials, and I will keep my access badges to the Space Center and Patrick AFB, but won't have a job requiring me to be there. I will go from doing client lunches at great local bistro's and restaurants to being some random brown-bag schlump working someone else's mission and at some location other than the current one, which happens to be quite convenient at around 1.1 miles from my house. Although I am not really worried too much, my wife is pretty angry and hurt. She seems to feel sort of betrayed at this point and is taking the whole thing kind of personally. She feels like we have put nearly two decades in to something that should not only have succeeded but thrived and that the Old Man is bailing out prematurely out of greed rather than self-preservation. This man has spent since 1987 building this beast, which is ten years longer than I have been here, and his entire net worth is wrapped up in our operating capital, bond fund and savings account. If he goes another year and we have as hard a time as the last three years, over half of his hard earned money will go away. Our overhead is nearly 25 thousand a month, which is about ten thousand a month lower than 2008 as a result of our belt tightening and cuts, but it just isn't enough, so here we stand.

All of that said, it is a sad testament to the damage done to this country by the Brotherhood of Darkness. The carnage left behind from the crash of '08 will be remembered for some time, with the highlight memory being that NO ONE went to jail. Not a single mother fucker has been prosecuted for wrong doing. The regulatory agencies have allowed hundreds of firms to simply pay a fine without admitting wrong doing and that my friends is simply that. When the second phase of this crisis finally hits, and when the european Union comes apart, the banking world as we know it will cease to exist. Hopefully the phoenix truly does rise from the ashes and we end up with a financial system based upon a gold standard or some othjer hard commodity based standard, because what we have has proven itself to be a failure and is the root cause of most of the ills of this country.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programing.

I'll keep you updated. Rant over.
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Last edited by ancona; 08-23-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:51 PM   #2
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Ancona, Thanks for letting us know about this, but now I'm worried for you and your family. ( But it is impossible for me to worry as much as you certainly are for you and your family. ) I still hope whatever you decide to do next about your next job will work out well for everyone. Of course, as you said at the end of your post, please keep us informed about how things are going . . .

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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I had hoped to never see this thread. Very disturbing. I am sorry Mark.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Sometimes adversity ends up being a gift. I wish you much success with whatever path you choose going forward.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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Sign on with a competitor before they find out you're going out of business.

We wish you all the best.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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ah shit Ancona

im really sorry mate

You now have some big adjustments to make and cannot yet see any advantage in your new reality but you will adjust cos you are able to think for yourself.

Get rid of all the pride stuff and focus on what really matters.
This is actually a great oportunity for you to re think everything and strike out on a brave new path

i wish you and your family well.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:11 PM   #7
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Very sorry to hear this.

But, you have a ton of experience and knowledge, and work your ass off. You'll figure something out.




Put together a proposal to the city to clean up Jethro's place; mending the damage there would probably be worth a multi-million FRN contract.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:25 PM   #8
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Bad news, buddy. I'm very sorry to hear that.

It might sound kinda odd, but look at it this way: You're FREE!
Free to do something else.........something you've always wanted to do, or something you'd like to try. It's an opportunity......inflicted upon you by forces out of your control and not of your choosing, but an opportunity nevertheless.

Best of luck to you, Mr. Ancona.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:44 PM   #9
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I feel for you Ancona --- I've been in the same situation, twice in 12 years in the market! (Upstate NY is a rough job market)

I would say two things: 1. Sometimes it *is* an opportunity to do something different. If you have the time to plan, think about it. 2. If you need the cash in the short term, jump on with some other company while you get your shit together and form an escape strategy and go from there.

Unfortunately, I've come to the conclusion that a company only needs you as long as they need you. I now take the same approach. Work hard, but don't be afraid to walk away.

I'm in a similar field (civil engineer), so you never know how busy the winter is going to be. Feast or famine?

I don't know your personal financials, but maybe you can sell and move out to a lower cost area. I know a lot of folks around here who sold their half-a-million-dollar crap shacks in Jersey and moved to Upstate NY to retire in their pretty nice $100k home with 5 acres, paid off, with some sort of retirement plan in action plus the cash from their home sale in the city.

Whatever it is, I wish you the best. Good luck and keep us posted!

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Old 08-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #10
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PS... government over regulation and lower level municipal austerity is putting my market in a pretty scary place as well.

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Old 08-23-2012, 09:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PMBug View Post:
Sometimes adversity ends up being a gift. I wish you much success with whatever path you choose going forward.
+1

Never surrender, sir knight!
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PMBug View Post:
Sometimes adversity ends up being a gift. I wish you much success with whatever path you choose going forward.
Yup. Silver and gold would just be dirty rocks in the ground if they weren't put through the refining fires.

Afflictions in life are meant to make us better.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:47 AM   #13
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My condolences, Ancona.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:21 AM   #14
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I live in a low cost area and would like to go to a lower cost area. Tho the devil I know is better then the one I dont.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:43 AM   #15
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Best wishes ancona.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:49 AM   #16
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I feel for you Ancona. Luckily, you have had a bit of advance warning to prepare ahead of time.
I faced the same thing a couple of years ago. I walked in at 0800 with a job and suddenly left at 1100 without a job with zero warning prior to the layoff. Mind you, this was right after I had purchased and furnished a new house!

For me, the layoff ended up being a great thing for my career. Hopefully, the same thing will happen for you!
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #17
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That is when it happens. When someone makes a purchase.

around Christmas is a good time.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:13 PM   #18
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Ancona, I've been offline for a couple days and am just catching up on the threads.

I am sorry to hear about the job loss. As others have mentioned above, this does give you a clean slate to start again at whatever is in your heart to do at this point in your life.

Whatever company you end up with is going to be one lucky company to have you. Or if you chose to launch out and be your own employer, then you will be the lucky guy on both ends.

Nevertheless, I know you have a good road ahead of you; you have a good head on your shoulders, good skills, good preps and good friends.

Keep us posted on how things go.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by benjamen View Post:
I feel for you Ancona. Luckily, you have had a bit of advance warning to prepare ahead of time.
I faced the same thing a couple of years ago. I walked in at 0800 with a job and suddenly left at 1100 without a job with zero warning prior to the layoff. Mind you, this was right after I had purchased and furnished a new house!

For me, the layoff ended up being a great thing for my career. Hopefully, the same thing will happen for you!
haha that happened to me also! Little did I know the next job was going to be MUCH worse....
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #20
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Sorry to hear that Ancona. I cannot offer anything but the words of support to you, and my whole hearted hope that everything will go well for you in the long (or better yet - in a short) run...

You seem to be much better prepared to go through that trauma than most of the other folks out there, ergo: I think you will be back on your feet sooner rather than later...

One way or another, you seem to be well positioned, with your skill set and industry - because I think, that in the western economies - dismantling the malinvestments of the previous few generations, is perhaps one of the few industries, that have a strong growth opportunities built in. Just try to think outside of the box here, and maybe you'll be able to score something big.. There are couple of opportunities I see myself, that in the US might be a BIG coming wave - check your private messages, for one I see, relevant to your Know-how
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