Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bringing the Parents Onboard

I MENTIONED IN MY last entry that I had not told my parents of my slated layoff. I did so earlier today. I called home around noon, got my mother on the phone, and after she mentioned how my dad was doing with a pulled muscle, I presented the story to them as though it had just happened.

She was stunned. She didn't lose composure or anything, just listened as I gave her a brief rundown of the assistance offered and the next steps. I told her I was doing well with the news (which I am), that I needed to put together my resume as a first step (which I do), and that I won't by any means starve as a result of this (which I surely won't).

I have said before I don't want them to be worried about me, but I had a sneaking sense I was overestimating their distress. We're talking about people who have survived the tail end of the Depression, a world war, the passing of their own parents and siblings, and the fact of their own advancing age. What I tried to make clear in my short conversation with my mother, and later, in greater depth with them both at dinner tonight, was that I was looking at the future and was ready for the change.

In discussing the severance math with them. I became more convinced that finding a job as soon as possible was the primary goal. Becoming eligible for unemployment and the severance pay also puts me on the hook for COBRA, which has an expensive bite. Continuity of employment is the top goal right now.

They were supportive, if occasionally angry at my employers, though they didn't spend dinner ranting for their heads. I think they knew I was done there, regardless of what severance I might be around to collect. Telling them is a relief, though. Now for the next steps.

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