August 1, 2022

Posted: 1st August 2022 by admin in Uncategorized

Pretty unreal that it has been 2 years and a month since the last time I entered anything on this page. Usually when i think of it I don’t have the time to sit and type much without getting distracted. Well, as of very recently, I have a lot more time.

Last Monday i got laid off from my job and it’s not temporary. Now when I have heard those words from other people it hasn’t seemed too monumental. Now that it has happened to me, it’s overwhelming.

When my boss came in and sat down in my office I knew something was up and this wasn’t going to end well. He never visits. I held my breath and he didn’t pause, he said we are cutting back and today is your last day. I panicked and immediately went into this fog thinking how can this be true and how can I hope to pay my bills, support my disabled wife and still eat and maintain any sort of life that we’ve tried to build. We don’t live in any sort of extravagance, we have a small farm in the Florida panhandle and I abandoned my business that was doing OK over in the Venice, Florida area. We weren’t getting rich there either but we were paying our bills and getting along. I was persuaded to take this job that was created by the marketing person and worked for a little over a year doing what was really a dream job creating videos and photography of boats and the boating industry. It wasn’t a high paying job but it paid the bills and there seemed to be stability.

Little did any of us know that the owner partners had their eyes set on selling out. The company I came here to was of about 50 employees and people seemed to like each other and were welcoming. In the fall of 2021 the owners announced a company wide meeting that everyone from both organizations were required to attend. I felt with this being an unusual thing that something was about to happen. Sure enough, Shawn announced that he and Keri were selling the business to a large Marina business based out of Texas. The moment he spoke those words I went into panic mode inside and began to question them and was even called into the office later and questioned as to why I was being so negative. I told them I’ve experienced similar in the past twice before and it has never turn out well for me either time. I knew that my position was possibly not something they couldn’t live without.

The changeover came in November and it seemed smooth. The new company was welcoming and Shawn mentioned more than once that this new group was stable, had resources and could and would weather any downturns that may hit our industry. The problem was now, it wasn’t long and my direct supervisor that created my position wasn’t happy with the changes and decided to quit and move to other greener pastures, taking a job over in the Orlando area. That left myself and Melanie to try to figure out what we were supposed to do. I was the only full time employee and Melanie came in and worked as needed. It was guesswork trying to know what to do. Now, Shawn and Keri stayed on for another 6 months or so and it seemed like things were going to be ok those first few months as we thought they were going to help grow the company. Turns out, it didn’t work out that way and they said their final goodbyes a couple months ago. That left no one to really steer the ship and they basically turned it over to Loren who was in charge of sales and general operations. He was left to the task of letting me go last week.

As far as I know I was the only one that was actually let go completely while others got their hours cut back. I have always had a plan B and ways of making some money when in my home area. It didn’t matter that I had a job so much as I could fall back on doing some photography and video work but times have changed and especially with Photography, it just isn’t the career that it once was. So many photographers and customers expect to not have to pay for the art like they used to.

I went and applied for Unemployment Benefits and that’s where I get a big surprise. The lady at the unemployment office or rather “Re-Employment” office said I could expect less than half of my pay. I just found out it is actually less than 1/4 of what I was getting paid and for a very short period of time, about 12 weeks. I am gut punched and just can’t believe it. With everyone laying off and so little prospects of work especially in this area, I am stressed to the max.

On top of it…they want to give you some scholarship money to get some education, but then will not allow you to attend school without threatening to pull your unemployment money due to the fact you need to be available to take a job.

At the age I’m at (retirement age) job prospects are grim enough.

I’m blogging this primarily for the historical record as I don’t really believe anyone is going to read it, but I do hope to share with my family so they can know what’s going on.