Monday, December 23, 2019

Almost the axe

We've been waiting for the axe to fall for quite some time now.  Every time a round is made, we've always wondered if Clint was on the chopping block.  Clint thought it was going to happen many years back, but it never did.  He's come home over the past few weeks with names of co-workers who were on the chopping block. The oilfield is slow.  Then this past Wednesday (a week before Christmas), he got the call.  He always takes vacation at the end of the year, so it was a bit surprising to get a call from his boss requesting him to go into the office during time off.  His boss doesn't even work in this area, but he was here.  A nerve racking request because there was only one reason Clint's boss would be in town.  For him.  Merry Christmas, huh?

The news was not the best, but not the worst.

Instead of just letting him go, Clint was given a choice.  Take a severance package and no longer be employed.  Heath insurance would end December 31.  OR move to a rotational position in Houston (6 hours from here) which would consist of 14/14.  If you're not familiar with what that is, it means 14 days working in Houston and then 14 days off at home which is a common schedule in the oilfield.  The caveat - and it's a big one - is that we have to cover living expenses in Texas.

Tightening the screws even further, they wanted an answer in less than 24 hours.

So, we went back and forth.  He still has a job, IF he wants a job.  Does he want that job?  What next if he leaves?  26 years is a long, long time to just walk away.  Nobody is hiring and it would be very, very hard to just go out and find employment.  We'd be okay for a while....  but would we in the long run??  Clint decided to counter offer and ask for more money to cover some of the Houston living expenses.  It bought us some time.

Friday morning he got a response and while the numbers weren't what he'd asked for, it was better.  This time he had until 3:00 to choose between the two evils.  Tighten those screws some more.  Lots of cons with both choices.  So many unknowns in each direction.  Being away half the time means missing so much.  While it would be nice to take the package and run, neither one of us is sure what he'd do or where to even start looking.  Being unemployed is foreign to us.  Insurance is also a big thing, with us both having medical problems.

In the end, Clint chose to stay employed. It seems to be the safest choice. It's not ideal, but having A job is better than NO job.  It will mean some big changes for our family come January.  At least it buys us some more time to pursue other options and when and if he does leave, he can do so on his own terms, not theirs.  My husband will go to Houston at the start of the New Year, find an apartment and get set up to live and work in Houston half the time.  I'll also have to adjust to being by myself doing the single mom thing for two weeks at a time.  It's been many, many years since we've had this schedule.  However, we've done it before and we can do it again.

AND - at least he still has a job....  for now.


  1. I am sorry. This would be tough news any time, but especially at Christmas. I do agree that a job is better than none, and this buys you guys time to make other arrangements. All the best in him finding an affordable/safe place to live in Houston.

  2. Oh dear, that's rough, and right before Christmas! Being on your own for two weeks at a time is no picnic. My husband travels for work, sometimes he's gone SO much, but lately not. I find I get into my own groove, then when he comes home, it's not easy. It's good he still has a job, and I hope it goes well!

  3. That's rough--such tough choices. You guys probably made the right choice--it's really hard to be unemployed, not just because of the money but because of the uncertainty, which gets progressively worse if you don't find a job. It gnaws at you.

    That said, I think it would be a good idea to spend some of his 14 days off each month looking for another job. They obviously don't have much loyalty to him, so he shouldn't feel obliged to stay with them in this situation. Don't quit without a new job lined up, but with luck he'll find a better situation eventually.

  4. So sorry to hear this. I too, think you guys made the right choice. Don't quit until he finds another job.

    All the best to him.

  5. Oh gosh! I am so sorry you and your family are dealing with this and especially of course by the holidays! But in the long run it is good that he is still employed because I think it is better to try to look for a new job while one is employed instead of being unemployed as I find myself these days :) And you are right, insurance is a big issue! I found myself having to go on the health market to get insurance (hubby retired and is old enough for Medicare, I'm not) and insurance is not cheap out there (though I got it basically subsidized because of not making any money, LOL). It is hard to be a single parent; been there done that with some moves we made and hubby left to start before we followed as a family. The good news (silver lining) is that your girls are old enough to understand and although they may not like daddy being gone for so long they can process it better than a younger child. And the other good news is that with snapchat or facetime or whatever else there are so many ways to keep in touch and connected. I do agree it is better for him to hold on to this job and see what else he can get. Hubby quit a job once to move closer to his parents to help them in their final days and it took him 4 years to find a job again (age played a little into it; we're probably 15-20 years older than you guys are).

    Try above it all to just enjoy Christmas! Don't let this bring your celebrating down!! (I'll say a prayer for you guys if that is okay.....)


  6. I'm sorry to hear this, the company sounds awful to be pulling this right now and with no warning and little time to think about it. I would have decided what you did too. I hope someday you can find another field for him to work in.

  7. Ugh, that's awful. Why do companies always choose the holidays to do their worst? The bottom line, I guess. I think he made the right choice, for what it's worth.