Monday, January 17, 2011

Round Two

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about being put on unpaid leave. I wasn't laid off, per se, but was just put on "unpaid leave" until the work in the office picked up again.

This morning, around 9:00 a.m., I received a phone call from Mrs. Robinson, saying that I needed to come in to get my chair, and that the guys needed my CAD license key back, etc...

In other words, I was laid off without actually being told I was laid off.

Kind of crappy.

I immediately got up, got dressed, and checked the internet for what I'm supposed to do in regards to health insurance. Our firm - er, my former firm - was under 20 employees, so no COBRA for this gal. However, the State of Texas requires that firms grant me up to 9 months on the group health insurance plan, so long as I reimburse the firm.

Whew. I went ahead and applied for unemployment benefits - which I can't receive until the last week in January, even though I haven't received severance pay or anything - and then awaited the arrival of my sainted (and tired) mother, who was loaning me her minivan so I could clear out my stuff at the office.

I showed up at the office, and the first words I said, right after, "Hey, Mrs. Robinson!" were "So I'm assuming this means I'm actually laid off, now."

She said yes, that until that morning everyone in the firm had been working on different assumptions.

Oldsmobile and our book keeper - not the most competent woman - were dead certain that I had already been laid off. Mrs. Robinson was instructed last week to write a letter to the insurance company telling them to cancel my health insurance benefits.


Radio, Scooter, and Pacman were all working on the assumption that I would eventually be back in the office and that my unpaid leave was temporary.

What we have he-ah is failyuh to communicate.

I informed Mrs. Robinson that, pursuant to State of Texas Regulations, I had the right to 9 months of insurance, so long as I reimbursed the company. I didn't mention that, seeing as they failed to go over all my health insurance options with me at the "exit interview" (which never happened), I could file an official complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.

I'm nice, though, so I won't file a complaint... unless the book keeper tries to tell me that they're going to defy State of Texas regulations.

I cleared out my physical possessions (including my Ice Age III action figures, aluminum desk accessories, and wireless mouse - both of which were purchased by myself) and loaded them onto my Aeron chair, which served as a handy dandy cart for transporting all my stuff.

I will return on Wednesday to download the digital files showing all the work I performed at the office (I took the extra copies of Specifications I had, since the firm already has record copies).

Because of some rumored hiring going on at my former employer's office (not Oldsmobile's, but a different firm... the one that laid me off in 2008), the guyzos all thought I would have a brand spanking new job to go to all wrapped up and tidy in a little bow.

Heck, I was pretty certain I'd have another job, but wasn't really getting my hopes up. I'd been talking with the former employer every week about the possibility, after they first approached me to discuss my coming back.

About thirty minutes after I returned to my apartment, my cell phone rang.

"That was XYZ Firm," I said to my mom, who was napping on my sofa. "They don't have a job for me, right now." I shrugged. I wasn't really certain about getting the job in the first place, and as time dragged on (almost a month) I got the feeling that it just wasn't going to happen.

My feeling was right on target.

So now I'm looking for a job. One I won't have to move to take. There's plenty of great design jobs out there. They are all, however, in Baltimore, or Shanghai. So tomorrow, I send out resumes, and a letter of introduction for my little entrepreneurial venture (which is now up and running), and we'll see how things go from there.

Once again, I'm back to playing it by ear. But this time, I have rent to pay.

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