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February 12, 2008

You're Fired!

Sometimes right in the middle of living your life, the road will shift and you find yourself falling. It happens to everyone. Often more than once. It happened to me in college. I can remember the exact moment I stepped off the path -whoosh!- to graduation and a degree and instead ended up at a series of junior colleges and never quite found my way back again. My feet are once again on solid ground, but it took a long time to get there. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, although I do wonder how my life might have turned out differently sometimes, but I don't regret the decisions I've made and the life I have now.

Last week the ground swelled and bucked and tossed Frinklin into limbo. The company formally known as The Corporate Behemoth now known as Those Fuckwads Aetna fired Frinklin without warning. Without any warning at all and definitely without a severance package. Official reason, "failure to improve performance statistics." Unofficial reason, "It's just not working out." After three fucking years of stellar performance reviews and busting his ass. My suspicion is that they are getting rid of him because they announced that they will be outsourcing his position within the next year. They offered to have he and other people in his position train folks in the Philippines just a couple of months ago.

On the one hand this isn't the worst news. When my husband came downstairs to tell me I looked him square in the eye and said, "Thank God you never need to go to that crap job again," and gave him a huge hug. Frinklin's been half-heartedly looking for another job for a while. He hated being tied to his desk (granted, at home) in an hourly position, listening to people scream at him for problems that weren't his fault. It left him grouchy at the end of the day and dreading the work week. And they never gave bonuses, but a steady supply of branded alarm clocks, laminated certificates, and once a crappy canvas folding chair that one of our cats peed on. Thanks asshats!

The bad part is the money end of things. It's not good when one half of the household income disappears. There is, thankfully, unemployment which will bring in a portion of what's been lost. And I started making calls to see what we could do. That did not go well.

Our mortgage company always gives you a happy little message that if you anticipate having trouble paying your mortgage you should contact them. I let them know that I don't think we'll have trouble, but wanted to know what their potential solutions would be. Their "solution" is to make a double mortgage payment now, allowing us to skip a payment in the future.

"See how that helps?" the representative chirped to me.

"Not exactly." When I explained that I don't have the funds to make a double payment now, allowing us to skip a payment in the future she told me that she couldn't really help me further. That our payments would need to be made on time as usual, or if made late that our credit would be affected. How exactly is this helpful? I'm not sure. She couldn't tell me either.

My next call was to the folks that manage my 401K. I have a significant amount in my 401K as I've been paying into it for 8 years. I did take out a loan about 3 years ago that I've been paying back steadily. The 401K folks did tell me that I can take out a "Hardship Withdrawal." Fantastic! Send me the forms! The forms arrived and I found that I don't qualify for a Hardship Withdrawal as there are only four reasons one may make said withdrawal:

1. Payment of tuition for post secondary education for me, spouse, dependents.
2. Payment of unreimbursed medical expenses for me, spouse, dependents.
3. Payment to prevent loss of primary residence through eviction or foreclosure.
4. Purchase of primary residence, excluding mortgage payments.

So you see, I must stop making payments immediately on our mortgage, allow our credit to fall to shit, and hope that the bank begins foreclosure proceedings on our home post-haste in order to withdraw the money. It's a perfect plan! What about those of us that want to make our payments on time and keep our credit scores good?! The logic of this whole thing escapes me. Plus it's my Goddamn money!

We do have credit cards that we can live off of. It's just that we already have credit card payments and I don't want to be a slave to debt for the next 20 years. I don't want to have to go to the Bank of Parents to solve this (they have money, but not tons of it to give me).

To top it all off, Frinklin's last paycheck wasn't direct deposited as usual, the Fuckwads are mailing it to us to arrive who-knows-when. They haven't officially reported Frinklin as terminated, so his 401K can't release any funds to him. And his ex-boss won't call him back about anything (four messages and counting).

We're holding their fucking computer hostage until I get some answers.

Posted by Ensie at February 12, 2008 05:15 PM

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Sucktastic! Good thing you have at least one steady income. It sounds like you are much more on top of it than we were when Jason lost his job and we basically landed in debt hell.

What did Frinklin do there?

Posted by: Jen at February 12, 2008 05:51 PM

Sucktastic totally sums it up! I don't know if we're much more on top of it, just more on top of finding out how screwed we are. :)

He was in Provider Relations, handing calls and assisting doctors' offices with claims. He knows the insurance and provider side of claims as having experience in training.

Here's hoping my job is secure!

Posted by: ensie at February 12, 2008 05:55 PM

oh, man that bites; I know that situation, and I know that feeling and it's just.... Ew. Bad.

Here's big virtual hugs your way, since I can't think of any merry platitude to make things right.


Posted by: jcbetty at February 12, 2008 07:04 PM

Just wow. Maybe when they notice their computer is missing, they'll straighten up.

Maybe he could go into the medical side of stuff? Here's hoping he can find something good soon.

Posted by: Eden at February 12, 2008 07:47 PM

Maybe you should hire this guy to send Aetna a message.

Love you both -- let us know how we can help.

Posted by: K to the F at February 12, 2008 09:13 PM

God that sucks...I'm so sorry.

Posted by: erin at February 13, 2008 05:30 AM

Oh my gawd - that totally and completely blows. But like you say, the upside is buh-bye crapass job. Sending good job-finding vibes your way! I bet hubby'll find something fantastic and then he can send a big old finger to those asscats!

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