I've Been Unemployed for the Last 2 Months

If you’ve been following my Twitter feed for a while, you’ve probably seen some tweets from me that at times looked odd. For example, tweets that said that I was making cupcakes on Monday when you probably would’ve thought that I’d be at work. Well truth be told, I’ve been on a furlough from my job for the past two months.

If You Didn’t Know…
Don’t be sad because I didn’t tell many people. Unfortunately, I had to tell my wife because there was just no way I could explain away the fact that I wasn’t receiving a check twice a month. ha ha. And not to throw my 9 to 5’s business out there, but my furlough was a result of being on the wrong end of a lawsuit, and big clients not paying because of the worsening US economy.

So when I got the news that I was to be furloughed (with a few other co-workers), I was dolling out the high fives! I was def burned out at work, was tired of the commute and just wanted some time to work on a lot of my side projects. Thankfully during the time off, I did just that. The biggest thing I did was prepare some proposals for potential web design clients and even work out my first paying contract. So that by itself is deserving of applause. Additionally, I also did a lot of work for my new super secret affiliate marketing project which I couldn’t be any more excited about.

Working With Kids
It had certainly been a while since I had worked on stuff from home with kids and it was not easy for a long time. It probably took a good month into my vacation to finally figure out how to be productive with them but when I did it was a really a great thing. Being able to get work done on your schedule WHILE being able to spend copious amounts of time with your kids is definitely a really cool thing and one that everyone should be lucky enough to do. Of course for most of us that’s just a pipe dream since the 9-5 inevitably gets in the way.

Back to the Grind
Yesterday was my first day back to work. I was summoned back a couple weeks ago with an e-mail out of the blue that really just said, “Bush, great news – We’re ready to have you back!” When I read that, I started grinding my teeth. Nightmares of commutes, timesheets, and bosses all started flooding back. BUT, what could I do? My kids need to eat and my mortgage needs to be paid. So as I said, I went back yesterday and tried to make the switch from home life to work life again.

It was difficult to say the least but it was made easier by my awesome co-workers who seemed very happy to have me back. Let it be said that even though my 9-5 itself is not the bees knees, my co-workers are a bunch of very cool and talented people. So after I was welcomed back, one of the guys at work said offhandedly, “Hey, did you know you’d be working for free?” And I joked back that “Yeah, I’m the new intern.” Well, we go out to lunch and they start telling me how they’ve had to hold off on cashing their checks because apparently the company didn’t have the money to pay them.

Are you kidding me!?
I then inquire as to why our System Admin wasn’t back from furlough yet and I was told that “[he’s on the fence about coming back because he’s not sure why he should if the company can’t pay him]”. At this point, I’m feeling a bit hosed. Oh, and did I mention that I had to take a $3000 pay cut too? I kept wondering if I would’ve come back when I did if I had knew that the company was still having these big money problems as a result of the lawsuit in December. I just don’t know. But I’ll say this – With my boss not telling me about these problems in his “welcome back” e-mail… If my paycheck doesn’t go through in two weeks I may just have to take another sabbatical.

Jobs. Ugh.