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Thread: Unemployment (Views From Both Sides)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Unemployment (Views From Both Sides)

    Unemployment is in the news every day. Our present economic conditions are creating long lines at processing centers, long waits for unemployment benefits, and tons of frustrations for those just trying to make ends meet. This thread gives those affected by job loss to sound-off, offer comments, rant (if necessary), and (as in this Bear's case) present views from "the other side".

    My experience in industry (40 years) provided some "other side" looks. Here's a few.....

    The Boss That Lied
    Many years ago, when the manufacturing company I worked for was still a smaller entity (not yet owned by the big conglomerate) we had to lay some folks off. Slumping business conditions, very little cash flow, etc. The BOSS MAN (owner) came to me and asked me to change some dates on documents, a change that would remove some of the people from certain unemployment benefits. I argued with him on that and won the argument. Some years later I learned that he just had somebody else make the changes.

    Sleepy
    Years ago I had an employee who I found asleep at a machine. Upon further investigation we learned that his sleeping was a regular event, often repremanded by the floor supervisors. His fellow-employees even called him "Sleepy". We terminated his employment.

    He filed for unemployment and we denied it. In Ohio, that employer denial leads to a hearing, in front of an unemployment commission officer. I went to the hearing well prepared, expecting that our denial would remain. Not to be.

    The officer was his aunt. He started to cry at the hearing, saying that he would "lose my Camaro". Our denial was rejected. We chose not to fight that battle again.

    No Show James
    Years ago I terminated a poor performer, with all the proper documentation (honest info!). He filed for unemployment and we denied it. He appealed and we prepared our case, spent considerable time gathering and verifying the documents, and trucked over to the hearing.

    As is often the case, the fired employee was a no-show at the hearing. In Ohio, they have an hour from the set-time to make an appearance.....or call-in with what the officers say would be a "damn good reason for not being there".

    Lay-Off Rationale
    At an off-site meeting last week I was asked by another area HR Director what my company would use for rationale in determining "who" would be laid-off. As a non-union company, we are not contractually obligated, so we give even weight to the following.....

    Job performance (first blush is via the score of employee's last review)
    Job performance (anything in the files in the realm of disciplinary activity)
    Job skills (can this person cover a vital function? how much cross-training is there?)
    Organizational needs

    In case of a tie, we would use length-of-service. Many less-than-scrupulous organizations would use length-of-service as a tie-breaker and they would release those with longer seniority levels....saving payroll dollars. My company would do the right thing......even though a senior employee's release would save dollars......we would keep the senior employee.
    _____

    Side-note: My step-son finally received his first unemployment check. He is confident, though, that his job will return when Spring finally rolls in. He is a pro shop manager at a golf course.
    _____

    How about you? Any positives, negatives, rants, raves? What say you?

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    2 jobs ago, I was hired as the first planner at a new branch office of an engineering company. I left a FT job to take a 25 hour a week position that was promised to ramp up to full time as I picked up clientele. 3 months they hired a FT planner before making me FT. I learned he was paid ALOT less than me. They gradually shifted my work load to this person, then when my billable hours hit less than 10% they fired me citing poor performance. I won that unemployment hearing.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    For 29 years, my job was to make mistakes. When I started in darkrooms, a first-test final print was pure chance. In the digital age, I matched artwork, or wasted the time and material that one-hour places would not do.

    It all dried up, and blew away.

    As I sit here on unemployment, I miss making mistakes for a living.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I've fired a few people in my tenure as a restaurant manager including some of my shift managers. Mostly they were due to theft, gross violation of policy, and some weird ones too. Mostly the weird ones were not employees that I hired, they were ones I inherited when taking over a location.

    #1-Shift manager that grossly failed a random quarterly restaurant inspection. I felt a little bad because he was a middle aged fellow and not the brightest bulb of the bunch but was up against a wall because it was either my job or his. He was somewhat of a pain to deal with on a day to day basis. He challenged the termination and I was assigned someone from a company that handles employer representation in hearings. We had a telephone hearing, I was well prepared and presented my case and won easily and the fellow that was supposed to help me had to do nothing and said he was impressed by my skill.

    #2-I was temporarily assigned to a restaurant where the previous general manager was terminated. I ordered a new office chair to replace a broken one and put a sign on it to not sit in it. I came in the next day to find the new chair broken and I was pixxed off so I reviewed the surveillance tape and found the night shift manager getting it on in the chair with her boyfriend who did not work there. Showed my area manager who was like wtf! and when the girl came in I asked her what she knew about my chair. She said she didn't know anything so I told her to sit in it and played the tape and asked her what she knew about that. She handed her keys over to me and said she would be by on Friday to pick up her last check.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I feel lucky to be working again, and it's icing on the cake that it's in a great city with great co-workers. I feel like the Austin area clicks well with me. However, my life is still hurting from the layoff last April.

    When the County Commissioners came up with the budget for 2008-2009, there were many cuts -- even though revenue was supposedly up -- but only the Planning Commission had payroll cut. The planning director, with 40+ years under his belt and the ability to walk out of the door at any time with full retirement benefits, promised that he would leave. He changed his mind, and decided to stay. I was the county's only laid off employee.

    I heard that the PD retired at the end of January, and a young planner I supervised is now the new county planning director. He's pulling in $72K.

    * I can't find any buyers or renters for my house in suburban Cleveland, so I'm paying both rent on my apartment here in Austin, and mortgage on the house there. It'll be a few years before I'll be able to buy another house.
    * Because the real estate market crashed in Northeast Ohio without even a boom, when I do sell I'll probably be eating my down payment. It's likely that I'll be taking out a promissory note; I may owe more on the house than it will sell for.
    * I cashed in my deferred comp account to supplement unemployment, which was one-half of my income.
    * I also spent thousands to remodel my house, in an attempt to make it more attractive to buyers against the beat-up foreclosures that otherwise fill my old neighborhood.
    * There's a few thousand dollars I owe on credit card bills. Until I was laid off, my credit card balance was zero.

    When the dust clears and the house sells, the financial blow of my layoff is going to be about $40K to $50K.

    What else?

    * I'm more than a thousand miles from my girlfriend. Things were getting quite serious before I was laid off, and she stuck with me through my unemployment. Despite having a character and mindset that is perfectly suited to Austin, she's not keen on the idea of moving here. Her entire family is in the Cleveland area, and she's extremely close to them. I really want our relationship to work, but the Magic Eight Ball says ...


    * I'm more than a thousand miles from my parents and family, almost all of who are in the Buffalo area. A few weeks ago, Mom went into a nursing home permanently. I feel horrible that I can't be there for her, but she understands. She always understood.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post

    What else?

    * I'm more than a thousand miles from my girlfriend. Things were getting quite serious before I was laid off, and she stuck with me through my unemployment. Despite having a character and mindset that is perfectly suited to Austin, she's not keen on the idea of moving here. Her entire family is in the Cleveland area, and she's extremely close to them. I really want our relationship to work, but the Magic Eight Ball says ...


    * I'm more than a thousand miles from my parents and family, almost all of who are in the Buffalo area. A few weeks ago, Mom went into a nursing home permanently. I feel horrible that I can't be there for her, but she understands. She always understood.

    Dan, I can't address your financial woes, but I can comment on the others. Long-distance relationships, they have a shelf life, maybe more so when you start close and then go long distance. I left my entire family behind, and the kid and I left a bunch of friends, when we moved here, but GF could maybe deal with that for awhile with internet, visits, etc. Hopefully all will improve and you could move back there. But that's her issue.

    My mom went into a nursing home a few months after I moved out of town. My brother, who initially supported my move, now accuses me of abandoning her. But you know, I don't feel bad. Mom and I were close, we spent tons of time together, I know I didn't "abandon" her. I went to see her a few weeks ago and she was so excited. I live almost 7 hrs away and I see her more than my brother ("I care more about mom than you") does. In other words, you do what you can. There comes a point in life where guilt makes you crazy and you have to move past it.

  7. #7
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    I've fired a few people in my tenure .....
    No you didn't. They terminated themselves.

    The folks I've terminated...well, it was the drunk, the guy sleeping in the office, the prono freak...couple others. And that doesn't even include Rumpy. He left before I could get him.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    No you didn't. They terminated themselves.

    The folks I've terminated...well, it was the drunk, the guy sleeping in the office, the prono freak...couple others. And that doesn't even include Rumpy. He left before I could get him.
    Ok...I notified them that they had quit. *lol*
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  9. #9
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Dan, I can't address your financial woes, but I can comment on the others. Long-distance relationships, they have a shelf life, maybe more so when you start close and then go long distance. I left my entire family behind, and the kid and I left a bunch of friends, when we moved here, but GF could maybe deal with that for awhile with internet, visits, etc. Hopefully all will improve and you could move back there. But that's her issue.
    I plan on staying in Austin. I really didn't mind living in Northeast Ohio -- it felt familiar in a way, there was always something new to do, it was close to Buffalo -- but I desperately want to settle down in one place, and call it "home". I like Austin; the natives have been warm and welcoming (there's none of the "another damn transplant" attitude I encountered in Denver), it's not very cliquish thanks to the stream of new residents, it's filled with interesting and intelligent people, it's diverse, and there's something of a "planning culture" here. I feel like I fit in here, like I can find a place for myself.

    I only hope my girlfriend can join me, but it's a decision only she can make. It's better for her to be happy in Cleveland than unhappy in Austin. Ideally, though, we'd be happy together here.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    No you didn't. They terminated themselves.

    The folks I've terminated...well, it was the drunk, the guy sleeping in the office, the prono freak...couple others.
    You just described my life. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I plan on staying in Austin. I really didn't mind living in Northeast Ohio -- it felt familiar in a way, there was always something new to do, it was close to Buffalo -- but I desperately want to settle down in one place, and call it "home". I like Austin; the natives have been warm and welcoming (there's none of the "another damn transplant" attitude I encountered in Denver), it's not very cliquish thanks to the stream of new residents, it's filled with interesting and intelligent people, it's diverse, and there's something of a "planning culture" here. I feel like I fit in here, like I can find a place for myself.

    I only hope my girlfriend can join me, but it's a decision only she can make. It's better for her to be happy in Cleveland than unhappy in Austin. Ideally, though, we'd be happy together here.
    Your old planning boss sounds like a gigantic a-hole.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I plan on staying in Austin. I really didn't mind living in Northeast Ohio -- it felt familiar in a way, there was always something new to do, it was close to Buffalo -- but I desperately want to settle down in one place, and call it "home". I like Austin; the natives have been warm and welcoming (there's none of the "another damn transplant" attitude I encountered in Denver), it's not very cliquish thanks to the stream of new residents, it's filled with interesting and intelligent people, it's diverse, and there's something of a "planning culture" here. I feel like I fit in here, like I can find a place for myself.

    I only hope my girlfriend can join me, but it's a decision only she can make. It's better for her to be happy in Cleveland than unhappy in Austin. Ideally, though, we'd be happy together here.
    I don't think the feeling of being welcomed somewhere can be minimized. Feeling at home with your location is linked with increased happiness with your job. At the same time, even if you like your job but hate your location, you feel restless and always on the lookout for another job.

    For example, I like my work, but dislike Indiana. I would jump at the chance to move somewhere that has an actual "planning culture".

    Back to the topic at hand, when I was a restaurant manager in college, I had to fire a guy for stealing steaks from the cooler. It sucked but being the manager I was responsible for the inventory. After further investigation it was determined this employee had stolen over 100 steaks over 3 months! The police got involved and he finally confessed.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    The latest unemployment figures are starting to show some improvement, in more than a handful of states. Small gains but gains, nonetheless. Some argue that the numbers are not accurate because so many people have just given up on their job searches, especially after being off work for a year or more.

    What caught this Bear's old blue marbles.....did you see the unemployment rates for places in the Dakotas? Bismarck was at 3.1% and Fargo was almost as good. One of the reasons stated is that the Dakotas were never "blessed" with a housing boom (that led to a housing/mortgage "bust"). I am an optismist that believes in the value and importance of hard work and I am quite sure that the work ethic of those on the Great Plains is strong and plays a part in low unemployment rates.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    In my first supervisory position I dismissed a "worker" for not working. On her unemployment form she stated that she was let go...for being pregnant. That one we fought. And lost. I thought my record was tarnished for life but job hunters apparently do not have access to unemployment issues (or they understand).

    In another situation a problem person was let go. When appealed to the city council the manager said (and was quoted in the next day's paper) this person was not qualified for ANY job. I sent her a note wishing her the best in her future job search. I was asked at the unemployment hearing why I sent the note. I said that it was in response to the newspaper report, and that I believed that all people can do some jobs.

    So I fought one, and basically supported another. There have been others along the way.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    The latest unemployment figures are starting to show some improvement, in more than a handful of states. Small gains but gains, nonetheless. Some argue that the numbers are not accurate because so many people have just given up on their job searches, especially after being off work for a year or more.

    What caught this Bear's old blue marbles.....did you see the unemployment rates for places in the Dakotas? Bismarck was at 3.1% and Fargo was almost as good. One of the reasons stated is that the Dakotas were never "blessed" with a housing boom (that led to a housing/mortgage "bust"). I am an optismist that believes in the value and importance of hard work and I am quite sure that the work ethic of those on the Great Plains is strong and plays a part in low unemployment rates.

    Bear
    I think people in the Plains definitely have a good work ethic and they did not experience the housing boom/bust thing. But another thing to consider is that in many of these places, the population is stagnant or declining. So, it probably makes it a lot easier for people to find existing jobs there as they don't have to compete with an influx of people. As for areas that are growing more like Sioux Falls, I imagine they have also seen an influx of job creators to go along with their population growth.

    As for me, I've been unemployed for about 6 months now, although I guess 4 of those months probably don't count since I was in college, but I was still looking during that time. My nationwide search hasn't been going as well. It's probably because nobody wants to fly in someone that's just been an intern, even if it was for 5 years with the same place. Some local jobs have popped up, which is refreshing. There's one in particular that I hope I get. In the meantime, I'm still plugging away, and also now, unfortunately, looking for part-time retail work so that I have some cash flow while looking for full-time planning work.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  16. #16
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    I've had one job interview, it was for a hardware store.

    In mid November, it will be two years of looking, door to door...
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    doesn't look so good

    My city just laid off 50 employees and privatized the 2 golf courses and the building department. July 2011 calls for another 50 lay offs and closing of the library, community center and museum/historic village. We are looking at moving the few remaining employees to another location and leasing or shuttering of city hall.

    Not looking to good, but the city will still be here in 5 years, and the Governor won't be appointing an emergancy administrator.

    Morale is bad in the city hall.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  18. #18
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    The latest unemployment figures are starting to show some improvement, in more than a handful of states. Small gains but gains, nonetheless. Some argue that the numbers are not accurate because so many people have just given up on their job searches, especially after being off work for a year or more.

    What caught this Bear's old blue marbles.....did you see the unemployment rates for places in the Dakotas? Bismarck was at 3.1% and Fargo was almost as good. One of the reasons stated is that the Dakotas were never "blessed" with a housing boom (that led to a housing/mortgage "bust"). I am an optismist that believes in the value and importance of hard work and I am quite sure that the work ethic of those on the Great Plains is strong and plays a part in low unemployment rates.

    Bear

    We've definitely seen some improvements here in Michigan and the Motown area as well (despite what many naysayers will have you believe). Michigan historically comes goes into recession earlier and harder than the rest of the nation and also comes out a bit earlier. And boy did we ever go into recession earlier than everybody else! But that's what we get for being so reliant on manufacturing. Hopefully, our nearly decade long recession locally has taught folks here there importance of diversification.

    And even if there are a lot of people no longer being counted in the unemployment statistics, if you look at the actual numbers (at least in Michigan), we are adding people to the labor force while lowering the number unemployed and the jobless rate and doing so with a declining population. In my book, that's a very good sign. If the rate was going down only because people dropping out of the system, our labor force should be sinking very quickly. Thankfully, that's not the case.

    As for places like the Dakotas, I think they are a bit more resilient because because their economies are a lot more diversified than a lot of people across the country imagine - it's not all farming. There are certain areas with significant natural resources and places like Sioux Falls employ many in the financial services industry.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I have probably told this story here before.
    I worked at a Mental Health Center for 15 years with internship included.

    My boss retired and they assigned my team to another person.
    We could tell that we were being targeted and that her best friend at work was told to "set us up".

    I was the third of 6. She used an unstable client to "create" reasons to fire me. They denied my claim for unemployment but the hearing officer said, you have taken her job which is bad enough, then you paid a months severence you have no grounds for denial. Sweet music to my ears.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

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