Increased hours and decreased pay

My husband stopped in his former place of employment the other day to pick up some papers from his former boss (former as in 4 months ago) They chatted a bit and my sweetie learned that the since he’d left, the entire engineering department, except for 2 electrical engineers and the boss, have been let go. The three remaining are on mandatory 10 hour days, six days a week, and next week, their pay is to be cut.

Now, I’m not an authority on the job market in engineering, but I know since my husband’s resume has been out on line, he’s gotten a couple of calls a week from headhunters for a variety of positions. So I’m thinking there’s work out there. It made me wonder - why are these three putting up with it? Unless, of course, they’re biding their time as their resumes circulate, figuring any income is better than none. Concensus among former and current employees is that the company is about to crash and burn. I’m glad my sweetie is out of there, as is he.

Still, it got me wondering - how many more hours and how much less money would I accept before walking? What about you?

Loyalty doesn’t buy groceries - I’m pretty sure if I was in such a situation, I’d be all over finding another job, and I might seriously consider a short-term switch to a position with fewer hours, even if it paid less… Hard for me to say, though. I’ve been with the government my entire career and there’s not much chance of the Navy going out of business.

God that sucks. It’s even worse when you consider that having to work so many hours usually means lots of extra money spent on meals out, convenience foods, ordering in, and so on, because there’s no time to shop or cook.

I hope they don’t have to adhere to a dress code on all six days.

What I have come to discover is that most people are scared of losing their job. Even a crappy one. Some of them get paralyzed by the thought of being fired or laid off.

I have never been afraid to walk off a job if there is too much bullshit. I am afraid of ending up like those guys. It’s one thing when you are young and have a supportive wife who agrees that you shouldn’t have to put up with bullshit. It will be a very different when I have kids who needs to eat.

That never occurred to me - I suppose they could be in denial, figuring if they bite the bullet, they can save the company and all will be well…

There was no dress code - all the engineers wore jeans and T-shirts. So there’s that.

It’s * hard * to leave a job. I’ve been through something like this as well, at least as far as the decreased pay goes. I stayed on for a triad of reasons:

a. The product is very good and someday might make us all a lot of money.
b. Lots of investment of time and mental capital in the company, as well as a house that I spent time renovating. Starting over would suck. I figure I have maybe one or at best two more moves left in me, and I’d like to have some choice in the matter when I do it.
c. This was right in the heart of our last recession, and high tech jobs weren’t exactly numerous.

Some people did leave.   Some got better, more exciting jobs.   Some didn't.   The jury is still out on whether it was a good decision not to hit the lifeboats.

Remeber that not every competent electrical engineer could fill every electrical engineering vacancy – there’s a lot of specialization, and some specialties are more in demand than others.

Also, technology changes fast, and an engineer who keeps learning new skills will do better than one who doesn’t.

Your husband may be more current/competent/in-the-right-specialty than the ones who stayed behind.

One thing I know for sure - he has more business sense than many engineers. He understands the nuts-and-bolts of business fairly well, whereas many other engineers we know (OK, including me) are more focused on the process and the product and less on the dollars that keep everything going. He’s bailed several times on companies whose business practices he didn’t trust, and 2 have ceased to exist.

It’s not his fault, tho! Really! On the other hand, maybe the places couldn’t survive without him??

OK, seriously, he does tend to look at the big picture and when he doesn’t trust what he sees, he brushes off his resume.

I had a job where they put me on furlough – they literally couldn’t afford me. Then they asked me to come back, because they needed my expertise. We reached an agreement where I worked for 1/2 my former pay, but I got full benefits. That was one crucial point – having paid COBRA when I was unemployed in the poast, I know how fast it could suck out your savings. So I stayed for the benefit of even partial pay and bennies while I looked for another position.
The astonishing thing is that they seemed perturbed hat anyone would actually be looking for another job while this was going on, and seemed very surprised when I found another position and tendered my resignation.
I wasn’t the one in denial.