Freaking God’s miracle!

OMG. So my wonderful, talented, and incredibly competent associate editor and I drag over to the Executioner’s office this afternoon. I’m thinking maybe I should’ve gotten a wooden cart to haul her to the guillotine. We could have crowds of right-wing crazies hollering their approbation, and maybe a legislator knitting, knitting, knitting…

We’re sitting there in the waiting area waiting (what else?) for the hatchetwoman to see us. One employee walks past, recognizes us, and barely stops herself from weeping (surely her cat has died?). Another strolls by and looks grim. The word is out, no freaking doubt of it.

We’re called in, and we both think here. it. comes.

The Kid has said that if she gets laid off in June, just as she comes out of a divorce that has led to her ex- losing his job (and her and her child’s health insurance) because of a conviction for harassing and stalking her, she is screwed, screwed, ge-screwed. Her Deanship has told me The Kid is to exit on June 30. I’ve bitten my tongue so hard my ears hurt.

The Executioner starts by handing over The Kid’s notice to her.

And then says “Keep reading past the first paragraph. Don’t panic before you read the rest of it.”

Un. Freaking. Believable. They’re extending her to the end of the year. They’re pretending she’s an exempt service professional (something The Kid is fully, totally, grandly uninformed about) and saying they will renew her nonexistent “contract” to December 31.

The Kid, who has a lot more moxie than I do, eyes the Executioner and says, “Well, are you hiring me back at my current salary?”

This is a question I have been afraid to ask.

“Why, yes,” says E. “You both will continue at your current pay, benefits, and retirement.”

I express my wish to E. that she express our endless gratitude to Her Deanship for this little coup, which must have taken some major machination. She darts out of the office and forthwith returns with Deanship herself, attired in an outfit that looks like it probably cost more than my net worth.

Emboldened, I ask what about our lead research assistant, the one who handles the single most difficult academic journal on the planet and shepherds the darned thing through from beginining to end?

The Kid and I brace, microsecondwise, for the worst.

“Oh, yes. Weren’t you told?”

“Uhmmm…no…”

She’s smiling, so I figure there’s a fifty-fifty chance good news is on its way.

“We’re keeping her on through the fall semester, too.”

Then I say, This Kid needs to get health insurance. She just divorced and her husband just lost his job.

E. says, No problem. Go on over to HR and tell them you’ve had a change of life circumstances, and you can sign up for any of the health insurance programs.

Thank you, Goddess! And trust me, nonbelievers: goddesses have nothing in common with deans.

The Kid and I staggered out of the Executioner’s chamber and headed for the fanciest restaurant in lovely downtown Tempe, where we raised a glass of expensive white wine to the event that we will be canned, but not until New Year’s Eve.

Damnatiõ! Has anyone else out there actually celebrated the sheer unmitigated joy of a layoff?

Our story to date:
Ax Falls, but…uhm…Bounces
Résumés on the Wind
Staying Solvent in Penury
Perfect Retirement Day
How IT Puts Apps into Job Applications
Is This Worse than We Think, Even?
Income Stream Sighted

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Chance April 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Absolutely fantastic news! Congratulations and take a moment to for pure exultation.

Now that you’ve had your moment, don’t trust them, not for a minute. We have an unpredictable future ahead, and if the GDU finances devolve unexpectedly, you will be on the chopping block sooner than New Year’s.

Keep planning as if they were going to screw you at the end of the day. If they don’t you will be pleasantly surprised and the emergency fund and food storage will be gravy. If they do, you will be unusually calm having continued to plan for it even though they were reassuring (note: lying the Kid, big flag of deception ahead).

Sorry to be a cynic but the whole event alarmed me with behavioral flags of deception and deceit.

funnyaboutmoney1 April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm

@ Chance: The horrible thing is, those very flags are pretty much business as usual at GDU.

We are resolved to ramp up the freelance business. Plus I now have two leads to adjunct community college jobs and will be able to max out the number of credits the district allows adjunct faculty to teach. If I get canned, the net will allow me to defer drawing down the IRA for a couple of months. If I don’t get canned, it can go toward resuscitating the moribund retirement savings.

Meanwhile, I got lead a lead for classes The Kid could teach, adjunct, in her discipline, which indeed would not pay what she earns waiting tables at Applebee’s (soooo far from it!), but every little bit helps.

Beth April 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Congrats! I know how you feel, a little; my husband and I went out and had a fancy meal with a bottle of wine after a horrible day wherein my whole team was quietly berated and pelted with veiled threats if we don’t “get better.” Potential loss of job on the horizon? Time to blow some cash. :P

Miss Thrifty April 1, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Great news! Writing from the UK, I always find it rather sad when I read about hardworking people having to worry about healthcare, because we take our healthcare for granted over here. I think Chance is right, though; keep your guard up!

Revanche April 2, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Congratulations! I cannot toast with you, but I salute your current good fortune! And am also hoping that it isn’t fake-er-oo.

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