Okay, folks. Hang onto your hats.
They gave me NINE. MONTHS’. NOTICE.
That’s right. I’m canned, but in the slowest of slow-mo.
They’re closing my office, but pretty clearly because they’re nervous about the faculty’s response (which will be stentorian), they’re “phasing it out.” They’re going to renew my contract at the start of the fiscal year (July 1), but only for six months. The editorial office is now slated to close in December.
My suspicion that they converted my assistant editor’s job from classified (nonexempt) to service professional (exempt)—behind my back, and without telling her—so that they could more easily can her was dead on. Classified staff must be given first dibs on any openings for jobs comparable to the one they’re being laid off from. This means there’s one job like it coming open and they want someone else to have it.
Dollars to donuts, that little maneuver is illegal: for a contract to be valid, both parties need to sign it, eh? I don’t think you can switch a person from a classified job to a contract job without bothering to let her know, which is what they tried to do. The only reason I found out was that a woman who either wasn’t too bright or wasn’t any too friendly to what they were up to telephoned and let me know. My sidekick now is aware—through me—that her job classification has been changed, but she’s never been offered a contract. Our business manager said that our offer letter isher contract, but the offer letter, as I recall, was for a classified position, not for a service professional’s contract.
I understand that lawsuits against Our Beloved Employer are sprouting like fancy mushrooms in Room Farm’s closet.
For me, this could work out well. Nine months will give me plenty of timeeitherto look for another job (ugh! not bloody likely) or to figure out how to extract a living from several income streams. The possibilities for Bumhood are rife:
– Monetize Funny about Money
–Market and expand The Copyeditor’s Desk
–Put together the two books I have in hand, and sell the things
–Line up a few university or junior-college courses to teach
–Find a part-time job
–Get Social Security started
–Bunch up all my savings and start drawing down 4%, Bush economy be damned
The beauty of this is that my health care insurance is now covered. Nine months’ notice will carry through until the end of December, 2009. I turn 65 in May of 2010: only five months later. The cost of COBRA is being cut, so that the amount I will receive in vacation pay will easily cover five months’ worth, after which I’ll be eligible for Medicare. Six weeks’ worth of vacation pay will cover five months of COBRA and then some: I’ll have cash left over.
Medicare may cost more than the new, reduced COBRA, which could represent a problem. But I’ll deal with that when I get to it.
* * *
A huge typhoon of a windstorm is roaring around outside. Stuff is banging against the exterior walls and thumping down on the roof. Poor little Cassie, who’s scared of wind (she apparently thinks it has something to do with the supernatural), has been locked inside for eight or ten hours, and now she won’t go out long enough to do her Thing.
She was trapped interminably because I left the campus at 6:30, got stuck in perfectly hideous late rush-hour traffic, had to get off the freeway and make my way 15 miles across town on jam-packed surface streets. Went by M’hijito’s house to tell him what’s up; he took me to dinner, so the Cassie wasn’t rescued until after 8:30 at night.
This morning I took my unfortunate client’s corrupted file out to the powerful PC on campus and to my amazement contrived to save it. The computer actually broke into the defunct file! It tried to crash when I hit the corrupted table, but by then I was wise to things and had saved changes. Next time the file opened, I managed to surgically excise the suspect material, and from then on the thing worked OK.
I had to rebuild 2/3 of Author’s twenty-sixtables, some of them very complex. It took hour after hour after endless hour, wrapped around a meeting in which I was told I soon will be out on the street. The upshot of it is that even though I saved the client’s job and will get paid (I hope…), I’ve earned something less than minimum wage for my trouble. Oh well. It’s enough to buy a month and a half worth of groceries, so I’m not going to complain. Much.