Wow what a year!! Left me feeling old, dirty and slow, kind of like this fellow.
Started on January 1st, 2009, with a 25% reduction in pay in from my employer. Well I actually had a choice. I could go out on a layoff from my salary job, or I could take the reduction and come back to my same job as an hourly worker. I was told at the time that it was only temporary until things picked up, and I could work a little overtime all along to make up the difference. Apparently they just had to cut down the number of salaried employees. At the time I was just glad to still be working. My 401k had already become a 201k and dropping sharply.
Well things went pretty smoothly for a couple of months, except for the fact that I was now working 50 hours a week to get the same pay I was getting previuosly for about 40 hours work. Unfortunately the economy continued its drop off the cliff, we were soon cut from all overtime. Oh well, just suck it in, tighten the budget belt and move on. Not too painful but pretty uncomfortable, especially with a family of five.
We rock on in that mode for maybe a month, month and a half, and now we are down to 32 hours a week. Not looking good for the Grogan family. For the first time I was getting worried about joining the ranks of foreclosure victims.
Throw in a couple of furlough weeks in July, and we are getting desperate. Now having to drain pretty much all our savings. But we survived. We basically just turned it over to the Lord, decided to just go with the flow. Ups and downs but by His grace we finished the year without any really major crisis.
Our oldest daughter began college in the September, and we added a new son in October. No, I am too old to be a newborn father. We adopted, or rather we are adopting, a 15 year old young man. He moved in with us as a foster care child, until all the final paper work is finished.
2009 is done and we survived. I think I ended up making about the same income in 2009 that I made in 1988. Only difference is, in 1988 it was just my wife and I to support, now we are a family of six.
Today my employer is under new ownership. We are back to 40 hours a week with some overtime available. My 401k is almost back up to a 301k. Still an hourly worker with no real hope of ever getting back to salary, but things aren’t looking too bad. The economy is expected to continue improving, but very slowly.