Sunday, January 16, 2011

And How Was YOUR Week?!

This post is loaded. Be warned. There just doesn't seem to be a good way to summarize, so I'm pretty sure I'll present you with all kinds of TMI and gratuitous details that you have zero desire to know. But that's how I roll.

How to start? How to start?

*thoughtfully tapping chin*

10 days ago we had our little girl.

Yay! It was an amazing day full of the highest of highs and some of the lowest lows. I don't know how to segue smoothly, so I'm just gonna jump in from the beginning...

I know you've read [or suffered through] many posts where I have complained to the hills about Joe's job and the demands it's placed on him and the strain it has on all of us. No? Well, let me get you caught up...check out a couple of posts HERE & HERE. Enjoy.

Are you up to speed now? I find having a full back-story does so much for appreciating the current one.

December 30th, 2010 Joe had an uncomfortable (and-- from what he's told me-- loud) conversation with his immediate boss over the phone while he was working. This is the first time Joe has actually spoken up (literally and figuratively) to express his discontent with his situation. His situation being this: he's the proprietor of the #1 or #2 revenue producing location in his company and he has only 1 support manager and a few hourly employees with added responsibility. The other locations in the company have either the same number of management and a LOT LESS sales or a minimum of 3 managers. Joe has been asking for support for a year. He's been promised support. He still hasn't received any support.

The conversation went ugly. His boss emailed him a couple of days later to say he wanted to have a "meeting" per their phone conversation.

Meetings are nothing new in this company. The running joke is they have meetings about having meetings.

So, Thursday morning, January 6, I woke up all through the night with mild contractions. I got up at 6:20 that morning and decided to try to get some things done since I was probably headed into the hospital later to have the baby. Joe headed to his 9 am meeting with his boss knowing that I was having contractions and just didn't feel "right." I ambled around the house doing this and that to get the house and myself ready to be gone for a few days.

Joe called me at 9:30 ish to tell me he was done. Done with his meeting and with his job.

*insert record scratching sound effect here*

He was fired. For complaining that he wanted support and wasn't getting any. For being a squeaky wheel.

He was unceremoniously let go. And this is after being promoted a year ago, having high (record breaking) sales for New Year's Eve and having the CEO forward an email company-wide that said everyone should mirror what Joe's location does because they know what they are doing.

This is after the CEO called Joe at home a few weeks ago to tell him he would always know where he stood with the CEO. This is also after having the CEO visit Joe's location briefly and tell Joe that he could tell that Joe had it going on and knew what he was doing. The reason given for his termination: The company was going in a "different direction." That's executive-ese for "we don't really have a good reason, but we want it to sound like we do."

Soooooo here we were both dumb-founded. COMPLETELY blown away. All the emotions set in at once; hurt, fear, anger, indignation, fear, shock, fear, rage.

I was hoping he was coming home and we could process it together, but he was going into work.

I'm sorry, what?!

Yes, that's right...he's the only guy who gets fired and then still goes in to work a shift. His now former boss asked him if he would mind "helping them out" for a bit. And my sweet, dedicated husband agreed.

I tried to talk him out of it, but he didn't want to ruin his chances at getting the (ridiculously) modest "severance" they offered him. The severance that was supposed to be kept "hush hush." The severance that was supposed to give him a "soft landing." That's like pushing a family of 7 off the Empire State Building, but first putting them on a sheet so they have a "soft landing."

I kept Joe updated all afternoon as far as my contractions. They were sporadic but I was still having them. At only 37 weeks, I was a little nervous that it was too early. Finally, Joe came to his senses and headed home. That was about 1:00.

I called my OB's office to verify at what point I should head to the hospital since this was baby #5 in 5 1/2 years. The nurse practically told me I should go in that moment even though there was nothing consistent. She even called ahead to the hospital to tell my doctor I would most likely be in within the next 24 hours. I knew this was business, so Joe planned to go pick up our 2 oldest from school and then we would leisurely head into the hospital.

Scratch that.

At 2:30 my water broke. That is such an amazing and disgusting sensation. It's like peeing your pants periodically over and over again.

Joe came home, my sister-in-law came over and we headed to the hospital. It was like a scene from a movie. Traffic was gridlock. Joe was weaving in and out, between cars. I was having contractions every 5 minutes and telling him to "do whatever it takes to get me there" because I did NOT want the baby delivered in the car on the side of the road.

So, some illegal maneuvers later, we finally turned into the hospital parking lot--the "Emergency Vehicles Only" driveway, but whatever.

I got up to the delivery room at about 4, got my epidural at a little after 4 (thank you, Jesus) and the baby was born at 6:42 PM.

What an effin' day. Pardon the crass verbiage.

So, there we were, meeting this precious little girl whom we had been preparing for nearly a year to meet and instead of being completely overjoyed and absorbed in this happy moment, we were plagued with wondering how in the world we're going to take care of all of our kids and pay the bills.

Thanks, (insert company name here)!

I have struggled with how to be diplomatic and vague enough with presenting this info. I obviously have an enormous hate-on for this company, Joe's former boss, and the CEO in particular, but I also do truly believe that we will be taken care of. God has never deserted us and I know He won't now. It's still so maddening. I want so badly to take out a billboard on the busiest stretch of road and tell everyone about the kind of people who run that business.

I want to load up my Facebook page with the truth and the details so people know Joe didn't do anything wrong. It breaks my heart to know that my husband now feels the weight of the world on his shoulders with 6 mouths to feed and no income. This is a guy who has never missed a day of work, who stresses when he's not 10 minutes early for his shift, who consistently missed church, soccer games, school programs, and countless bedtimes because he had to work. Our ritual was to call daddy on the phone every night so the kids could say goodnight. And that's when daddy worked "1st shift."

He gave everything he had to this company--usually at our expense--and this is how they handle themselves?

I'm getting angry all over again just writing this. I want to hop in my sweet periwinkle minivan and go blast through their front lawns. But I won't. I'll (do my very best to) take the high road. Unlike them.

Sooooooo, for those of you who know us personally, now you know why Joe has been able to take such an extended vacation. I LOVE having him here, but it's also very stressful waiting to hear back from prospective companies.

It totally sucks that we should have been spending this time getting to know our new daughter and enjoying the time Joe's had off. Instead, we both take turns being riddled with anxiety about the future. I just had a baby 10 days ago and I may have to seriously consider going back to work very soon.

We have received such an outpouring of love and support from our church. It's been such a blessing. And, today, for the first time in months, Joe and I were able to go to church together. That is surely a blessing.

Joe's received so many texts and emails from employees, peers, and customers who tell him they miss him and they're sorry he's no longer there. I think that speaks volumes about the impression he left there.

When Joe was talking to me on the phone after he was let go that day, he kept apologizing. I told him then and still feel now that he has NOTHING to apologize for. He took a stand for our family. Unfortunately, **literary license and biased assumptions to follow** the men he worked for had long ago sacrificed their families on the altar, so they saw his dedication to us as a detriment. I see it for what it is...a wonderful gift in a world where so many have sacrificed their families for career longevity and upward mobility.

Gosh I love that man.
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