Monday, February 9, 2009


More rain.
It was overcast all day long, and then finally started raining again not half an hour ago.
It wasn't very surprising to hear the rumors of reduced hours, shut down stores and employee layoffs to start surfacing again at work today.
Though - it is pure speculation based on a little bit of fact. The fact was that management was definitely considering cutting everyone's hours back to 35 per week.
Speculation is that it will now happen. Further speculation that one of the outposts - a store that isn't doing very well - will be shut down and the 2 employees running it will be shipped back to the main branch.

More fact that salary-plus employees have had a new work shcedule introduced,they are no longer salary plus and I really haven't got an idea of WHAT they are on now.

Even further, the general manager of our division in AZ outwardly shows hope that we are going to ride out the storm, rumor that he is definitely wondering what's going to happen next. Corporate will make whatever decisions they decide to make - if any - and then we'll see what happens.

Reality? If the economy continues to go the way it does, I'm guessing a nationwide percentage layoff at our company. I'm also guessing they may just do away with both stores in the valley, the one I already spoke of an our store and go back to servicing all accounts out of the main branch. The cost savings would be substantial. We have the drivers and the trucks to be able to do so. Further speculation of local layoffs, meaning our division.

So, I sit here wondering what's coming next. I mean, the company isn't going to just continue on with their plans of expansion, instead, it's going to do whatever it has to to survive. This is only natural and for me - well - I will just go to work everyday and hope that I will have continued employment there.

I talked to 3 different drivers of 3 different trucking companies that come into our yard today. One driver rattled off a dozen companies that are laying off drivers, another said his company is doing well, the third the same as the first.

Of course this is cause for concern. I sit here and wonder what I am going to do if I get the axe. My brother - every time I talk to him - asks me what my backup plan is. WHAT backup plan? How do you make a backup plan in this kind of economy? I have none. Hit the streets and start pounding the doors for a job, that's all I can say. I hope it doesn't come to that. I know there are millions of other people that are wondering the same thing: will there be a job to go to tomorrow. Millions more have already lost their jobs. I also ponder what the American landscape is going to be after this collapse is over and done with.

The signs of inevitable restructuring/layoffs/whatever are the dismal numbers that are being posted. Or the days that there are no deliveries to make. 2 years ago this time we were going full-steam and the company was making plans for further expansion. I was working full days, non-stop go, go, go. Today? I did a return of some storm drainage pipe and did transfers. Tomorrow - not a single delivery for our branch unless something changed since I left work today - which it often does.

So, that's what my mind has been filled up with lately. It transcends everything else, even the situation with Mary. Without a job, I sink, period. I join the huge list of people losing their homes.

I have a backup plan, yes I do. It's a gruesome plan at best. It would suck, undoubtedly. But it exists. It might save my house. You might already guess what it would entail. I'd pitch a tent in my back yard and rent out every single room in the house if I had to - if it were possible - to keep from getting thrown on the street. My son would just have to stay with his mother. Oh yes, I have thought about worst-case scenarios. Food stamps, unemployment, a house full of tenants - a house FULL of tenants.

Whatever. I'm a survivalist. I always have been. I dream up answers where there are none. I wouldn't care about losing the car, but if I lost the house - it would be a LONG time before I would EVER qualify to get into another house again, and at the age of 45, that is a VERY unpalatable thought. I'm VERY glad I did not sell the old car. It's sitting there, and it runs. It needs a new battery now - but I got it running last weekend and had it running for quite a while to ensure lubrication of internal engine parts - and a new harmonic balancer. Oh, and it has a leaking wheel cylinder. Relatively cheap fixes.

On a lighter note - I have Friday off. Providing nothing big comes up - if work comes up that precludes me taking the day off, so beit - I get my birthday day off. So, a 3-day weekend. I came home this afternoon and slept for an hour and a half. I didn't sleep well last night - woke up at 1:30 am and didn't get back to sleep until 4:00 am, meaning I had about 5 hours of sleep last night. I'm thinking of taking a couple Ambien tonight.

I'm loving the 24 TV series and it comes on in half an hour. Watch that and go to sleep after it's over. Get whatever sleep I can and go to work tomorrow. When the rain lets up, I'm going to start working out hard. Not for the benefits of weight loss or whatever, but for the benefits of sleeping at night, releasing anxiety. I have my son's weight set here and I have the mountains behind me. That's all I need and neither costs anything. I intend on working out until I am so drained that I can't and don't care about thinking about such things as the economony. I've done it many times before - I have been working out since I was 10 years old - it's nothing new to me. It's an unbelievable high in itself without drugs or alcohol.

I've also thought about going on the 10-day Master Cleanse. Not sure if I can handle that or not - basically fasting, no solid food. I am also thinking of just pure fasting. Water only. But not for 10 days - probably like 5 to 7 days. I've done that before, the rejuvenating effects are crazy. Your body purges itself. You become mentally "crisp". You don't die in 5 or 7 days of fasting, trust me, you don't. You feel weak the first 3 days - that's a hurdle - after that, you start getting this "high". Whatever it is, it keeps you on it. You sleep well - quite well - after several days of eating nothing. I've done it many times, I speak from experience, at least for my own body.

So, then there's Mary, the other room I intend on renting out, and all kinds of OTHER things beyond what I have already written.

My dogs are currently living on $16.00 per 50 pound bag of cheap dog food compared to $26.00 per 44 pound bag of better dog food. I throw in cheap meats here and there. The stuff I bought at Fry's a while back - 10 pounds of chicken for $3.37 or whatever it was - feeding them that. Put a little chicken and some juice in it. They'll survive this with me, I hope anyway.

I'm going through this stuff because our world is being turned upside down. If it doesn't affect you - you must be in a good place. I'm not going to say I envy you, but I certainly don't hold it against you.

As for this entry, enough.


  1. It is a good thing that you have always worked as hard for the company as you have, sweeping the floors and washing the trucks without being asked, trying to learn the order system etc. If they have a brain, you will be the last to go and the first hired back.

    The economic insecurity certainly does make keeping Mary more attractive IF IF IF you can get the concessions from her that you seek. But even those are meaningless if she continues to ignore them. My inclination has been from the beginning to not have females on board, and to definitely have given her the boot when she erased your video surveillance.

    Having survived this long, I am pretty sure she is confident that you will not boot her out. The choice does not, however, seem as clearcut even from here as it might have a month ago.

  2. Stressful stuff...

    You have a backup plan. If you work for a publicly traded company I can give you some idea if you are going to have job cuts by looking at their numbers.

    I suspect the numbers are lousy and henceforth they are keeping you with reduced hours. Sounds like your company is employee centric which is a good thing.

    Ben, make plans for the worst case. I'm doing it and so is everyone else. You just never know.


  3. ONe of the webcams I look at periodically shows some of the locks in the Panama Canal. Up till today, there have virtually always been ships in the locks and others waiting to go, day or night.

    Just now, the three that are on camera are not only empty, but so is the waterway as far as the camera reaches. I am wondering if this is due to the overall world economy. I understand gold is being hoarded, but since you cannot eat it or live in it, it never made sense to me.

  4. Fin:
    Survival is a "game" I've been playing on and off for a long, long time. Unfortunate, but having had been necessary on several occasions.
    Mary has conceded so far to paying the court's judgment against her, plus February, the security deposit, don't know about last month's rent. To see the judgement,this month's rent and the security deposit would probably be enough for me at this point.
    Definitely a little more muddied the waters I'm swimming in right now - me and millions more like me.
    Bobby: Wolseley is the parent company, Ferguson is the company I work for. Not the plumbing division, either, which is tanking greatly right now and they are shutting down stores all over the place.
    My plans for the worst case is basically renting every room in the house (not that I want to do so and even not sure that I would be able to rent out that many - people may not like having to live with so many different elements). I am continuing with buying extra food here and there and storing it in a safe place.
    Worst worst case would be going OTR trucking again if I lost my job. Probably wouldn't find too great a pay, either, since companies can basically be dictators at this point - an employer's market, not a job-hunters. I will do if I have to, no doubt.
    Yes, the company I work is definitely family oriented, their people come first. Take care of their people, their people will take care of their customers is one of their mottos.
    OTC - whatever that means, was found on our company's website taking me to this URL:

  5. Fin: where do you find all of this stuff?
    What is the URL to see those locks?
    I don't know the allure of gold, either, cepting' it's a precious metal, doesn't give way to rust, don't know about corrosion - but it seems to me the value of it goes up and down, making it just as risky an investment as anything else.
    Now, if you had enough of it, you could make a gold brick house to live in : )


  7. Here's another I enjoy


In Brownsville, at the America's Best Value Inn.  I really like this place for the price.  Granite top tables and counters, tile floorin...