Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fall Out From the Recession

My husband has been training with the railroad since early October. We had expected our insurance to kick in in early February. But now that the recession has hit, there isn't as much to ship, so the railroad is furloughing a lot of people. At first it seemed that we would make it through the recession without a furlough- he works for a busy subdivision at a major hub- that hasn't furloughed anyone in years and years. So around the time that his passenger conductor's uniform arrived (he was expecting to work some commuter lines as well as freight), we found out that he won't be using it much. He tried it on for us. It made him look ... OLDER.

We're expecting this to last about a year, and unfortunately, we won't have benefits during that time.

The up side is that during the furlough a lot of other guys might leave the railroad to seek other work, and some of those people might not come back. That would give my husband higher seniority when he does get back to work- and in the railroad business, seniority is everything.

The plan right now is to have a virtual spending moratorium while we wait for him get back to work. For the first few months he is going to get caught up on repairs around the house. We need to gut our bathroom, which is hideous. We need to paint the exterior of the house. And there is a myriad of minor repairs that are needed. It will be nice to get all that done.

Hopefully the recession won't last too long. In the meantime the uniforms hang in the closet as a sign of hope- that the railroad has invested enough in his training by now that they will eventually call him back when things pick up.

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