But preparing for the worst.
Keith's job is so up in the air right now, with rumors of layoffs coming this Friday, and then no, we have enough work for another couple of weeks, and then, no, we should be able to hang on until spring and we are trying to convince corporate that we really can make money repairing railcars and please keep us open.
The whole thing makes for very unproductive and unenthusiastic workers. What is left of the crew after layoffs over the past couple of years are all kind of in that why should we bother mindset, just lay us off so we can take an unemployment vacation for a few months while we look for something else. And can you blame them?
The way Keith's job has always been is that he is the one they count on for quality billable work, while the rest of the railcar repair crew would wander about the countryside in their trucks looking for railcars to inspect and maybe do a few repairs on. Now, does that sound like an efficient way to do business? Spend $100 a day on fuel for a truck to drive around and maybe find some work for the guy making $25 an hour to spend a few hours doing. Or, like in the case of a certain individual, fill in your paperwork that you did this or that repair but you never actually did it, instead you got some coffee and a newspaper and sat in your truck under a nice shady tree.
Well, now those guys are being forced to work in the yard instead of driving around all day and it's not sitting too well with them, so now they spend hours and hours in the air conditioned 'office' (actually a metal shipping container made into an office) and play around on the computer. Occasionally they do go out in the yard and sort of do some work.
So, Keith is getting very frustrated at seeing guys sitting around while he has been trying to make some money for the company so that maybe they won't all lose their jobs. He is now getting into the why bother state of mind, too.
The big boss is not forthcoming on what exactly will happen, partly because they probably really don't know for sure, and partly because if you tell all your employees that the ride will be over soon, they all just might find another job and quit before you really want them to. Today they are supposed to have (yet another) meeting so maybe some truth will be told at this one and we will have some sort of a timeline to go by.
But then again, probably not.
So, we are trying not to spend any unnecessary money and certainly aren't taking any trips anywhere or doing much else of anything fun. Except for the sick cat and computer we were doing pretty well at sticking to our budget and keeping money in our savings. There will supposedly be a nice severance check if layoffs do occur, but we both are again expecting the worst because we are sure that somehow the company will find a way not to have to pay those out.
Anyway, Keith has been a little extra cranky lately because of the stress of worrying about his job future. He is starting to sound like the grumpy old man I'm sure he will fit right into the role of as he gets older. He likes to yell back at the TV and soon will be yelling at the kids to GET OFF MY LAWN!