The only thing tougher than looking for work, is watching your husband of 17 years look for work after being at a company for 34 years.
Yes. That’s 34 years. No doubt longer than many Millennials have been alive.
He worked for AT&T, and happily got up at 5 in the morning – no matter if there was six feet of snow on the ground, or temperatures in the 90s – and ran his four miles. Then he walked our dog, sent our twin boys off to school with a groan-inducing joke, and went to work.
He was let go just weeks before the holidays, and now he’s out there interviewing, and realizing that skill sets that worked for him for more than three decades just might not be enough anymore.
He might be, gulp, irrelevant. Or obsolete. Like the #Ford Pinto.
I, on the other hand, haven’t worked anywhere longer than four years since our boys were born 15 years ago. And it was mostly part time – as a content editor for a health care publishing company, a news writer for a local tv station, and even a Critters reporter for a local newspaper.
Did you know that parrots can live longer than people, and that some owners draw up wills for their feathered pets knowing this?
In the back of my mind always, since I was 10 years old and wrote a story about my Grandma seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time, was to write that best selling novel that would be translated into 30 languages and eventually made into a movie.
And so, my husband let me continue to pursue my dream as he went to work. Without complaining. Because … he enjoyed his life.
How many of us can say that?
That’s one of the reasons I married him all those years ago, because he didn’t complain, or put people down, or always see the negative. He was the most positive, happy, unencumbered person I’d ever met, the only newly turned 30 year old who wasn’t carrying emotional baggage, and who didn’t have an ex-wife and two kids on his resume.
So now he approaches job hunting the same way, optimistically, as even sure things evaporate one by one. And I don’t want to see him beaten down.
One of the jokes he always sent the boys to school with was this: two peanuts go into a bar, and one is assaulted.
They always laughed, feebly, and he smiled.
I won’t let him, or us, be assaulted.