The story of our lives has taken a new direction. I guess you could call it a plot twist.
As those of you who are reading our story know, business at EJ’s company slowed down to historical levels so EJ got laid off from his job about a month ago. That was scary, but he quickly found a new job, and he likes his new company as much as he liked the previous one. However, at this new job EJ earns two dollars less per hour than at his previous job, and finances that were already tight–since we still haven’t sold our old house yet–are even tighter. Two dollars per hour less is $4,000 per year less. Yikes. Also, we don’t have medical insurance for 90 days, which is kind of scary, especially since EJ has health problems and JJ needs to have regular appointments with his oncologist to make sure he remains cancer-free. In addition, EJ was hired through an employment agency so technically he works for them as a temp until his contract with them expires. The advantage of this new company is that it has long-term contracts so the chances of getting laid off are very slim.
Well, late last week EJ got a call from his previous company–the one that laid him off–and they offered him another job at the same pay he was getting before, which means he’d get his $2 per hour back. Also, he’d be a “direct hire” which means he wouldn’t work through an employment agency. In addition, the new position would involve working in a different department on a “core product” which means there is less chance of getting laid off than before. However, the owner of the company is older and will probably sell his company in a couple of years and the work environment could change drastically with a new owner. And what if the company lays EJ off again? His current company would unlikely want to hire him again if he left after working less than three weeks. So we’d be permanently closing a door.
Despite the increase in pay, EJ is happy at his new job so he was going to decline the job offer to go back to the other company. But then he was told that he would immediately have medical insurance. That is a HUGE advantage.
We had to quickly make a decision. It’s hard to make a decision when the choices are both good. It’s hard to decide when both have more-or-less equal advantages and disadvantages. It makes me feel like the game show, Let’s Make A Deal, in which a contestant is given something of value and then given a choice of whether to keep it or exchange it for a different item. Does EJ keep what he has or risk it for possibly something better?
We decided that the $2 more per hour and the immediate medical insurance were too necessary to pass up. EJ is returning to his previous job.
Meanwhile, I’m a member of a popular INFJ Facebook page. Apparently, my comments always get a lot of likes so the senior admin has been urging me to become part of their team for the last year or so. I’ve always declined because there was always too much going on in our lives–like moving, for example, and trying to recover from burnout. However, I finally agreed to co-host a weekly segment about being an INFJ. I would actually share duties with another host so I’d have to do it one day every other week. That is more manageable than hosting it every week, especially since I’m also trying to get my Etsy store going. I’ve spent the last days trying to learn about my new duties. Who knows where this will lead?
Meanwhile, JJ is hoping to move on to a new job. Since a new Meijer store opened up in November, his store’s business has been cut about 50 percent and the corporate office is eliminating positions throughout the company, which is causing stress. JJ thinks it’s time to move on. He is really good at his job and he frequently has customers urge him to work at their companies. A co-worker who works as a park ranger has been urging JJ to apply so he filled out an application and dropped it off a few days ago. We shall see what happens with that.
My family has always been very cautious and Hobbit-ish, but in the last year or so, if feels as if we have been taking, oh, so many risks. New move, new jobs, new roles, new opportunities. I feel a bit like Bilbo Baggins:
“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”