Friday, August 10, 2007

I Can't Live...if Living is Without T-i-i-vo

Before I start today's regularly scheduled blog - I just wanted to throw out an update from last week's post. I have selected a desk and it is none of the ones we discussed. Maven Linda said I should buy the desk that jumped out at me and said "buy me." That's what this one said. It's more expensive, but has oodles of space. It's L-shaped with a hutch and it has a junk drawer. It's supposed to arrive today via UPS. I'll spend a big chunk of my weekend putting it together, which I hate with a fiery passion, but its what must be done. Isn't she pretty? Makes me feel like a big kid.



I felt a little guilty buying it because I've been pretty anxious about work lately. I work for a government contractor. My program is winding down. Eventually, unless new tasking and funding comes through, I will have to move to another program or another company. In the meantime, they're starting the first round of layoffs. Ugh. As far as I know, I'm not on the list, but it still makes you nervous. By October, I could be down several co-workers. My department could be collapsed and folded under another area - so a new boss may be on the horizon. My job will expand as I take on the tasks of people who will be gone.

And if I do end up on the list...then what? I'd like to think that I could pick up a job somewhere else within the company, but you never know. I have a niche skill set, but I'm flexible and quick to learn. Unfortunately, you can't just fake missile trajectory programming, so it limits the options. My degrees are in political science and HR. I won't go back to my old HR job unless my babies were starving and I don't have kids, so that ain't happening. I'll sell Happy Meals at the drive through first. My brain is just clouded with weird thoughts I've never had to face. How do you file for unemployment? I have no idea. Will I be able to defer my student loans? I'm not sure. I get seven weeks of severance pay (heavily taxed) to float me for a while, but of course the new house has lots of new big expenses.

Makes me think about those stories you hear of people who lose their jobs then take every dime they have to start their own business or something. The guy that invented the spray on tan did that. He raided his retirement fund to support him and his wife while he tinkered for several years on what would become the Mystic Tan booth. Or those authors that give themselves 2 years to get published before they have to go back to work and always seem to sell with, like 3 days to spare. It always seems to pay off, (at least you don't hear the stories about people who fail) but wow...I don't know I could take that kind of pressure to deliver.

In the meantime, you'd have to seriously cut back on the lifestyle. Dial up internet instead of cable. Cell phone plans dropped to a bare minimum or even - gasp - turned off. Satellite and DVR service cancelled. Netflix unsubscribed. Makes me queasy just thinking about it. Its funny how the more money you make, the more things become a necessity in your life. I never had high speed internet or Tivo before - why can't I live without it now? Cause I just can't! I'd be hocking sausage at the Hickory Farms kiosk this Christmas to keep my Tivo service going.

So to turn this horribly depressing topic into something more interesting - what is the one thing (unnecessary to survival) that you can't live without?

SP

17 comments:

Instigator said...

I love the desk!!

What couldn't I live without? My cable modem. I could do without cable TV before I'd let someone take away my high speed.

The good thing about working for a government contractor in our area is that there are a ton of them. When one program winds down there's usually another looking for qualified, hard working employees. I don't think you have anything to worry about (they'd be stupid to let you go!) but if they do I know you'll bounce back quickly. You're one of the most grounded, responsible people I know. You'd be an asset to any company.

Instigator

Kathy said...

I'm so envious of your new desk! I can just see you now, typing away at the keys with all that room about you. Your office is going to be rad!

Bummer about the lay-offs. I don't know if we're involved in that or not. Yikes! I agree with Instigator though, there's no way in hades that you're going to end up selling burgers. May the force be with you, SP!

What thing can't I live without? Which one? LOL. A few years back I hardly ever checked my e-mail making several people angry but now I can't live without caressing the keys, letting my eyes devour friendly communication and I'd be lost if my ears never heard Darth Vader's voice say "We meet again, at last!" when I've got mail. As Martha says, The Internet. It's a good thing.

After picturing PM's, Angel's and your office, I feel like I work in the slums now.

Kathy

Jen said...

LOVE the desk! Good choice.

You're going to be fine. You're smart and I think it's not going to come down to a hawking sausage in a kiosk to keep the TiVo going. ;-)

What I can't live without? AC first comes to mind, but i guess we're talking indulgence -- that'd be broadband, baby!

Nini said...

Nice desk! Very open and lots of room! I can see you swivelling around in the chair 'sqeeeing'...

Can't live without? Other than DH and once in a while the PITA DS....

My cell phone. I need to talk. Then it would be the cable modem.

I can live without cable, i can live without blockbuster, but i needs to have my daily fixes.

Nini

Maven LJ said...

Love the desk! Very nice.

What indulgence can't I live without? The short list is good coffee and high speed internet. If I had to go with just one of those, I'd keep the good coffee. Yes, I would pick up a part time job to pay for my Melitta. :-)

LJ

Maven Linda said...

My first thought was: coffee. Melitta, to be specific. I spit on the concept of Starbucks; it's a cheap, bitter grind that they make so strong you have to doctor it with so much stuff it becomes a dessert drink. I drink my coffee black, so a good grind it necessary.

But, you know, I could live without coffee. I wouldn't like it, but I could do it. I love the internet, and I love DSL now that I finally have it (!), but I could live witout it.

The bottom line answer turned out to be books. I couldn't live without books.

It's a great desk, SP. You'll be happy there. It says "you." None of the others did. Did you get the other pieces, too, the ones off to the right side?

And don't worry about your job. You'll be fine, whether you stay or leave, because if you leave it'll be because you want to, not because you're laid off.

Linda

MaryF said...

I'm actually debating between giving up my Blockbuster membership and my Tivo. Yeah, it's only $15-$20 a month, but I can't get to both! No time!


I saw a desk at Target - I've been eyeing (eying??) it all summer.

Smarty Pants said...

I just got the desk, which includes the file cabinet and computer cabinet underneath. I have a cherry bookshelf and 4 drawer file cabinet already, so I decided to use those. The desk was enough $$ as it was. But I love it!!

Angel said...

Cell phone. Definitely.

Growing up I lived on a farm in the middle of nowhereville. Twenty minutes to the nearest convenience store. There were several times when we broke down and its a long haul when houses are miles apart.

The semblance of security from a cell phone just makes me a bit more comfortable, especially since I barely know how to jump my car off, much less actually fix anything that might be broken.

I've actually thought about this some (you often do when your income stems from a seasonal business like my husbands). There are a lot of things I could do without, even though I may not like it.

A few things I'd hate to give up: New books every once in a while. Dinners and movies out with friends. Gift-giving.

Angel

Rhonda said...

SP, love the desk!!! Gorgeous!

What I couldn't live without?

Diet Mt. Dew. I *need* it. :-)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

What a gorgeous desk! Yep, always buy the one you really want, or you won't be happy and you'll end up spending MORE money to get the one you should have gotten in the first place. Glad you went with the one you wanted. :)

Hugs on the uncertainties. Fortunately, Huntsville is awash in a sea of gov't contracts. I'm sure you'll be fine. People who work hard and have good ethics are the ones companies want to keep.

What could I not do without? I think I need my internet connection pretty badly, but then Angel comes along with a good thought: cell phone. It's not the talking, it's the emergency possibilities. OTOH, I love my coffee too, but I could live without it if I had to. I'm a wine drinker, and I'd hate to give that up, but I would. TV? Not a problem. I lived without TV for 8 yrs before finally breaking down and getting a cable connection again.

No, I have to go with high-speed Internet.

Problem Child said...

I'm so spoiled...cell phone, high-speed, TiVo. All considered "luxuries" yet all so vital to my existence.

Can I say "you guys?"

::world peace::

Playground Monitor said...

I'm on that high-speed internet train with everyone else.

I've also ridden that contract recompetition rollercoaster too. I watched the lay-offs and ended up as the only one in my group left. And after a new company won the contract, we all had to interview for the jobs we'd been doing for years. Then I didn't find out until the eleventh hour that I had a job on the new contract, but they moved me from one department to another and I had to learn a new job from the ground up. You have my deepest sympathies on this because I know just how tough it can be. If it's any consolation, worker bees, especially hard-working ones, are usually okay in a recompete. It's management who suffers the most.

And woohoo on that desk! I love it.

PM

Stacy S said...

Love the desk. I would say the internet ( I'm addicted to it now). I was laid off this summer for almost 3 months, so I know what you mean. And we have 2 house to pay for right now. So, it's been really interesting. We are renting are old house now though.

Pat L. said...

I cannot live without MY COMPUTER or my books.

Happy w/e to all.

catslady said...

I don't have high speed yet so I have to say the internet and my whole bean coffee/grinder a close tie lol. (of course books are a given.) I would miss my digital camera and AC and cable TV too. The cell phone comes in last but I'm sure I'd miss it. There just isn't any going back is there?.

Love the desk.

Lis said...

Gorgeous desk!

Hmm, I'd say my dsl-lite, followed by my satellite. I was forced to go TV-less for about a year a couple years ago and it was horrible. Won't do that again.