Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crossroads Part I

Oh, so much to get caught up on again. This time it is illness that has had me down and behind: Severe Bronchitis. I laid around all day yesterday, miserably unable to breath and coughing like a mad woman. Today, I think my scent is starting to peek out behind the sinuses.

I guess it wasn't allergies; I suppose that is a relief. In the past year, I have been sick more than I have the entire proceeding decade. My co-worker says it is the back and forth between two climates (she did the same thing for 5 years and said she was constantly battling sickness). I tend to agree and, combined with the stress of being away from my sons and home, the every week commute and the crap work doles out, I think I am at the limit of what I can physically muster. I am tired of being sick, sick of being tired.

So, I was given a choice this week. I am standing at the proverbial crossroads. One path is, as every fairy tale demands, wrought with unknown and the other one is the one most would take, especially in our economic down times. My employer has offered 300 of us an opportunity to take a voluntary separation with an incentive. Now, the money is hardly great, but it's not bad either (represents a couple of months of salary). If I take it, I have to stay separated for 5 years (or pay it back).

On one hand, the choice would allow me to go home. I could find another job after a month or so of downtime. On the other one, I worked hard to get to where I am and I would basically be dumping this career. On one foot, I really am not in love with this job and the way the supervisors treat us (can you say 'military complex'?) and maybe leaving the path would proverbially open up some new door. On the other toes, I am one of 88 who do my job in the US and the chances of finding a similar (well-paid and benefited) job is going to be difficult, especially in hard hit Northern Indiana. Last, I love KY. I also know that my family is not moving there any time soon.

The main thing is this represents an opportunity to bail out before it gets worse. There are many, many rumors about what is going to happen and many involve dismantling some of our programs. In other words, I could get a lateral transfer to god knows where if I choose to stay and rough it out for the sake of my salary and position. I have no intentions of straying further from my boys, so I would have to voluntarily separate anyway...for free! We are being kept in the dark for now. If I take the incentive plan, my job ends by April 30...just like that!

So, now I am just standing here in the dark woods looking at these paths...

I am really curious about your feedback. I've run out of hands and feet!


fullfreezer said...

Oh, what a rotten choice. What does your heart tell you? You said yourself that you don't love the job, that it keeps you from your family. It almost sounds like you are asking for permission to dump this job and all of the angst it entails. On the other hand, it would (excuse my language) suck to lose everything you have worked and sacrificed for career wise.
Feel better, get outside and enjoy the weather and ponder where you would feel most content.
Good luck, I don't envy you your choice. I wish my crystal ball was working for you.

Gina said...

Thanks, Judy! Yes, you said it well and I think I am trying to justify it (I am really scared of unemployment, but, no, I have never loved this job). I wish you had a crystal ball too!! :D

I will have to file for the incentive by Monday (yes, they give you no time to ponder it), but I can say no when the calculation comes to me. If I had 20 years in, I wouldn't hesitate, but I only have about 6 (started late).

Definitely a hard choice!

tansy said...

i say follow your heart and take the separation. things always work out for you and this will get you back with your family, with some spare cash to bide your time until you find something else.

holding you in my thoughts! xo

Rae - Say It Ain't So said...

i agree with the above it seems like you have already made your decision. being away from your family ahs to be so hard! and here is a chance to have a little while to gfigure out your next move! intead of waiting until the job gets taken away and you don't have that nice little cushion.