DH is getting furloughed again

DH’s company will be between grants/projects again.  So this time instead of laying everybody off, they’ve decided to furlough 20% and actually give time off, not just a paycut.  Everyone seems pretty happy about this solution.   It’s going to be Fridays starting this month.

DH promises he won’t use his extra day of weekend to do yardwork, which seems to be where his free time has gone in the past.  Given our lack of childcare, we’re not too unhappy about this state of affairs.  And, given the number of reimbursements we’ve received over the past few months for travel and summer camps and so on, I think it’s possible we won’t have to dip into savings at least until I start getting paid again in October.

They’re not sure how long things are going to last– the problem is that their next project money involves a lot of travel… and Covid has messed all of that up.  Even states allowing travel have had restrictions about who is allowed to visit the places DH would need to visit.

Hopefully the company will stay in business.  Otherwise, I don’t know, maybe it will be time for him to take an early retirement.  Or moving to Paradise.  Who knows.

Have you and yours been affected by the pandemic/recession?

27 Responses to “DH is getting furloughed again”

  1. Mary Says:

    Just about the time the lockdown started (so, mid-March), DH disappeared. Last I heard, he’s living somewhere in Western Europe. Which I guess is good for him, because it sounds like they’ve got COVID pretty much under control there. But it’s hard on the rest of us.

  2. Leah Says:

    oof, that’s rough. Glad it’s more time off and not just pay. One of my friends had to take a big pay cut even though her division was doing fine in order to help the rest of the company, but she still had to work the same hours. Thankfully, her pay just got restored.

    I’m taking this next year off due to the pandemic and new baby. I was already planning on taking a long maternity leave, and now it’s even longer. I’m nervous but also excited. This will be a hit to our savings, mostly — we can definitely survive on one income, even though my husband also had to take a 5% paycut. I am looking forward to a year with (hopefully) a little less stress. Distance teaching + distance learning a kindergartener with a toddler at home was rough. I imagine adding a baby in wouldn’t make it any easier, so I’m glad I can focus on our home. I am trying not to overload myself with tons of new projects, but of course I have a few ideas.

    We have been working this summer on finish/painting, organizing, and decluttering our basement. It’s one big area split into three zones — laundry/workout, playroom, and storage. It was fine before but was unfinished. If we have to be at home a lot next winter, I want it to be a welcoming play area for the kids. And I don’t want to be staring at raw drywall and concrete. We have mudded, primed, and painted. We are getting close to the 75% done mark, but the areas we have left are ceiling and concrete in the “storage” part of the basement, so we are less stressed about that. In the next few days, we should be able to clean the floors and set up the playroom portion of the basement.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      This is definitely a good year for people in teaching professions to be on leave. My SIL is also taking the year off from teaching with twins expected in November.

      It sounds like we’re most likely going to be doing face-to-face with some students zooming in from home. I really don’t know how I’m going to teach since a lot of what makes me so good in my math classes is small group work and me walking around the classroom while they work problems, but it sounds like I’ll be behind a plastic wall just giving lectures.

      • Leah Says:

        yeah, I mostly do hands-on and active stuff too. Not a big stand-and-lecture person. I’ve also wanted to re-evaluate some stuff in my life, so I figure the timing is right.

        I wish you luck navigating all this!

  3. middle_class Says:

    Is early retirement a real possibility? Would you retire early too? That wouls be awesome.

    I have a feeling that my company will have layoffs next year. They are losing money but promised not to lay off in 2020. I would like to get another job but ageism is a real issue plus I don’t want a long commute.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Early retirement is only a possibility for one of us– we still need a salary and health insurance! I have tenure so it is very difficult for me to lose my job. If we were to live on his salary we’d probably have to move someplace where tech jobs are more plentiful and cost of living might require me to find something also if we did that. So… basically he can be a house husband if I keep my job here where cost of living is cheap and my job is stable, but if we rely on his income probably we would both need to work.

  4. becca Says:

    In the big picture, we haven’t been impacted job wise yet. My pilot project is coming to an end and goodness knows what the criteria for whether we get funded will even be given the inevitable covid drag. Which is tough, because I really love where I’m at and want to stay.

    The details of our schedules have changed a bunch though. On paper, my job is still “telecommuting recommended” status (though this is complicated by my immediate supervisor probably not preferring it!). My SO’s job is “telecommuting available”. So we’re muddling through ok for the moment. My job involves more adjusting to other people’s schedules, but I can still push in the direction of more advance planning. I think given the amount of data analysis and benchwork we are both doing right now, in theory we could both hit 25 hours on site in an average week and accomplish at least 95% of what we could accomplish in 40 hours each- the devil is always in the details. We have daycare for the 3 year old, at least for now (having had Covid related closures I am hesitant to have complete faith in it being undisrupted), and the 10 year old *can* stay at home unattended.
    We don’t have anywhere near enough to retire, and things would be unmanageable without at least one of these jobs.

  5. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    We are largely okay (and still getting paid) though the university’s cut benefits sharply and raised healthcare costs to at least double, so it’s basically a pay cut.

    I am kind of worried about my grandma, who lives on a small income that comes entirely from liquidation of her late husband’s IRA. Past mismanagement means there was only barely enough and the current stock market is…. not great. I helped her transfer it to an instrument with a much lower fee structure but most of the damage is done. We will send her cash if I can get her to accept it (she says we should take care of the kids, I say we can do that AND help out my 86 year old bubbe.)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That’s rough.

      Right now we’re not getting raises and we’re to expect a 3% cut overall next year and a larger one the year after, but it sounds like most of this will be coming out of cut programs and so on, to be decided at the unit level, probably not across the board benefits or pay. But we’ll see.

      My mom and my MIL both have state pensions that are enshrined, so I think our parents will be doing fine. DH is a bit worried about his sister, but I think the factory her husband works at is considered essential, so as long as he doesn’t get sick they should be fine for the year she’s on maternity, especially with DH’s mom helping out.

      • Jenny F. Scientist Says:

        My grandma was paying over 5% of the total investment in annual fees, I just about had a cow when I saw it. But also 20 years ago was the right time to change that before about $150,000 went down the drain. Anyhow, naive older investors plus high fee investment advisor…..

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Ayup. I forget how much my FIL, who is an accountant and should know better, was losing to Edward Jones before I made him switch. But he did figure out the fees and ran the numbers and switched to Vanguard in the year after retiring! I think it was 10K/year, actually. I remember my MIL saying she’d have to teach 3 classes online to make up for what they were losing in fees. It’s insane! (No wonder he could afford to donate a substantial amount to FIL’s hunting charity each year.)

  6. Susan Says:

    We’re mostly fine. Like many, my U cut our 403b contribution, so that’s ~ a 15% paycut. My DH is fine, and looks increasingly embedded into his tech company, altho … tech company, job could vaporize any time, but at least the shutdown has paved new ground in terms of remote work. We’ve just returned from our cut-short sabbatical in expensive paradise*, so we’re busily re-nesting with new patio furniture and a freezer for the garage. We couldn’t really order things in the shutdown version of paradise because there was a front-desk person in the middle that we tried to avoid for covid reasons, so we’re keeping the truck drivers busy this week anyway.
    *that reminds me, I should answer my own questions from last year now!

  7. SP Says:

    We’ve both had salary freezes announced. I’m not sure if I can get my anticipated promotion through int his climate. No furloughs yet, although that is more likely for my husband’s position than mine. COVID has affected one of my projects in that it is now much higher risk to try to meet the schedule, but no firm impacts yet.

    Does your DH enjoy yard work, or does he want to spend his time doing something more enjoyable to him?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I don’t think he enjoys yard work. But he notices weeds and bushes that need trimming. Previously we canceled the mowers which meant weekly mowing and edging (and more noticing things we usually ignore) but thankfully we can afford to keep them this time around.

  8. omdg Says:

    Husband enjoying relative job security in vaccine development (ha).

    I am also — it’s a good time to be a health services research who uses large databases and doesn’t have to recruit subjects or run a lab. Will have to see how the funding climate ends up being, and whether (despite the relative ease of doing this kind of work) I get sucked into more clinical work because it is more profitable for the hospital in the short term once I start my new job.

    I am sorry about the furlough. As you’ve said many many times, it is good to keep living expenses far below what you make, as much as possible, though goodness knows nobody would have anticipated THIS colossal a governmental f*** up a year ago (or maybe they would have, lol).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I assumed we’d be dead in nuclear winter, not trapped in our bunkers because of plague. So.. there’s that?

      If DH does early retire we either have to cut spending or cut retirement/college saving. Probably we’d go with spending… it’s just so nice to not have to think about things.

  9. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    Financially the impact has been minimal. We spend more on groceries and takeout because we’re eating 3-5 times a day, we don’t spend on daycare, we do spend on educational supplements. It balances out. My employer is fairly certain we’re ok through the end of the year. I’m not positive whether that outlook extends beyond that but there are some things I can personally do to increase business revenue and I’m working on that in hopes that it all adds up. They seem committed to keeping everyone employed for now. PiC’s employer is much more stable which is a relief because we need health insurance! So I’m incredibly grateful that this part is ok for now – we could not manage on one income at all. (That makes me sad.)

    Day to day I’m still hanging on to my sanity because we’re juggling too many things constantly but we’re doing our best to do it as a team.

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