Thursday, July 23, 2009

Double helping of bad news

So, does anyone remember that I posted a couple of weeks ago about bad news that I'd gotten and was feeling really down about ... that I haven't mentioned since ... the reason for which I guess is because of an irrational gut feeling that if I don't talk about it it'll go away. Or, not a feeling, more of a hope, maybe. Totally irrational, I know. It doesn't work that way. But the worst bit of news I got is something that I have actually actively chosen not to look into yet because I feel like I know too few details yet to want to do that. When that changes I think - I hope - that my feelings about it and my attitude towards it will change too. Anyway ...

What happened was, first, that I got some bad news at work. Not crisis level news, but still, bad news. And pretty surprising news since only about a week earlier I'd been given the strong impression that no way would this happen. >:-( Basically my boss called me in for a meeting and told me that because of the problems the company's in, something needs to be done ... and like two of our three in-house daughter companies, the solution they're going to try is temporary layoffs. There's a word for it in Norwegian - permittering - I don't know if there is an exact word for it in English. (Please enlighten me if you do know the word. :-) Basically it means that you don't lose your job, you just don't work for however long it lasts till there's work for you to do again. The daughter companies have chosen to do this across the board, with 20% cuts in work time for every employee, but because my boss thinks, and I actually quote, that solidarity is a bad word and a ridiculous idea, we are going to cut one person 100%. And that lucky person is me. :-(

I'm sorry to say that I understand completely that he chose me, when he had to pick someone. He had very little to choose from. We're nine people who work there. He obviously couldn't cut himself. Then there are two people who do unique jobs, ie, there's no overlap with any other employee in the tasks that they do. The, what, operations manager (driftssjef) we can't do without. And the secretary/girl Friday, well, it would be pointless to cut her, because then I would have to take over her job, and then we'd be in exactly the same fix. He could have cut someone in the warehouse, except that since we moved in January we no longer have any warehouse staff on our payroll, because they were moved to a separate company to do their thing for us and all the daughter companies together. So that's out. That leaves the salesmen and the store personnel. We have four salesmen right now, so theoretically he could have cut one of them and gone down to three. Only problem is that one of them has already resigned. :-( He's really young and he's going back to school, and he's only working till the end of July. So that would be pointless. If he even could be given this temporary layoff thing during his notice period, I'm not at all sure that that's allowed. But even if it is, it'd only be for two weeks, so that'd be totally pointless. That leaves the two of us in the store, and since the whole point is to save money, of course they cut the one with the highest salary. Yours truly. :-(

So, I understand it, but it still sucks. Partly because I really don't like being in this situation. But partly, and mainly, because of the ironical fact that there actually is plenty of work for me to do. I seriously don't know how they're managing without me (and I'm really worried that the very young man who's now left to do my job as well as his own (which I'm not convinced that he's entirely on top of yet) will be so overworked that he'll get enough and quit before this is over). This is a company that was founded in Trondheim and has its main office there, with branches all over the country. Some of the branches are doing better than others ... specifically, the Oslo department is doing best of all. We're actually doing well. We need all hands. o_O I'm not joking, I wish I was. We're doing well, but the problem is that the company as a whole is struggling a bit and that, unfortunately, is what counts. So. I'm getting a reaaally long summer vacay this year. :-(

The crazy part is that this week we're in now, where you'll notice that I am in fact not working, was one of the weeks that I originally asked to get off as vacation time. This one and the next ... which were the same weeks that our O.M. had already been given off. So I wanted to not work during those weeks. And my boss said, and I quote, Oh, that might be difficult. Have you booked anything? You haven't booked anything, right?

Anyway ... when I was told about it, I was pretty upset, and for the next day or so really worried. Mostly on principle, I think. Because it really isn't a crisis ... nowhere near. Financially I'm absolutely not worried. And time-wise, well ... What they're saying is that this will last 'till fall', through the summer. Which is June, July, August. When I was told this, there was half a working day left of June. July, that's four weeks, I worked two of those. August, that's four weeks, but I was supposed to have three of them off anyway. So that doesn't leave much of the summer. And by then, well, we'll just have to see. My boss is so optimistic and wants me back asap and will keep me posted on absolutely everything and bla bla bla. I just hope for the best, nothing much I can do. And like I said it's not a crisis. Except that I do worry about all the time I'm sure I'm going to waste. And I just was really upset, because this is bad news and nothing like it has ever happened to me before. So for a day or so I was worried and upset. But then, like I mentioned in my first post, something much much worse happened that made all of this just fade into the background. :-(

As I said, I don't know any details yet. So I don't know how worried I should be, or what I can do, if there's even anything I can do, which I doubt. Even if there isn't, I so want to know. But there's lots of tests that have to be done, and of course they're not doing things like that in the summer. So it's been scheduled for August, late August. Until then we basically know nothing. It's a really bad feeling and I guess that's what I'd like to pretend isn't real. I wish it worked. :-(

What's happened is that my mother hasn't been feeling quite herself lately, and when wishing it away didn't work for her either, she decided that she just had to see her doctor and find out for sure. My mother's a real worrier, and her imagination is way too good ... she's the kind of person who just invents things to worry about if there isn't anything real. So she knew she had to find out for sure, or she'd drive herself crazy. And I have to say, although it's so hard to know this, I am glad she did, because now that it's been caught early, hopefully there's something they can do. But I am SO sad for my mother's sake, because for her this is really the worst thing that could possibly have happened. :-(

Again, we don't actually know this for a fact yet, because the serious testing hasn't been done. But her doctor, who has years of experience and who she totally trusts, says that he has no idea whatsoever what on earth else this could possibly be. So there's no reason to hope for anything other than that my mother really has Parkinson's disease. :-(

I can't even tell you how awful I felt hearing this. Because this is absolutely the worst thing my mother could have gotten. Cancer would have been better. I know that sounds bad, but it's true. My mother's aunt, my grandmother's younger sister, has Parkinson's, she's had it for years, a really bad case. (Now, rather mysteriously, drastically improved since she moved into sheltered accommodation a couple of months ago. o_O) My mother has seen this for many years and has felt so bad for her aunt, and has built up this nightmare image in her mind of how dreadful this disease is. It's the absolutely worst case scenario for her. She was so upset when she told me. We just talked on the phone, and I felt so bad not being able to put my arms around her and hug her. (And it was especially not a good time to tell her my job woes ... so in fact I still haven't told my parents about it, believe it or not.)

I'm happy now that my grandmother's dead, because knowing that her beloved daughter also has this disease that she watched for many years almost cripple her sister ... that would have just crushed her. :-(

So ... two bad things, one just regulation issue bad and the other really awful ... none of which I can do anything about. I haven't even looked into the whole Parkinson's thing yet because I want to know more facts about my mother's case specifically before I bury myself in frightening information that may not be the information that I need. If that makes sense. In the meantime there's nothing I can do but worry. My parents are at our cabin in the mountains now, and they've also been up the coast to visit my father's family ... they've seen my cousins' new babies, which I know my mother was really looking forward to ... (and by 'my cousins' new babies', I mean my cousin R.'s baby son and also her older brother H.'s baby son, two entirely different little fellows almost the same age :-). My mother seems to be doing pretty well. But like I said, she is a worrier. And now she has the whole summer to construct the worst possible nightmare scenarios in her head. :-(

Examples: She's already worried about when they will have to move out of the house. And she told me that she'd been strawberry picking, which she usually does every June, but this year she's picked much much more than she normally would, because next year she may not be able to pick any at all. :-(

So. This is not a good summer for me. I worry too much, I'm in a bad mood too much of the time, and I'm disappointed in myself for lazing about and wasting lots of time on doing nothing - as I knew I would; too much free time isn't good for me, it never has been, I never do anything sensible with it - and I just know I'm getting bad habits, staying up too late and sleeping till all hours. So that when I do go back to work, I'll have made it difficult for myself to get back to my routines. Such as they were. I know it's a bad idea, and I know there's so much I could and should get done now that I have the time, but somehow it just turns out this way anyway. >:-(

If anyone feels that this is TMI and this is too public a place for it, well, too bad. I actually think it's a pretty good place. I've told a couple of my friends about this, but ... I just can't manage to tell every single person that I should tell, separately, and repeat this again and again. It's been bad enough the times I have told it, and now that I've written it down. Quite a few of my friends read this blog, and, well, now you all know. :-(

Hopefully in a month or so I will have learned more. Until then there's nothing I can do but worry.


Off the Derech said...

This is just so awful.

I wish you all the best.

Leisha Camden said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Leisha! That is terrible news, I'm sorry that you're dealing with this now :(
*lots of hugs and hot chocolate*
Please let us know how things go. I really hope your mother ends up okay, and of course getting your job back would be good news, too.

Lina said...

I'm so sorry, that's horrible news on all fronts, and I'm sure that no matter how many people tell you they are sorry it still wont help, but sorry I am.

Paz said...

First off ((((((((BIG HUG))))))))
I had noticed the other night that you were replying to my comments rather late, I thought you might be holidays as ye are an hour or two ahead of us here,I did the same thing when we went on shorter weeks.
I found I was better equipped to deal with my Fathers illness after reading up on it even though you often read worst case scenarios.
hang in there
More ((((((((HUGS))))))))

Anonymous said...

That's dreadful news - I'm so very sorry to hear it :( *hugs*

I'm in town for the rest of the summer - let me know if you want to go out and do something nice - cinema, book shopping, whatever - to take your mind off things. I'm going to become even less good at taking initiatives than I usually am because of finishing my thesis, but I am around.

CiViX said...

Hei Kristin!

Jeg synes det var fint du skrev dette, både for din egen del og for oss venner og bekjente. Det var veldig trist å lese, og jeg håper virkelig alt går bra med dere. Håper du holder oss oppdatert via bloggen...

Kan ikke gjøre så mye annet enn å sende deg en virtuell *klem* og si at jeg tenker på deg. Hvis vi treffes i Oslo i løpet av auust (hvor jeg kommer til å være et en del ganger), så skal du få en ekte klem også ;-)


Rose said...

Sending you a big hug from Tassie!!! My thoughts are with you and your family. Such sad news about your mum!!! Take good care of you, this is a lot to deal with!!
Hugs xxx

Suleman said...

Hope n wish things get better for you and your family !!!

Anonymous said...

*big hugs*

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of you, Leisha with deep caring thoughts. My mother is also unwell.

Wish all humans were kinder and more compassionate toward one another while we make our life journey... I guess many people on this planet learn what is truly important one person at a time. Caring for one another is it for me! ... At least you live in a country where medical care is a right, and not a privilege for the few.