Laid Off Again…And It Feels So Good

Posted: October 28, 2012 in My Crazy World
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For weeks I’ve been waiting. Watching other people exit the door, and wondering when it will be my time. This past Wednesday I watched a large majority of my brothers and sisters get their layoffs. As they left my mood worsened. I wanted out. Then on Friday it came. I’m officially laid off. Thank the Lord I’m out! As I posted on Facebook with my layoff status some people thought I was nuts, but then I explained why and they understood my pain.

Three months I’ve been here working at the nuke plant in Port St. Lucie. The outage itself only accounts for just over two months. Enthusiasm was the morale of the people in the beginning as we collected our huge paychecks weekly. Checks filled with tons of “premium pay” in between my one day off a week. Now those cries of joy have turned to tired moans of “I can’t believe I’m still here.” The plant says they’re having ” Megawatt Fever!” The people I’m around have a completely different name for this event and call it “Layoff Fever!” We’re tired and beat down from working long days and nights in the heat, rain, and swarms of mosquitoes. The job became nothing more than a three ring circus. It was time to head home. It was time for a change of scenery.

“Layoff Fever”

A couple of weeks ago I arrived at that point of my job where the workers are saying that magical word. Layoff. “When is the layoff?” they cry. The head honchos offer no answer, or they say “I don’t know.” Of course I know that’s all bullshit. The company has a plan, and their job is to execute that plan along with the people who work here. The big question then became when? Rumors ran rampant. Hell I started a few myself just to keep my sanity. “15 and 5.” Fifteen laid off and five are getting fired. Some of the guys took it very seriously. I walked away with a smile on my face.

Then it happened. The beginning of the layoffs. They asked for volunteers and all the local brothers said “I’ll go.” The travelers were wondering what the hell was going on. “Man up your work” they say. I had no plans of leaving right away since I was a foreman, and my superintendent liked what I was doing along with the fact that we like cars. He kept telling me that he wanted to keep me around until the end. Sure I was ok with it in the beginning, but as the outage was winding down and the corporate bullshit hit and all-time high I just wanted to leave. My superintendent however had other plans.

First Time Foreman and Lessons Learned

A few months ago I was here working night shift doing Temp Power and Lighting for eight months. I was stuck in the grind doing the same shit over and over each day. I was bored. I was ready for the layoff, but the allure of the paycheck kept me going. Now I’m a foreman running my own crew. Running a job I knew nothing about, because the person who knew everything stepped down. I was winging it from the beginning and my crew knew it. They thought I couldn’t hack it, but after a week or two I had it all down. I became the Yoda of MSRs and Feedwater Heaters. You wouldn’t believe the shit coming out of my mouth. That shit was knowledge. Surprised my crew were at my sudden rush of wisdom making my slide in as the boss quite comfortable.

So after a few months in the joint known as my job (I even wrote “inmate” on my hard hat) started to wind down I started to look back at some lessons learned.

One: Taking the initiative and stepping up to the foreman role was great for me. I learned a lot about the trade I’m in and how to read blueprints.
Two: Doing TP&L during the last outage was not a smart career move. Sure the money was great for little work and sitting on your ass, but I saw the type of people who worked that department and I realized that I’m so much more than plugging in outlets and lights.
Three: When a job starts getting to the point of stupidity then you know it’s time to get out.
Four: When your a foreman your more than likely to stay to the end, but at least I wasn’t one of those “Call By Name” assholes who jump the book and take a job away from a brother who’s number is next in line to work. Sadly those guys won’t be leaving the job anytime soon. Suckers!!

Now that I’m home what do I do next? Well I plant to take the rest of the year off and become a professional bum collecting unemployment at $275 a week, update my resume, enjoy the holidays with my family, and play some video games. Leaving the paycheck will be hard to swallow, but when 2013 arrives (unless the world ends on December 21, 2012) I’ll be back on the road making more money. Until then it’s party time.


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