I may have hinted a few times that I know a thing or two about layoffs. This would be true. I do. In fact, if you see me coming, it’s best to start packing up your things right now because it will save us all hassle later on. (This, actually, is not true. Your manager would be terminating you, not me, so feel free to chat with me and share your Christmas candy.)
So, here’s the deal. You may get laid off. Yes, I know, you are a stellar performer and your boss loves you and blah, blah, blah. Humor me. You may get laid off. And here’s the kicker: You will still have bills to pay.
My company offers severance. Yeah! Severance checks come in the mail, not direct deposit. (Yes, I’ve tried to change that. No, payroll wasn’t interested. They said it was a systems thing. I like to get paid, so I said I believed them and now we’re all happy together.)
Two pay days in a row I’ve gotten a tearful phone call from a woman. It seems that the US mail did not deliver her check on the day expected. How could she pay her bills? Her car was going to be repossessed if she did not have that check TODAY.
I can’t control the US post office. (Wouldn’t that be cool if I could, though? That would be some serious super powers if I could do that.) I also can’t guarentee you’ll have a job. I can’t guarantee that your company will give you severance. (I can’t even guarantee that my company will give you severance, largely because you don’t work for my company.)
If a check being one day late will be the death of you financially, you need to get control over your financial life. Nobody should be living this close to the edge. I know now is not the best financial time, but please, think about the very real possibility that your check may be worse than one day late–it may not come at all if your job goes away.
I really feel for the woman who is having post office problems. I do. And that’s why I’m writing this. Please, put aside some money. Stop spending as if you’ll always have tons of cash. If you say, “But I can’t put anything aside!” Stop and think about what you’ll do if you do get laid off. You are better off now then you will be then, so do something to put a little aside. A little can grow into a lot if you just leave it alone and add a little each pay day.
It’ll make it a lot easier on all of us when your manager calls you into his office.