We're hanging on in eastern PA ... the rope we're hanging on to is getting thinner and thinner, though.
Spring of '08 I got a partial layoff - upper management in the advertising industry. I went from full time salaried to hourly at 20 hours/wk. I
took a part time job as a baker for a restaurant. After a couple months part time at both places, the advertising company was in imminent danger of
bankruptcy. They were forced to lay off 90% of the staff, including me. I was very lucky in that I was able to move to full time at the restaurant.
My husband is a chef and he continued his normal work schedule of 60-70 hrs/wk. Yes, we work at the same restaurant.
After being laid off from the advertising company, I filed for unemployment - I got partial benefits due to making much less at the restaurant, but it
was a huge help.
All was well through the summer months. Come about August, business began to slow, then in September it fell off a cliff. Customers & orders were
down by 30-40%.
By October the restaurant had slowed by an estimated 60% from summertime. Everyone's schedules were cut. I was down to part time, hubby down to 40
Having an excellent reputation in the industry, hubby was able to pick up a few shifts at another restaurant to make up some of the difference. I'm
not so lucky. I've been looking for either something part time to supplement what I have now or something full time in areas I have significant
experience. No dice. I've been told more than once I'm overqualified for part time positions (like a grocery store checker, waitress, I don't
care what I do at this point!), and the few full time office positions out there have insanely fierce competition. Factories around here are either
cutting back or closing our right, so manual labor is shot. I send out dozens of resumes a week whether I'm qualified or not. Nothing. I have been
able to do some contracting with my old firm (advertising) as they've survived and are at least getting by right now, but that's hit or miss.
We've cut out extras like dining out, etc.
The kid won't notice too much of a difference at Christmas this year because I'm the queen of bargain shopping, but our Christmas budget is less
than half of what it was last year. She's too young to not have anything under the tree, so we eliminated our annual Thanksgiving trip to see my
family and used that money for presents.
We have to juggle like mad every month when it comes to paying bills. Fortunately we don't have any credit card debt and we own our car, but it's a
struggle to get everything paid on time.
I don't know what's going to happen after Christmas. At this point I believe we should be in good shape at least through late spring, when my
unemployment runs out. Right now we're just trying to take everything one day at a time.