My vacation week turned 360 degrees in 1 day!
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|Sat, 03-30-2013 - 10:27am|
Right now I feel like Stephanie's Mom dealing with a sudden change of events out of left field. Stephanie & I can join the "you need to have all the courage & strength to forge ahead" club. So here's my story: As I said, this week Sun-Wed, was fine - catching up with house stuff, errands, etc. Wed. I get a call from my store manager to come because he needed to talk to me & didn't want to tell me over the phone. I worked at a Staples store in Port Chester, NY. What he said was, Staples needs to cut costs & effective March 30th, Staples will no longer employ full time associates at all 1800 stores. I was one of the full time associates. So I was handed my papers which included a severance package. The options given everyone is yes - you can continue to work for Staples, but only part time. I want to clarify that these are associates who do not hold any management positions. So only managers or leads can stay. I worked for Staples for almost 13 years! I started in the Larchmont, NY store because at the time my kids were in middle school & high school. My husband at the time was teaching high school in Manhattan & we were pretty deep in credit card debt because I was a stay at home Mom for 12 years prior. Further, we knew we needed a new car soon & I wanted a job near the middle school & high school incase one of the kids needed me to come to school for an emergency. So the Staples store in Larchmont was perfect. And yes, I remember several times, both kids called me at work & I had to puch out immediately & go to their school. So I'm forever grateful that I wasn't working downtown & having to wait for a train which would have delayed me getting to the kids. Even though the salary wasn't much, I managed to save, pay off the credit card & buy a new 2004 Toyota Camry. I needed the Camry at the time because my son was growing like a weed - he's now 6'2".
So, given the 2 options between working P/T & losing all my benefits + the severance OR taking the severance package - I chose the severance package. I signed the paper yesterday (my termination date). It felt like signing divorce papers - even though I've never been divorced.. So now I'm officially out of a job. The severance is $4,121. + my vacation pay which Staples owes me. I am losing all my health benefits effective today. Part time employees are not eligible for full health benefits. Also I am eligible for unemployment benefits. Staples will not contest unemployment.
As of today, I'm doing OK. Thankfully, I have a lot of positives to be grateful for. 1) I'm fully covered under my husband's medical with the NYC Board of Education. Ironically, it's a case of you get what you pay for - meaning Staples had MUCH better health coverage than the NYC Board of Ed., BUT I also paid a lot more than David does for his coverage. 2) Since David is a high school teacher & making a good income, I don't need to work at all the rest of my life. After all, we survived for 12 YEARS on David's income while I stayed home raising the kids.& he was making a lot less money then. So my income from Staples was miscellaneous income that was used for "whatever" It was never used to pay bills. David's income was used to pay bills, go food shopping, etc. Once I paid off the credit card debt & bought the car (which has been paid off), I put some money into Staples 401K, I used some towards our new apartment, I paid for our vacations, etc. At this point, once David retires from teaching, he will collect a pension + Social Security. If he ever dies, I can collect that pension until my death + Social Security. So, I do have the option of looking for a job or not. I'm choosing to look for a job because I have NO intention of staying home & watching TV. I need to get my butt outside & be productive.
OK - realizing this is turning into a novel - sorry about that ladies. What just irks me is the suddenness of this - that all the assistant managers at the stores I know of knew nothing about this & Staples is giving employees 1 week to change your mind after signing the contract. By the way, if anybody wants to look at the investor page on staples.com, be my guest. I read it & Staples is losing money in the stores - seems everybody is shopping online these days & Amazon is ruling the roost. Even staples.com is making a profit - better than the retail stores.