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Old 05-12-11, 11:58 AM   #1
-holiday76
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Laid off and the Henrymobile

One month ago today I was laid off from my job. First time in my life such a thing has happened. I only began the job a few months ago, but it was a start-up company and I suppose this happens when you take risks with start-ups.

So, in the last month I've been interviewing, but I've also been spending a lot of time with my family. And not driving my car much at all. ALmost all errands are run via the Henrymobile. I call it that because Henry is my son, and he rides on the back.

Today for example, we took a ride to the park, hung out with the housewives and their kids as they played in the park. Then we headed over the the new hardware store to get some zip ties and mini bungie cords. After that it was yet another trip to the super market. We fit, ont he bike, my 40 pound almost two year old son, 4 bags of groceries, and extra bag with kid stuff, and some other smaller items. We didnt even need the front basket.

The Henrymobile is a "vintage" Giant rigid mtb with an xtracycle kit that I've posted here before. I made an adapter out of a piece of wood and added a cheap Bell kids seat, and a small front basket from Rivendell. It really suits our needs well for riding around town, even taking a big hill back up to my house. Henry loves it so much all he does it wave to people when we pass them. Policemen, random women, whomever, he doesnt care.

Yesterday we took it to the Y and swam in the pool. We only go on shorter trips right now, mainly because Henrys mom is home with a bad back and has been bedridden all week and we can't leave her for long with my daughter whom is 10 months.

Anyhow, I guess the moral to the story is that, not all bad things come out of being laid off. And I'll definitely miss all the time I've been spending with my son when I go back to work.

This is from today:



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Old 05-12-11, 12:11 PM   #2
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nice story, well parts of it. great bike that must be alot better for both of you than the seat right behind you on the rack. sorry to hear about you job and wife, I am certainthings will turn around soon.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:22 PM   #3
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Back in the summer of 2000, my former employer wanted to relocate me somewhere I was not willing to move, and I was out of work for the first time in my adult life. It was the best thing that ever happened to my golf game.

Good luck with your job search!
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Old 05-12-11, 12:27 PM   #4
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When the business I worked for suddenly closed at the end of July 2008, I was unemployed for the first time ever. There was talk of someone buying and reopening it, but they couldn't make it happen.

However, in the 4 months I was out of work, I had never got more riding done in my life.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:31 PM   #5
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I agree with Bianchigirl, great story!
Your realization about your bike and it's abilities are one in which many others around this nation would benefit from learning as well.
It's too bad most American's don't reconsider the way that they get around/commute. Buying hybrids and other alternative ways to move around is great, but energy is still "burned" (electircity, combustable engine, etc.). The simplicity and low impact of a bicycle is suprisingly efficient when you either are forced, or decide, that it is going to be your primary mode of transportation. Think of all the money and environmental impacts that could be saved if trips by bikes replaced even 1/4 of those by personal vehicle!
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Old 05-12-11, 12:42 PM   #6
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Anyhow, I guess the moral to the story is that, not all bad things come out of being laid off. And I'll definitely miss all the time I've been spending with my son when I go back to work.
Back in 2000 when the dot com boom went bust, I found myself on the curb with thousands of other Network Engineers. I was out of an "official" job for 2 years. One of the things that struck me right off was - how the hell did I have time to go to work every day when there was so much to take care of around the house?

So - yeah. Enjoy the gift. It may not seem like one if you're struggling to make ends meet, but it is.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:43 PM   #7
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Sounds like a lot of lemons, but some pretty good lemonade!
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Old 05-12-11, 01:17 PM   #8
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One of the things that struck me right off was - how the hell did I have time to go to work every day when there was so much to take care of around the house?
+1! And the wife will certainly wonder what the hell you've been doing all day.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:37 PM   #9
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+1! And the wife will certainly wonder what the hell you've been doing all day.
They do that no matter what.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:44 PM   #10
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Relax, it's just a job. Family first. And sounds like you deserve the time together, your son will never forget them. You'll be back to work before you know it and be cursing.
When the dot.com bust finally caught up with the start up I was with in 2004, I got included in the 1st round of lay offs. Things felt dark, but in the end I rekindled my biking, dropped 30 lbs that I put on since joining that start up, and ended a bad relationship and met my current wife. In hind sight, it was for the best.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:53 PM   #11
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My younger son was about the same age as yours when I was laid off....we had such fun together...we'd hang out in the morning, then when it was nap time for him in the afternoon, that was my job search time...

The saying is corny, but I do believe it is true, "when one door closes, a window opens.." I've been laid off twice, and both times I ended up in better places then where I left...I'm sure you'll find the same...in the meantime, enjoy the days with your son...you will miss them when you don't have them anymore.
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Old 05-12-11, 02:30 PM   #12
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It does not get any better than hanging out with the Moms at the park, especially if you have a cute 4 year old. I miss the days when my kids would ride in the Chariot.

Best of luck in the job search. This terrible economy has to end soon.
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Old 05-12-11, 06:38 PM   #13
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Yeah.. enjoy it... I find being unemployed and job searching to be very difficult, but children are an automatic full time job, so they keep you going. Awesome Xtracycle, BTW. Best of luck!
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Old 05-12-11, 06:42 PM   #14
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Sorry about the work situation, Brian, but the time you're spending with your son sounds awesome. For both of my kids, I took Family Leave (hello unpaid vacation!) to be home with them for about four months when they were infants, and the thing I liked least about it was going to the park and being shunned by the moms/nannies. They had no interest in talking to me! Maybe the Freddy Kruger mask was the wrong thing to wear.

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Old 05-12-11, 08:01 PM   #15
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Job loss can be a major stress. When I was laid off in April 2008 I had my house up for sale and got a decent severance so I thought "Keep the house on the market, it will take awhile to sell" and it sold in three weeks. Economy went in the crapper (I work in finance.....) so 9 months later I finally found a job and bought a fixer-upper house. We lived with my in-laws and it really was a gift. I got to know what great people they are, my kids got to know their grandparents and it all worked out just fine. You will miss not working when you are I know I do.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:13 PM   #16
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It does not get any better than hanging out with the Moms at the park.....
Yeah - I volunteered to do the grocery shopping when I was laid off. The supermarket was a playground.

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...and the thing I liked least about it was going to the park and being shunned by the moms/nannies.
When I was a younger man, I spent a lot of time in the Boston, Bedford, and Lowell area, as I worked for DEC and that's where training and corporate were located. Compared to California, Massachusetts women were hostile towards having a casual conversation with men they didn't know. Tough crowd..... I think it was the weather that made them so surly.
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Old 05-12-11, 09:02 PM   #17
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I've been out of work since the middle of February. Don't say "sorry" to me! This is the best thing to happen since the last time I was laid off. I'm in the shop every day building guitars and thinking "maybe I can make a full-time go of this."
God willing, I will make a job of doing the thing that I love to do.
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Old 05-12-11, 11:33 PM   #18
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Like BBM, when I've been unemployed, I found 'way too much work around the house. But, as all those above have said, I was able to make all my kids' high school extracurricular events after school, like the homecoming parade at four o'clock, that I'd never have seen had I been employed at the former job located forty miles away, from which I never arrived home before six.

Long-term unemployment is not sunshine and roses when you have bills to pay and little income, so I'll never say that it was the best thing to happen to me. But I did eventually find a better job much closer to home, I did get to see my kids more, and I started commuting to work on my bike for a few years. We're still recovering from the financial hit we took, but I'd like to think I've learned I can bounce back, so I'm much less worried about losing my job the next time, and I think you will be, too.
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Old 05-13-11, 03:54 AM   #19
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Well, I don't have a kid, but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I was let go from my last good job almost 3 years ago, and it's been stressful. Lost the house, the truck, and eventually my fiancee. Also lost 100 pounds from riding. When I couldn't sleep, I'd go for a ride. When Veronica and I would get into it, I'd go for a ride. When I was beat down from putting in job applications, I'd go for a ride. And of course sometimes I'd just go for a ride.

I had a good long talk with my sister recently, she mentioned that working 9-5 for The Man has always driven me nuts, and that maybe I needed to think about doing something creative with my hands. Since High Times isn't hiring field testers, and my performance-art dance career ain't exactly wowing them on Broadway, maybe I need to think about this. Maybe I could build some boats for a while.

Point being, I agree that even if the money's tight, these are good times. Just keep riding and the smiles will accompany you wherever you go. Hardly anything in the world that a good long ride and a nice shower after won't fix at least partway.
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Old 05-13-11, 05:50 AM   #20
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Similar for me in 1983 - laid off, 1-yr old at home, wife in grad school all the time, Mr. Mom, lots of worry. I'd tidied up a brown ladies' Schwinn Super Sport that someone had put out for trash,and put a kiddie seat on it. My son and I rode it all over the place for 5 months. I've fond memories of that interlude. 28 years later I can say with some conviction that you'll be just fine.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:57 AM   #21
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Just keep the focus and enjoy the special times with the little one.

I've got a BOB trailer, I really need to start using it for grocery runs.

Keep the faith, and keep your kids smiling.

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Old 05-13-11, 09:15 AM   #22
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The Henrymobile looks awesome. The bad news is a shame but it's good that you found the positive in it. Hopefully your wife's back just needs some time to heal. A friend's wife has some pretty severe bone issues, I don't fully understand the disease but I do understand the pain it causes her.
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Old 05-13-11, 01:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
When I was a younger man, I spent a lot of time in the Boston, Bedford, and Lowell area, as I worked for DEC and that's where training and corporate were located. Compared to California, Massachusetts women were hostile towards having a casual conversation with men they didn't know. Tough crowd..... I think it was the weather that made them so surly.
+1000

I believe it's a New England thing. Same experience, lived there for 15 years. They say New Yorkers are abrasive, but it was a whole lot easier/friendlier 225 miles south.
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Old 05-13-11, 01:53 PM   #24
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+1000

I believe it's a New England thing. Same experience, lived there for 15 years. They say New Yorkers are abrasive, but it was a whole lot easier/friendlier 225 miles south.
Yeah, chatting up North Shore women is wikkid haad.
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Old 05-13-11, 02:00 PM   #25
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You know, women of all ages and regions can spot an old married guy on the make!
And that Hernymobile is a very cool setup. This is why I come to this forum -- to be inspired by creativity like that.
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