I Am History

Mind you, I didn’t plan on becoming history when I majored in history at college, but now it has happened. This week, I was laid off from the company that brought me to Kentucky, four years ago. I got the grim announcement last Wednesday, and yesterday was my last day on the job. *sigh*

Since June 21, I have known that my employer, L-3 Communications, had lost the federal government contract to work in central Kentucky, and over the next four months Lockheed-Martin would be taking their place. I didn’t want to give any details while the transition was taking place, but now that it’s all over for L-3 and myself, I feel that I can tell the rest of the story.

In September, we learned that one of the terms of the contract is that at least 30% of the people transferred have to go to small companies (500 employees or less). Lockheed-Martin chose Pinnacle Solutions, a new company they work with in Huntsville, Alabama, to take over the department I was in. I told you about interviewing with Pinnacle on September 30. Overall they got a good impression of all of us, and since some of our folks quit during the transition process, I thought they were going to keep everyone who wanted to stay. Then I filled out the insurance forms that would be needed to qualify for health insurance and other benefits, and sent them in on October 6.  On October 8, I was among the handful of employees that Human Resources summoned to fill out paperwork, marking the end of employment with L-3 by October 18. There was a bit of sadness at that time, but still I was not too concerned, because everybody had to do that at some point; I was just one of the first. This week I found out that the new contract does not have enough funding to pay all of us, so the people in the meeting room on 10/8 were the ones Lockheed-Martin decided not to hire.

Yes, I feel the corporate world has done me dirty, or at least “led me on” to false hopes.  In L-3’s case, they knew I was on the way out at least a week before I did.  Last Saturday I went to Indianapolis to hear John Malott, one of the most successful people in Pre-Paid Legal Services.  I probably still would have made that trip, had I known I would soon be without a job, but I lost a full three-day weekend when I could have looked for another one.  I also remember a company vice-president promising us in late July that he’d help us find new jobs, if everybody did not transition over; let’s see if he keeps that promise.  In the case of Lockheed-Martin, it’s not the first time I got a raw deal from them.  Back in the summer of 2000, I accepted a temporary job doing spreadsheet work for LM, and they put me in an office so new that my desk did not have a computer!  As you probably guessed, that job only lasted for one day.  Don’t expect me to apply for an LM job again anytime soon.

So what do I do now?  No definite plans yet.  Some have suggested I go back to Florida, but I think that’s a step in the wrong direction.  On Monday I’ll apply for unemployment insurance, and will probably be pounding the pavement in Lexington.  Any leads or tips from those reading this will be appreciated.  I am also going to be pushing my Pre-Paid Legal business, because my sponsor is currently making more money part-time than I did working full-time.  In the long run, that may be the best option, because the state of the current economy shows that employment and the corporate world don’t work as well as they used to.

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