Lay Up Success during a Lay off

Accept responsibility for your reaction to your circumstances. The circumstances may be beyond your control but your reaction is 100% yours. You own it.

Fight the Good Fight.

Give Yourself Time to Mourn

Write Down Goals.

Slash Expenses.

Teach Your Children.

Tomorrow we are going to sell it! This pecan grove that brought us back to south Georgia and proceeded to go under water in the flood of 1994. As it went underwater and killed the productivity of the thousands of pecan trees, it took our bank account with it. We went from  a young married couple with a nice savings to a young married couple scrounging up pennies to buy milk for the babies.

It just didn't work out. But now it would.

Three thousand trees. Snapped, twisted. Toothpicks and kindling.

Majestic pecans gone in an instant. Three tornadoes ran through that grove like skipping youngsters through a meadow. No rhyme or reason.

No sale. It just didn't work out.

Dad scratched his head. We cried over the lost sale to a prominent pecan farmer. Dad thought some more.

Let's put in a pivot and rent it out as farmland. OK, what do we have to lose? We've already lost everything there is to lose. A pivot it is.

We cried as trees were uprooted. I remember driving cows through these trees. Every hope and dream riding upon their horns. Looking at the spring cackings up in the trees hoping that we'd have a good crop of pecans in November. Watching my babies run through the grove to get their energy out knowing that they were safe for miles from moving vehicles.

No pecan grove. It just didn't work out.

The grove is gone. Short, shrubby peanuts rented to another farmer blow green in the wind as the irrigation blows water upon their thirsty leaves.

This Past Friday, 2011.
An envelope. My address. A check. A small one, mind you, but a check. The pivot is paying out.

November 2002
The Monday before Thanksgiving. I get a phone call. The one no wife wants to get. My husband's company is downsizing and he has been laid off. Some Thanksgiving.

It just wasn't to be.

Yet, he has severance pay and we have unity between us. I love this talented man. Even though he feels down and like a failure today, I know this will work out. But when?

December 2002
I come home from school and the whole porch is completely gone. He has to do something with his hands. He's knocked the whole thing out and is building us a new porch. No hits on the jobs.

January 2003
Seven interviews and a company that just won't call him back. He keeps calling. Waiting. Calling. Sending letters. Waiting. Calling. He really wants to go with that company that won't call him back. So, he calls again. He finally gets an interview. They like him. They keep dragging their feet. He calls again.

They call! He is taking a huge paycut and going in as an engineer. “I'm over 30 and I'm a rank and file engineer again, but, I'll feed my family.”

Over the next seven years he takes a lot of lateral moves. Not much of a raise. In one department he works beside the fork lifts and as I talk to him at lunch, I hear the beep beep beep of them getting closer and then further away and the occasional shout.

When will this ever change?

May 2011
Kip is engineering manager for the whole plant. Second to the plant manager. Little did he know that starting at the bottom and moving through the many departments with lateral moves most thought were crazy – managing a line, working in inventory control, these have made him uniquely qualified to lead the department that hired him those years a go.

He has an incredible job he loves but he had to go through a whole lot of tough things to get there. He still has problems and struggles and yet, he is fulfilled.

February 14, 2000
Tornadoes rip through Camilla, Georgia. Over 250 homes damaged and more than 20 dead. The community pulls together and has one of the fastest recovery programs that has even been seen because of the effective use of technology and the web to mobilize the volunteer effort.

Nothing good came out of all that death and destruction. But we did see the greatness in a community that worked together to restore what we could and move ahead.

Layoffs are everywhere. Tough Times are Here. Tornadoes have ravaged my friends in Alabama, Georgia, and beyond.

Devastated, puffy eyed people laid awake all night. It just wasn't to be.

Looking for their wallet in a field trying to find their driver's license. Having family photos found three counties over. Trying to figure out how to get that beautiful new car out of the tree by the neighbor's pond. Ludicrous and overwhelming. Rebuilding of a life that cannot be rebuilt when family members are gone.

Looking in their wallet wondering if next week there will be anything in it. Tucking in the babies wondering how you are going to feed them and how to explain it if we have to move out of the house and in with grandma. Uncertainty. With everyone laying off, I feel just like laying low.

These are the feelings. I've been there.

“Pleasant words area honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24.

I'm not going to tell you it is going to be alright. Layoffs, tornadoes, and tough times STINK. It wasn't fair for my grandmother's family to lose everything in the Great Depression and be impoverished! These things aren't FAIR. But life isn't about fair, my friends.

There is probably little I can say to you if you are going through these tough times to help you. But I will share what I've learned.

10 Truths for Tough Times

1 – Tough Times Lead to Better Times

2- Tough Times Brand Your Actions in the Memories of Your Children
They are watching you. Watching what you do. Watching how you handle it. They will have tough times in their lifetime and will fall back upon what they see you do now. Be memorable.

3- Tough Times Make Great Men and Women.
We do not remember the world leaders during easy times. We remember Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.

4- The Only Way to Lose is if you Quit.

10- Tough Times Lead to Better Times

Cool Cat Teacher Blog: Happy “Valentimes”
Cool Cat Teacher Blog: Tornadoes and a Dark Night

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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