Hard Times and Hard Choices

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Hard Times and Hard Choices
(Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

One of our Bleacher Report readers recently asked me why I haven’t written anything lately. The following column is the explanation for why sports has recently taken a backseat to the rest of my life,

On the first business day of the new calendar year, my workplace announced that they were eliminating half of our workforce. The part that concerned me the most was not the fact that they were going to be idling six of our smaller production lines.

That was not the case at all! They are not simply mothballing these lines; they are removing them completely.

Although I would continue to have a job, my wife and I were clearly devastated by this news! This clearly let the air out of a couple of people who were just excited to learn that their son and daughter-in-law were expecting our first grandchild.

Faster than Mountaineer quarterback Pat White could sprint for daylight, our entire world changed.

Moreover, I suspect that when the current contract expires in November 2010, they will remove the remaining lines so that nobody can ever start this plant up again and compete with them in the marketplace.

I just turned 50 years old this past month and have just completed 25 years, making me eligible to retire, if you choose to call it that. I would just take my yearly contribution toward medical costs.

In the course of our latest “Joint Venture,” these deceitful corporate vultures eliminated our defined benefit pension this past year.

They also deliberately issued false information that led our employees to believe the sales forecasts for 2009 would be much greater than expected.

It was all an elaborate ruse designed to keep anybody from leaving before 2008 ended, in order that they might do most of the eliminating themselves.

Therefore, I've decided to make the biggest gamble of my life. I am electing to take the severance package and walk. 

I actually didn’t think I cared that much about my place of employment. However, now I think I actually care a great deal about this facility.

And after investing a quarter of a century in that job, I just am not prepared to watch its final moments circling the bowl.

My decision will also let some other employee keep his job for awhile and maybe get himself on better footing until the inevitable happens.

April 24 is supposed to be my last day.

Now before you think everything is bad for us, there is some light at the end of the tunnel that may not actually be a train.

Before the past year ended, a once famous college athlete granted me permission to write his biography for him. And this is a project I have been seeking for some time!

My wife is certainly uncomfortable with the present situation, but quickly coming around to the idea. She would also tell you that she is equally scared of the prospects if I stay. Both of us believe there will be no severance the next time.

Although I have applied for several jobs, I am primarily out there seeking a profession that will utilize my writing and/or broadcasting experience.

Perhaps it is time I gamble on myself and attempt to earn a living doing something that I have always dreamed of doing.

Perhaps this setback may be an opportunity in disguise. We shall see.

Somebody told me there is a Chinese blessing/curse that says, "May you live in interesting times."

Things are certainly getting interesting!

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