I don't know about you, but I am SO sick of hearing this phrase. This phrase is always the preface to bad news: Due to current economic conditions, we are forced to close this store; due to current economic conditions, 30% of the workforce will be laid off indefinitely; due to current economic conditions, more families are losing their homes to foreclosure.
The company that I work for has not been immune to economic problems. We are a transportation provider for many large manufacturers. Our company's niche has been tier one suppliers for the automotive industry, not the best niche to be in these days...
As soon as the extended summer shutdowns in the automotive plants and bankruptcies were announced for Chrysler and General Motors, our company started a major cost cutting frenzy. Travel and other discretionary expenditures were drastically reduced. They also reduced labor expenses by cutting back hours and asking all salaried employees to take three weeks of unpaid furlough. Some employees were permanently let go.
The past few weeks were very difficult. Every time I would see an office door closed or see others speaking in hushed whispers, I wondered what was going on. If I saw a manager walking with an employee, I wondered if they were being walked out. I also started eying the name tags on the cubicles and office doors. If one was missing, then I knew they were gone.
This week is my first week of furlough (I will be taking my other weeks in July and August). It really sucks to lose a week's wages, but I have really loved having this week off. I enjoyed being home with the kids, and I didn't have to worry about them being at home alone with my Mom who has Alzheimer's. I planted our garden (better late than never), and worked on our attic so that Angel can have a big slumber party up there tomorrow night.
So, due to current economic conditions, we will not be going on a big vacation this summer or making any large purchases. But, I will be spending more time with my family, writing more on my blogs, and taking more long walks to relax and unwind.