Friday, November 4, 2011

They are Coming

The 'They' in question are a good friend, her two children, and their two pets.

Where they are coming, is to my state and, specifically, to my home. Our agreement is for a maximum six-month stay--less if my friend finds a job and a rental before then.

My friend was terminated from her position with the state of California after 20+ years on the job. 20 of those years were without any complaints, but a single misstep that would have resulted in a reprimand in the past landed her without a job. To make it worse, the state has contested her Unemployment Compensation in an effort to stop her from getting any benefits. She's not alone--eleven people in her department were similarly and summarily dismissed.

So now she's making the move to the pacific northwest.

Overall, this should work to my financial benefit in that I will have someone reliable to share utility expenses and upkeep. (Fortunately, my friend does have a savings account to cover her bills while she looks for work. Also, since living expenses are considerably less in my state than in California, she doesn't need to find work that pays what she used to make.)

BUT, the preparations are expensive.

First, I had to clean house. Sounds easy, but in reality, it takes not only a lot of time, but I wound up renting a dumpster. Second, I had to make my basement habitable--which means painting, steam cleaning the carpets, and paying my adult kids to help me wash down the walls and move furniture.

Then I had to fix up my kitchen. The truth is, when it's just me, I don't cook all that much. But my friend is a good cook and her children are used to home-made meals. Again, I'm looking forward to this,but that means I have to take a look around my kitchen and get it back in shape for actual use.

Oh, and I had to get more heating oil. Does anyone besides me find $3.79 a gallon on the outrageous side? Gas prices are going down, but apparently the heating oil market has yet to notice.

The family arrives on Veteran's Day. I've got less than a week to be ready. Can I start tearing my hair out yet?


Anonymous said...

OMG, Grace! How wonderful you are for taking your friend in. But how unfortunate that this happened to her. Can she hire a labor attorney? They only get paid if she wins. Sounds like she will!

Happy cleaning. I suppose.

Linda P. said...

I'm sure there will be benefits and costs, pluses and minuses, but thank goodness there are people like you in the world.

Hawaii Planner said...

So sorry for your friend - what an unfortunate situation. You are fabulous for taking her & her family in. Wishing you success & speed in your cleaning!

Louise said...

it's lovely that you can make a place for her and her children, so sad with all these layoffs happening.
good luck with the cleaning!

Juhli said...

How wonderful of you to share your home. I hope she takes her unemployment claim to all levels possible and doesn't take the first denial as the end.

Barb said...

Grace, good for you. Im actually going to suggest that if itsnot one hundred percent done, it will be okay. having them participating in preparing their space may be both enjoyable and self esteem raising.

Anonymous said...

You had to pay your adult children to help out? After all you do for them, they aren't begging you for chances to help you out when they can?

Hope you enjoy your friends stay, you are doing a very nice thing.

Grace. said...

LOL Anon--I take your point. But actually, I offered to pay, and not that much either. It's a way to get them some cash they really need, and to get my work done. The fun part has been all of us working together--fortunately twenty dollars and pizza are getting me a full day's work.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful gesture to your friend. And what a great excuse to declutter and clean! You'll be glad you did!

I'm hoping your friend finds a job fast, and that you'll have her at least in the area, if not in your own home.

Janette said...

I suggest that my mom pay my brothers for work done rather than give hand outs. A hand up is always a good thing.
Bless you.
Your friend is very fortunate to have you in her life!

Donna Freedman said...

What a good friend you are. I hope the two of you have/will have hashed out some ground rules. If it's in writing there will be no "But you never..." arguments from her or her kids.
"But you never SAID the dog wasn't allowed on the couch..."
"But you never TOLD me I couldn't run my race cars along the freshly painted walls..."
"But you never REQUIRED me to chip in on every heating bill..."
"But you never said that the kids COULDN'T have sleepovers..."
Again, you're a peach. Hope it works well for both parties.
Your fellow Pacific Northwester (Seattle),

Anonymous said...

Grace you are a wonderful woman! I hope your friend finds something fast, it is amazing how nasty all employers are becoming these days.

Good luck with everything


Savvyworkinggal said...

You sound like my mom she would offer to pay her adult children to do work for her as well. And yes some of them would take it.

Good luck. This could be fun; you will be like the Golden Girls.

Bob Lowry said...

This is a nice story to read first thing on a Saturday morning. As the world seems to get harsher and meaner everyday, the true human beings step up and do what they can.

You are one of the good ones, Grace.

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned about someone that loses a job with a state agency after 20 years for a single disciplinary issue. Supposedly, this would have only resulted in a reprimand in the past.

No State of California agency that I know would do this. There must have been a history of disciplinary issues or a crimial matter involving the agency. I certainly don't buy the part about other folks losing their jobs for the same reason.

In addition, the State agency's HR department is unlikely to oppose an unemployment claim unless there is a serious problem such as theft from the agency or other criminal activity.

It's also odd she thinks it necessary to leave the state. If this were a simple disciplinary issue, it would be less disruptive to her family for her to look for another job where she is. The father of these kids does not seem to be in the picture. Won't he step up?

My guess is this person is no different than your kids. You are not knowledgeable about the real problem or you are turning a blind eye to it. I hope I am wrong or at least this adventure does not end up costing you a lot of money.

Grace. said...

Anon--you could not be more wrong. Talk to anyone in social services in California right now. Internal memos have come to light showing that managers are being told to fire anyone they can and to oppose ALL claims for unemployment except for lay-offs. This is particularly true in financially hard-hit counties around the major cities in CA.

Anonymous said...

I worked in supervisory and management positions in county government in California for over 20 years. While I was there, it was IMPOSSIBLE to fire anyone for anything. It did not matter what they did or did not do once they got past probation, unless they stole or physically attacked another employee. And even then it took a year and an exhausting process to get rid of them.

These "memos" that supposedly exist and have become public? Haven't seen any mention of these in the newspapers here. The unions would be all over that and it would be headline news. Sounds like rumor and hearsay to me.

I hope these folks hold up their end of the bargain and I'm not hearing any excuses in six months about why they have to stay another six months.