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Old 11-10-2008, 10:05 PM   #21
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Can you delicately touch base with other workers to see how they are treated? It looks like management is just looking for excuses...
Probably true, but that seems to be a general fact of life in my industry. More than half the folks at my level have been forced out or replaced with past colleagues of the new VP in the last few months. Of the ones remaining, all have had similar "talks" recently, most more direct than mine, and every one of them is actively looking in anticipation of likely termination. For regular software engineers, Management seems to be drawing up a list, which usually means a mass layoff, but while there's grumbling and concern, I think there is as yet little job searching going on by most of the engineers. It's confusing to see new people being hired while older workers are being let go.

Sounds like you need to spend less time doing actual work and more time "managing up."
Probably true too, but then I think I'd like this job even less. Still, desperate times call for desperate measures. I'll be giving this a try, too.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:38 AM   #22
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Don't forget you will/may get some $ from unemployment if/when laid off that will help extend your emergency funds.

Being conservative by nature, it's not something I'd work into my planning numbers - but I'd keep it in the back of my mind to help with any anxiety over "what if it's not enough"
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:28 AM   #23
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If a layoff occurred where I work... I suppose I would get some unemployment.

We have an emergency fund that would get us by for 1.5 year at current spending rates. If we tightened our belt, the emergency fund + unemployment would last 2 years.
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:12 PM   #24
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growing older, you are smart to realize the writing is on the wall. I've been in that place before, where they just wanted to clean house of the non Kool aid drinkers.
Get your stuff in order for a job search, use up your vacation time (unless they pay for it), clean up your files, and keep that stash of cash handy.

Disheartening to say the least. I am sorry to hear of it.
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
Another reason for the follow-up post. I just had a scary "talk" with my boss and was told that I am not regarded by the new VP and his new managers as a positive influence at work. He specifically pointed out that when higher ups ask how I am, I generally say what I'm working on and give the impression I am doing a lot of work and am very busy. He suggested I start instead giving a more positive, general reply so they will think everything is under control and I am happy to be working there. While he didn't specifically threaten my job, he mentioned several others who were not regarded as "happy" enough with their work and are now being let go.

Oh, and it's another reminder of why I hope to reach FIRE as soon as I can.
Yes, a very good reminder! Good God. It's not enough anymore to work like a dog and do an excellent job, you've got to grin and wag your tail too. How I used to hate having a regular "boss"! I'd probably suffer internal combustion under your current conditions.

Glad you got the HELOC. Good luck with the job!
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:07 PM   #26
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I think OP's personal situation is a large part of the formula too.

Can current job/income be replaced fairly easily? If you're something like a nurse or pharmacist you shouldn't be out of work long, but if you're a highly paid specialist for some obscure database maybe not so easy.

Have spouse who works? Also depends if in non-similar industry and perceived safety of their job etc. but surely having another income stream is a big factor in what type of emergency stash you need.

Also = how lean can you go? Some people have financial commitments be they debt or healthcare related that would surely warrant a larger cash reserve, versus others who could go beer/electricity/internet/ramen and be fine if needed.

My wife and I keep one year + 10k in cash... the one year is calculated for us both losing jobs and having unemployment benefits for six months, and the 10k is a number we pulled out of our (air) thinking it would smooth anything like a major car or house repair.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #27
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If you really think your job is in jeopardy soon and if you really think your emergency fund is insufficient, tapping the HELOC now is a lower cost way to manage your liquidity than having to sell equities that are down 40% on average. It seems to make sense to borrow the emergency funds you think you need now and then divert all savings that would have gone to build your emergency fund to paying down the HELOC.

In addition to the prospect of having the HELOC frozen, I'd also consider the solvency of your bank. The HELOC commitment is only as good as the bank providing it and many banks won't make it through this recession.

Count my vote as "I'd tap that baby"

Edit: Whoops . . . didn't see the follow up that you had already decided to borrow on the HELCO . . . glad I could help.
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