Bad news for me… The Bear is unemployed

I got into work this morning, and was herded into the auditorium along with a lot of other people from the production floor.

Yep… as the title says, we were laid off. Effective immediately.

It was handled very professionally, they had representatives from the Unemployment Insurance office, they had a government spokesman for the Displaced Workers Program the state of Minnesota funds, they had packets and briefings and severance packages and such all set and ready to go.

I was escorted back to my office, where I packed three boxes of personal effects and tools, and my co-workers helped me lug it all out to the car.

A go-round of handshakes, an exchange of phone numbers, and I was on my way home to break the news to Cassie.

This is the third time in 8 years that I have had my position in a company in the Surface Mount Technology industry removed in a permanent way, on a scale large enough to involve severance packages for many employees.

The first time, they announced it well in advance, and in fact posted names by order of seniority, specifying exactly who was leaving when, as much as 6 months in advance. I had over 5 years in the company, and thus had quite a nice severance package… and enough warning that I was well prepared, had updated resumes, contacts within the industry who knew I was looking, and I walked from one job on a Friday into my new job the next Monday.

The second time, I walked into work and was told, “Today is your last day. Our only customer has chosen to let their contract with us lapse and go with a cheaper supplier in Mexico. Please pack your things.” I had been there, as a direct hire that they had pursued and headhunted, for all of three months. I was utterly unprepared.

This morning… well, everyone knows the financial news. It comes as no shock to anyone that there are yet more layoffs at a technology company, and there should certainly be no surprise that it is hard to find openings within an industry that has progressively moved more jobs overseas and out of the United States for various reasons.

Each time, I have searched until I found a new position in the same industry, hoping to build on my knowledge and experience in a field I expected to continue to grow.

This time, I have about three weeks to try and really find something, somewhere, before the severance runs out and I’m on savings. 

I am going to actively pursue any opportunity in our Twin Cities area where my combination of skills, regardless of personal experience with a particular piece of equipment or software platform, will get me in the door.

If anyone in the Twin Cities area that reads this blog is aware of a job opening for a bright young man with the following skills;

  • Extremely well versed in preventive, predictive and reactive maintenance of both production and facilities equipment and hardware of many types, operation, programming, etc.
  • Excellent leadership and communication skills and experience in supervising and managing a team.
  • Excels in production line quality analysis, defect and root cause analysis, and implementing corrective solutions.
  • Experience in dealing directly with customers and vendors/suppliers to improve quality and increase satisfaction and improve relations.
  • Ain’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
  • Is extremely willing to start immediately, learns fast on the job, and has an eye for attention to detail.

Please, LET ME KNOW at “tigerlordgm AT yahoo DOT com”.

Yeah, I know, not the most professional of email addresses. I have one that is simply my name, that I haven’t used in years, that I will be dusting off and using in correspondance… but let’s face it, if you are reading this post, you already know more about me than any employer I’ve ever had. Using ‘tigerlordgm’ as an email when talking to you can hardly injure my chances further.

Right now, Cassie and I are starting with looking at listings for Maintenance Technicians, both facilities maintenance and plant production maintenance.

We’re also looking at the injection molding industry, which I do not have direct personal experience with, but that I hope that my experience with programming, setting up and supervising production runs using high tech materials and techniques will allow enough of a foundation for giving me a viable chance at geting seen at an interview. There is so much in the production process at any facility that uses proprietary software and building practises, that a large portion of my job is staying on top of new technologies and techniques, learning new methods quickly, and getting it right the first time. 

We are also, and this might be the field that has the most potential for openings considering the weather, looking at HVAC installation and repair, since facilities and equipment maintenance is where I started, and I have a lot of experience in industrial-scale facilities maintenance. Hey, when they hire you to keep everything running… you’re the guy they call when something, anything breaks.

We are also looking for any position on the management and supervision level that requires those skill sets. 

I may be strange, but I’m not really concerned with what I do. I’ve had job titles of Engineer, and then performed the role as the one man show of small SMT operations where everything from fixture design and ordering, equipment programming, mixing and performing conformal coat operations on finished builds, and even programming and running entire first builds of product from parts loadout to packout were my reponsibility, because there was no one else that could do it… to jobs where my title was Technician, and I did only one aspect of the whole show as part of a huge team.

I am focusing in on the key goal of finding a new career where I have the base foundation of skills necessary to be competitive at getting hired, where I can realistically expect to either jump in and kick ass right away or be able to pick up the specific knowledge or experience I may lack to fill in gaps quickly… a career that will pay enough to continue to support our family.

Wish us luck!


101 thoughts on “Bad news for me… The Bear is unemployed

  1. Only just saw this because I didn’t know about the issue with Feedburner and had just assumed you weren’t updating for one reason or another… :p

    Sorry to hear about this. It’s a real bummer but hang in there. You sound like someone who has his head screwed on right and I’m sure that something will pop up sooner, rather than later.

    End of the day, you have your wonderful wife to stand by you, & that’ll be the biggest pillar of support.

    Good luck, & all the best!


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