Our boss's boss called for a mass meeting today to talk about the current state of things. Better, I figured as we gathered, to have a big meeting rather than to be called singly into said boss's boss office, but it was still slightly nerving.
But the news wasn't stellar. Our BB has been asked to reduce her budget, and part of her solution is to cut everyone's hours by four. We'd shut down the building for a half day every week, or one day every two weeks. The other alternative, of course, is to start cutting people, but the BB would rather cut hours, because if she starts cutting positions there's no guarantee that we'd ever get them back. And we stay busy. Even during the slow season, we're busy. More building now that simply altering things which have come in from contractors, which is nice. I'm finally getting to build a pair of breeches from scratch--but I digress.
Another solution might be for some of the employees to go casual...CW lays off a part of its workforce every year and pays them unemployment instead of the regular salary, but not anyone at the shop. I, of course, am immediately attracted to the idea of having two months to go traveling--although I could hardly afford it if I wasn't working. But still. Something to think about.
If the hours do end up getting cut (and they probably will, unless the higher-ups decide to reject our BB's proposed budget), then I will probably have to find another part-time job. I've been looking for more paid writing projects, so maybe I can finally start eating my words. There's a Lane Bryant right down the road... And once the evening programs picks back up, I can go back to storytelling. But part of me is wondering if maybe this might just be a good time to bail on CW. Much as I'd hate to. I do like this company. I asked my boss's boss if she had any idea how long these short rations would last, and she just shrugged and said "'til the economy improves." Well, all right, but we know that could take years. And I've got a beagle and a Buick to feed now.
So I've been giving a lot of thought about going into teaching. Not because I want to inspire young minds--say warp rather--but because it would be a profession where there'll be some stability. By that I mean: transferable job skills. Much as I like backstitching, not really applicable to my next career move. But teaching would be steady work, summers off, benefits, and a chance to challenge myself again. It's a giant leap, and I'd rather make it from a position of choice than the last option left to me...but it's something to think about.