The small nonprofit I work for has lost four of its largest funding grants in the past few months due to budget cuts and changes in priority funding from foundations and granting organizations. That equates to a huge budget shortfall for my organization. I hear and see all the time how the bad economy has impacted businesses and individuals. Heck, I meet people every day who have been impacted by the economy and I have always been silently (maybe too much so) grateful that I wasn't in a position where I was impacted in any way other than meeting these people who needed help from my organization.
But today all of that changed. Pardon my French, but $h!t just got real.
All of the staff at my organization have to take a 20% pay cut and reduction in hours starting next Monday to help make up for the budget shortfall. We will be closed every Friday from now through June. That means that I lose one pay day a week, which is 20% of my income, for at least the next two months. That's 20% of my income that I can't afford to lose right now.
My initial thought is that I need a second job. I NEVER thought I'd have to do that, EVER. It is scary and frustrating and part of me wants to just stomp my feet and complain about how unfair this is. But I can't. I have got to find a way to make up for the income that will be missing from my paycheck starting next week. I've been completely unfocused at work and browsed through Craigslist throughout the day to see what is out there. Only a few things posted offer hours on only Friday/Saturday/Sunday and the ones with that availability pay somewhere between $7.50 and $9 an hour. Yikes! I can see that it is going to be hard to balance my "career job" with one to supplement my income.
So, why am I sharing all of this with you? Well, the first reason is kind of selfish; I want to be able to look back on this and remember how I felt, what I did and how I got through it. Because I WILL get through it, eventually. I want to be even more grateful for what I have after this time has passed. Second, I want anyone out there in a similar situation to know that I not only understand what you're going through, but I also feel your pain... and frustration, and fear, and stress, and anxiety and sadness. You no longer have just my sympathy, you have my empathy. Third, this is real life. Not everything in this life is all beer and skittles and I would be a big liar to pretend that everything going on with me is happy and fun all of the time by only posting the fun things.
After nearly twelve hours of