Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spring Training!

Baseball season is officially starting! Well, not regular season, obviously, but Spring Training, and I am so excited! The first games will be played tomorrow. John and I are so ready for it, and now that there are 3 new teams in the Cactus League we have a chance to see more players in action. A new facility for the Cleveland Indians opens this year about 2 miles from our house which is great because we won't have to drive very far to see a game. The unfortunate thing is that they are charging for parking (our favorite ballpark in Surprise doesn't) and ticket prices have gone up. I am planning to spend some of my Friday afternoons out at the ballpark. Come join me!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Furlough is a 4 letter word

I think we can all agree that furloughs suck. I've never experienced one. I've heard about them but have never been through the process. Last week our agency laid off 18% of our work force - that's 138 people - because of the budget crisis Arizona is in. In addition to that a furlough pilot program was rolled out so that furloughs could be implemented before May 1, which is when the legislature's furlough program goes into effect. The pilot program gives agencies the ability to furlough covered and uncovered employees. Previously, covered employees could not be furloughed. Without getting into it too much, a covered employee is covered by the State's personnel rules, while uncovereds are not. Essentially, uncovered employees are "at will" employees.

The good news out of all of this is that I was not one of the 18% laid off and it also looks like we will not have to institute furloughs at ADOA. Can I just say what a relief that is to hear. I was really starting to worry about having to take unpaid time off. It would really hit our budget hard. So right now I am still a full-time unfurloughed employee with the State of Arizona. Thank goodness!

Olivia has another cold I think. She started getting all snotty last Thursday or Friday and then was coughing in the middle of the night last night, though it didn't wake her up. She and I went for a walk on Friday and I made sure she had her sunglasses, though they didn't necessarily stay on her face. John called her "Hollywood" when he saw her with the glasses on. She doesn't seem to have a problem wearing them.
John found O in her crib during her nap with the blanket wrapped around her head. She was sound asleep. And totally sweaty when she woke up. It was hilarious. I'm surprised I didn't wake her with my laughing when I took the picture. She is a piece of work.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

8 months

Olivia is 8 months old today. I am so sad. She is getting too big too quick.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Budget cuts

It has been a rough day at ADOA, the agency I work for here at the State. Our State is currently about $1.6 billion in the red so massive cuts have been ordered effective this past weekend when the legislature passed the budget for the rest of the fiscal year. ADOA has had more than $30 million swept and now has to lay off 138 of the little over 800 employed with the agency. Granted, a lot of those positions are positions that have been left vacant because of finances, but not all of them are. Once the new fiscal year starts on July 1 more cuts may come. It's all up in the air until the legislature tackles that too. Basically no one is safe.

This afternoon my boss' boss called us into her office to let us know that they just laid off 2 people in our unit effective Friday. There are only 13 in my unit, so that 2 person hit is big for us. I am thanking God right now that I was not one of them. I don't know what John and I would have done if I had lost my job, especially now that we have Olivia. I have been fairly stressed about it for several weeks, but increasingly so since this past Monday when our director sent out an e-mail saying it was going to be difficult but jobs were going to be affected.

While I was totally freaked out, and still am to a degree, I am also incredibly relieved. Not just because I still have my job, which I am so thankful for, but because we know what is going to happen to our unit. The suspense of not knowing was awful. I feel happy, sad, guilty, relieved, all at the same time. I'm also very curious to see what happens to the rest of our HR division. It's quite a mix of emotions. It sucks!