A Long Goodbye : Planet Money An update from a furloughed listener.
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A Long Goodbye

We first talked to listener Daniel Cross back in January, right after he learned that he would be required to take a furlough from his job as a circuit designer. At the time, he said he wasn't sure whether it was a "prudent move to conserve cash to ride out the bad time or a last ditch effort to try to save something from total collapse." A few weeks ago we checked back in on Daniel, and he told us layoff rumors had taken over the office, making it difficult to get any work done. Daniel said he felt like he was working for a zombie company. Today he sends this update:

As I prepared to take my mandatory 1 week unpaid leave, I was approached by my management about whether I would be interested in a position out of state with the company that was acquiring my design organization. At that time, I expressed general interest, but after considerable discussion with my family and soul-searching, I elected not to accept the offer.

Meanwhile, the design I am working on is highly desired by the customer, and is considered too critical for those involved to miss a week of work for it. So I ultimately will not be forced to take a furlough after all.

Instead, this site will close after the sale occurs, and since I won't be joining the new company I will be released; at which time I suppose I will have ample opportunity to complete my home improvements, in between bits of job-hunting.

With our futures now a certainty, and the "gallows humor" losing much of its entertainment value, my co-workers and I (even the ones not joining the new company) are actually spending more time working on chip design. The mood is somewhat melancholy, with lots of "goodbyes" going around, but there is also some camaraderie and hopefulness. Perhaps it is wishful thinking, or perhaps not. Check back in a few months!