It is official.
I have lost my job; termination due to medical incapacity.
This happened last week, the same day I got my news about my recovery setback, but due to the details needing to be sorted I couldn’t say anything til it was official.
Yesterday was my goodbye morning tea, Matt and I cleared out my office and I have my final pay … so I guess it is official now. I am unemployed.
Given I had the coolest job ever, I have been grieving quite a bit but it is the best decision. Work had held my place since the car accident back in March 08 and had had temp after temp – none of whom could do my legal role, they had to learn the ropes then they would leave then a new temp would come in… none of them were full time (temp rates) so I am amazed that work held the position for me as long as they did; it is the kind of company they are, though, really supportive and caring about their employees. (Legally an employer does not have to hold your job for you if you are off due to an accident at all under New Zealand law.)
I knew the stress my incapacity was putting my managers and the business under and I felt guilty for letting them down, even though I knew it was not my fault, so I don’t blame them at all. They have been really supportive and nice and kind and like my 8 year old daughter said to me, “don’t be sad Mum, if you had done something bad and been fired they wouldn’t be giving you a goodbye party.”
The morning tea was really nice. The whole office, not just my team were there, even some of the managers I knew from the factory. They put on an amazing spread and made speeches, gave me a card and a gift and even let me out of my bonding agreement with no penalty. They were so nice it was hard not to cry. I came home really sore, far too much standing and sitting, but I wanted to make my peace with saying good-bye so it was worth it.
So dawns a new chapter in my life.
The scary part now for us now is that my job was our main source of income. I was the bread winner.
Matt has spent nearly 3 years trying to find permanent, full-time employment as a lecturer to no avail. There just are not that many vacancies out there; such is the nature of the field. He is either under qualified, in that, he has not had several years of full-time lecturing under his belt or they assume that his PhD and his PhD level capabilities mean he cannot speak to or teach lay people or first-years – frustrating because his substantial 11 years experience teaching part-time has mostly been to first-years and lay people.
Ironically, he has had approaches from the secondary school sector to train as a high school teacher and teach teenagers philosophy and religious studies. This came off the back of a high school head of department inviting him to and actually seeing him teach a classroom of teenagers.
It’s nuts really. This blog is a working example of Matt’s range. Sure he can go way over the average lay person’s head (Philosphy is a complex discipline and he does hold a PhD in it) but then so too can he dial it down (because he has met a few people without PhD’s in philosophy and it has occurred to him that they don’t speak his language). His references, from highly respected members of his field, specifically highlight his ability to explain complex philosophical concepts to lay people in simple language and that his patience and teaching style with those not philosophically trained is excellent. They go out of their way to state that he is exceptional in this area. One is a current ethics adviser to the New Zealand government and the other is the former head of the Evangelical Theological Society. Both have actually seen him teach.
As you can probably tell this really peeves me. Matt is brilliant, definately one of the best Christian Philosophers in the country. [Objective, non-nepotistic statement – why does the wife always get accused of that?] However, on Monday, Matt is heading to teachers training college to get a diploma to pursue a second-choice career and we are going to spend a very scary year living on ACC (80% of my income – not nearly enough to live on with my medical expenses that ACC do NOT cover). This income will end the minute I recover and plunge us into a financial hole – the odds of me landing and beginning a new job the minute I am better are not huge… Matt does not qualify for student allowance, we are extremely reluctant to look at welfare anyway given our worldviews.
He could flag the teaching diploma in favour of a low skilled job (his qualifications are in Philsophy after all) but then what would he do – stack supermarket shelves? Pump gas? For how long? If the secondary sector are falling over themselves to nab him and there is nothing on offer by way of permanent, roof-overhead-food-on-table tertiary sector employment it is a no brainer.
So it is going to be a year of living by faith and a path away from where Matt really wants to be, should be, unless something gives.
I am clear on the correct Christian approach to this situation; I have peace and I trust in God’s providence come what may. However, I also have a duty before God to play the hand I have been dealt to the best of my ability; as such, if you are looking for a Philosophy or Theology Lecturer who can teach Theology, Ethics, Apologetics, Critical Thinking, History of Philosophy; we will relocate anywhere in the world. Email Matt for his CV, Transcripts and References and, of course, peruse the blog for writing samples.
[Delete the NOSPAM in the email address before sending]