I currently live at home with my parents. My dad retired from the military five years ago and has since worked for a civilian government contractor. Throughout my dad's military career, he had a very strong work ethic. He would work very long hours when no one else would to make sure the job was done correctly. However, my dad refused to play the political game that everyone else does and was not promoted. While I applaud him for not going overboard with politics, I wish he could have done a little and possibly extended his career a bit. At least he could have not worked 12+ hour days for no reason as he refused to attempt to make any connections. My dad always said to my mom " I will get promoted based on my work ethic and I will not try to get on the good side of the higher ups to get promoted." Well he was not promoted and was not treated well throughout his career and he put in many hours for no reason as people far less qualified got promoted. You would think my dad would have caught on eventually after being slapped in the face so many times but he never did. I cant tell you how many times a coworker he considered loyal to him would bad mouth him to get promoted over him. I do feel bad for my dad but after a while I just feel my dad has put himself in denial.
As I said, this has carried over into his civilian government contract job. Over the past few years, my dads company has been receving shorter and shorter government contracts. Last year, my dads company lost the contract from the government altogether. Luckily my dad was able to transfer to another facility in town so it was not a big deal. However, the announcement of possibly loosing the contract last year was announced 6-8 months in advance. My dad has real loyalty issues and he refused to look for other jobs because he felt he was betraying the company even though they said he might loose his job. So basically my dad never looked for a job and he lucked out by finding another job after his company lost the contract and he was laid off. Now however, my dad was informed a few months ago that the contract he is on now is up in July and there is no word as if it will be renewed. My dads company lays off a few dozen employees each week but fortunately he has not been laid off. However, my dad still refuses to look for other jobs. His answer is "well I can get unemployment." Again, my dad has a real loyalty issue, saying his company has been so good to him that he doesnt want them to know hes looking for other work. So basically my dad is willing to be laid off before his starts looking at other jobs. To make the situation even more frustrating, the exact position my dad once had before his company lost the contract last year to another company is open. As i said, he says he cant apply for it because he would feel so bad because his current company has been so good to him. In fact, a few coworkers at his current job have said that there is no doubt he would get this job and he should apply, plus this position is under a five year contract.
To add more to my dad's behavior, he has always been worried about money, our entire lives revolve around saving money. Im not saying saving money is not a good thing to do but my dad takes it to an extreme. His obsession with money is not even close to warranted and it has become an obession to him. My parents never go out to eat, never indulge in anything because my dad wants to save everything we can. This has gone on my entire life, so its not the result of the economy or anything like that. You would think with his money obession that the thought of losing him income would be devastating but it hasnt motivated him to apply to other jobs. Another issue that I feel might be relevant is my dads reluctance to change. My dad hates any type of change and I mean to the extreme. One of the reasons he does not want to switch jobs im assuming is because its with a different company and its foreign to him. My dad literally does has the same routine he has had my entire life. He has real issues with doing anything different. My dad goes to same barber for many years even though he charges double what everyeone else does because he always went to him and he gets gas at the same place because he always went there (this is just the tip of the iceberg with examples). I remember my mom telling me that when they were dating that my dad would never stay up late friday night because early saturday mornings he has to do grocery shopping (6 am).
I guess I am just very concerned about my dad because I think he is in a way thinking irrationally and I believe my dad has real loyalty issues and is in denial about things. I am also concerned about my mom and I because we also suffer due to my dads possbility of getting laid off. To me, if there is a job he once did, same salary with a five year contract and his current job contract ends in july with no word on renewal I would be applying so fast to this other company!
I would appreciate any advice. I think I might have to have a talk with him. My mom has talked to him about it but she gets nowhere with him. I will admit I dont usually talk to my dad about things and were mostly on a superficial level (working so much during my childhood meant we never became close) but I feel I must step in in this case.
I would not try to get involved. Sure you love your mom and dad, but this is really something that is "their" business. Also, my brother and sister inlaw are cheap to a fault and masters at saving a dime. Very much like how you describe your dad. They wont even go out to eat unless somebody buys the a gift certificate or something! lol. This is really much more a testemony to your fathers personal standards and ethics. There is no way in the world you can change that. But to be honest, your dad has a good concience from the sounds of it. He is loyal, hard working, and has provided as well as saved for his family. I really dont see what is so wrong with that. As far as your mom goes, I dont like it when parents confide with their children about the other parent. It puts the child in a very bad spot of no longer respecting one parent and becomming protective of the other when the truth is that they chose to marry each other, and they choose to stay together, and all of that marital gossip that comes your way does change anything between the two of them. All it does is upset YOU. So try and not play that game. Your mom knew how your dad was and she still chose to marry him. If after all these years she has stayed, then there must be something good in all of it. Also, after all these years his wife never managed to "change" him, what makes you think that you can? I am absolutely sure that this is not what you want to hear, but this is really a matter between your parents and not something that you should feel any responsibility towards. Good luck.
I agree with you and I have been dwelling on whether it was any of my business to get involved. I agree with you that it is not my business. Its just that there is another job that my dad can most likely obtain and he refuses to even apply for it because he feels loyalty to the company. I guess I just know like the many times this has happened when he was in the military that this company does not care about him, its unfortunate but true. In the end it is a business and if there is no contract they cant pay him. I guess my dad has a misconception that the company is very loyal to him and would never do anything to hurt him but I know that is not the case. This is just a textbook scenario with my dad: he feels a higher up will recommend him for promotion, that person bad mouths him, and my dad is extremely upset and devastated because he thought they were trustwrothy. This scenario has played out probably 6-8 times that I can remember. I just feel my dad is not acting rationally.
And yes I have heard all of this from my mother not from him. As I stated I do agree that is none of my business but I just am picturing the worst case scenario: my dad gets laid off in july and the other company fills the position. In the end im not even worried about myself, its my mom that I am worried about because she also suffers if my dad is unemployed. I must say however, that the few times I have talked to my dad about serious things, he does react in a very different way then when he talks to my mom. I have had him change his mind on a few important things in the past so I feel I should make an attempt.
Yes im sure my dad has lots and lots of money saved. Today he said he has accumulated 3 months of paid leave after he is laid off so there is definetly a cushion. However, I guess I just feel it is still stupid to not apply for jobs at this point, especially when one is the old job he did for 5 years. Even with a large cushion, he will obviously have to get another job, hes still has about 10 years before retiring.
Well we all know the economy is tough right now. But it isn't impossible. There are jobs out there, you just might have to be willing to compromise. As far as thinking he is stupid, well this is how we grow up and separate ourselves from our parents. We stop taking everything they say as absolute truth and we begin to form our own opinions. It doesn't mean that he's wrong and your right, but rather that his choice isn't right for you. It's not the one that you would choose for yourself. Sounds like with the unemployment as well as the paid leave and his savings, he will have plenty of time to find a job when the need arises.