Laid Off

It’s been years since I wrote a post, so let’s catch up.

I finished off my career as a teacher in May, 2019 after a final year at Bruce Randolph School, this time as a 7th grade science teacher. I had been ready to change careers for a long time, and in the Spring of 2019 I spent almost every night training myself to be a software engineer using App Academy Online‘s free bootcamp curriculum. Studying for a couple hours a night for several months proved not enough time, however, to get me ready to find a job as an engineer before the next school year. So, as the summer approached I enrolled in General Assembly, a coding bootcamp here in Denver.

My last day as a teacher was May 30, 2019, and my first day at GA was June 17, 2019. My study prior to the bootcamp proved very useful in preparing me to succeed, and by the end of the program I had learned a ton and made several projects I was proud of. Three weeks after our graduation from the course on September 11, 2019, I was offered and accepted a job at Ibotta. The story of how I got that job, and what tips I have for people looking for jobs in a similar circumstance, would be a good post for another time.

My official start date at Ibotta was 10/23/2019, and I was laid off on Tuesday, 04/07/2019, as a result of the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. I worked at Ibotta for not quite six months, but I learned a ton, made friends, and loved every minute of it. I was gutted when I received the email to tell me my position had been terminated. Actually, the worst moment was when I was kicked off Slack. Ooph, what a gut-punch in this time when we’re all remote and Slack was my only link to my coworkers.

So, here I am, almost two weeks out from being laid off, and the sting of that day has dissipated significantly. For a few nights I couldn’t sleep, wondering how we’d make ends meet, and why I had been chosen to be laid off. Since then, I’ve realized that this is maybe not the end of the world. We have enough money to survive, especially when we include the stimulus checks we received from the government ($2900 for the family: one $1200 check each for Rachel and me, and $500 for Nora), and the additional $600 weekly that “Unemployment on Steroids” is supposed to add to our unemployment benefits. We’ll survive. And in the meantime, Rachel is going to have a baby, and the world is going to get back on its feet. I’ll find another job, learn new skills and meet new people, and it will all be fine in the end.

I hope so, anyway…


Published by Bill Weisberger

High school chemistry teacher, living in Rome, Italy with my wife and our dog.

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