There are some things that I believed happened to other people. Like one of the earning members not having a job. I felt I have an adequately cushioned life to not have the scenario. We were both non-risk takers with stable jobs since we graduated. When K was without a job, it seriously seemed temporary. We know a lot of people who are contractors. Being 'between contracts' is a very fashionable thing. There are folks who take extended breaks to see the world! Such was not our fate. We were not proud of K being 'between contracts'. So one impact of our decision was:
1. Social - I had a don't ask don't tell policy. I didn't tell anyone but immediate family. In that too I chose my mother and sister. I didn't even tell Papa. He already has a lot on his plate. Mummy was with us so he would worry all alone. With his blood pressure I didn't want to burden him. He did figure it out eventually when he saw K at home during untimely hours of video call. He knew K clocked longer hours than me and seeing him around in the afternoon did heckle him. It was delicate for him too. Eventually mom broke the news and as expected he had some sleepless nights. I used to reach out to people asking if they knew any openings. It was rare I told them the full story - just that K is looking for a new role.
K on the other hand is way more extrovert. All his colleagues knew. But he didn't feel bad about it. He sat with people who specialised in aspects of software development to get pointers. He called ex-team mates to get clarifications regarding why they solution ed a certain thing in a certain way. People were helpful. Being someone who connects easily and well with others, most people genuinely wanted to guide and help him. Some applauded his bravery! Which the cynic in me resisted. Bravado doesn't get dinner on the table.
But to each his own. K derived solace in well wishers. I with drew. There were some weird interactions. We had invited some recent acquaintance home and one of them asked K ' so who is your client' K just said the name of his employer. I thought the conversation might go forward into work domain which might turn out to be awkward. Luckily it didn't. There were quite a few such near misses. It wasn't that we would have lied. But we might have to divulge more than we wanted to to people who didn't know us well enough. We might have received some unsolicited advise which I am K would definitely not have appreciated.
2. The obvious - Financial - The first thing we did when K was out of work was cancel a holiday. We had booked it with a lot of enthusiasm for the kids. It was a visit to Cbeebies land. The kids were at the right age to go for it. Chiyaa was at the threshold where she liked some of the characters but was getting bored of others. She would outgrow them in 18 months time. Pumpki was falling in love with some while didn't get others. It would be the right time to have them both adequately entertained. Unfortunately this time it was not to be. We decided to save the money since it was close to a month's rent.
We kept up the essentials like Chiyaa 's swimming and karate which in spite of being on the expensive side we deemed important. What upset me was when I failed my driving licence test the first time. Driving lessons are expensive and so is the test. I postponed buying some real good pillows since they seemed like luxuries.
Thankfully working was never optional for me. I was somehow raised with a mindset that I should work. So by God's grace my income was enough to support a family. But just support. We couldn't be aspirational. Things like dresses, holidays eating out needed budgeting. I have always rationalised expenses. But for the first time I was doing so with much greater attention. K took long winded and uncomfortable journeys for interviews instead of taking the costlier and comfortable ones.
3. Emotional - The emotional implication was expected but took time to kick in. The adrenalin rush of going on an adventure was immense. As reality sunk in I chanced upon K applying as store operator in local super markets or checking for openings in McDonald's. He thought the pay would be enough to take care of a portion of the rent. But I advised against it. I wanted him to concentrate on the job search and only the job search. To train and train for war. It would be draining. Being on some odd job would take his mind off. But that could be counter productive.
One day I booked a cab to pick Chiyaa from school. The driver casually remarked that the school was pretty far from our house. I replied that since we were late applicants because of our movement from Leeds to Ipswich, that was the school we got. I also said that generally my husband did the school runs but he was away for a job interview that particular day. I think he got the drift and filled me in regarding details of driving a cab. Coincidentally he lived in the same apartment complex and gave his home address in case we needed any further information.
K and I found the thought of driving cabs rather palatable. Since he ended up being self employed. He could drive the days and times he wanted. During lean periods he could study. But we kept that option for a later day.
As the days progressed, K started stressing out. We quarrelled a bit more. He misunderstood my irritation on innocuous issues like the kids not eating or my inability to get a workout to be because he didn't have a job. In calmer times I tried to convince him that I might be getting angry on any of things but it would be never for him not having a job.
The days dragged on. We geared for round 2 with a more resplendent resume. One adequately highlighting his new earned skills.