The situation at work just gets worse and worse. Management is going ahead with an aggressive schedule to roll out a thin-client network, with basic, no-nonsense network appliances on the desktop and having all the applications running on servers. They’ve been told that they can drastically reduce the number of techs they’ll need to support all those appliances. Unfortunately, I am one of those techs, so that means I will probably get demoted or laid off in the next year.

Bummer. On the bright side, I pretty much hate that place anyway, so in many respects I’m not too unhappy. And I am fully vested in the pension plan, so I’ll have a little somethin’-somethin’ to look forward to in my golden years (provided management doesn’t raid the pension plan between now and then, or lawmakers raid it for them; that seems to be all the rage now).

But on the other hand, it’s a good thing to keep other skills polished, and to have an idea of what I would need as far as a bare minimum income to pay all my bills. Assuming no change in my current bills (except for credit cards, which should be completely paid off by September), and further assuming a full-time, 40-hour a week job, I could scrape by with a $12.00/hour job. That’s not too bad… I hope.

Maybe I should go looking to see what jobs are paying $12.00/hr., eh?

Bright side is, I could supplement that with cleaning up people’s PCs from vicious spyware and other basic computer maintenance or training. I do that on the side anyway, and I’d have more incentive to do that if I wasn’t working for the County. And that’s usually all tax-free money, and I charge a bit more than twelve bucks an hour for that.

I also went to the Oregon Labor webpage and calculated what my unemployment benefit would be, and it comes close to what I’d need. I’d still need some supplemental income, but not the whole thing. I also looked at what I could cut back if I needed to — I could lose my broadband internet, cut back on FlexCar useage, cut back on my cell phone… that saves me $225/month right there.

So I’m feeling better, if not completely safe. At least I’d be able to keep a roof over my head if worse comes to worst.