Friday, December 14, 2007

How did I get here? - 9/11 was the beginning

If I'm going to tell my story then I might as well explain that my financial problems started several years ago. Right after 9/11 I was laid off work for six months. I worked for a major computer company at the time and they were in the process of selling our software division to a foreign company (in Israel). Well three weeks after 9/11 happened the buyer company decided that they didn't want to bother with the sales related personnel. They only wanted the developers and a small staff of managers - so the rest of us were let go. I tried any and all companies during that time but I just could not get a job. Six months later I finally took a position with a very small company that paid me half of what I had earned the previous year. And I was driving to and from work 180 miles round trip each day. But I had a wife and two kids to take care of so I did what I had to for employment. I also went through almost all of my life savings.

With 40% of my annual salary gone and my decreasing savings and my not getting home at night until very late I finally had to sell my house and move my family. I barely had enough to get us into another house. Right after we moved into our second house I was laid off again.

I ended up at another small company. This time a startup. I worked for that startup (founders and owners from India) for almost two years. But they screwed me when they got bought by a much larger company: I had vested nearly 70000 shares of common stock which I purchased. I then left the company but kept my shares. The board of directors voted that Common shareholders - such as myself and several others - would get nothing, ZERO, from the buyout. They voted to pay ONLY the Preferred shareholders. I lost everything.

(So I've been burned by a computer hardware company owned by founders from India and I've been burned by a computer software company based in Israel - this is what happens when Americans work for foreigners. Not to mention all the American lives lost on 9/11 due to foreign terrorists!)

And it's been a struggle ever since. My life was going great up until 9/11. But it's been downhill since then.

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