Thank you so very much for all of your great thoughts, advice, insights, and loving concern.  I feel much better after reading your comments.  I so appreciate your taking time today to respond to my plea.  It is amazing what a community can do to help one another.  With tears, I share how thankful I am for this community.  

I don't know what to do.  My daughter, 3 kids, and now unemployed son-in-law live in a home I own outright.  Because of the horrible manner his employer has behaved for the last 2 years, I have been paying the insurance and real estate taxes plus filling in their financial gaps for emergencies.  I may have to sell their home, the thought of which has spiked my blood pressure.

What do I do?

I am one of the lucky ones.  I have some savings that can carry us through for a few years but, if I deplete my cash reserve, we run the risk of defaulting on our ever increasing property taxes and losing both homes.  

This story terrified me.

On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.

Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.

All because he didn’t pay a $134 property tax bill.

Ours has become a legally heartless nation.

My son-in-law's story below


I won't name the employer, but suffice it to say it is owned by an uber conservative man.

And, ours is a right-to-work state so it seems employers are free to abuse employees, so my son-in-law and others working for this company have no recourse, right?

The job is a sales job for training products that support of a very profitable consumer service.  However, the sales opportunities depend 100% on leads generated by sales reps located in offices throughout the country.  So my son-in-law's job is both training the satellite reps about how to upsell their customers as well as closing the leads the satellite reps create.  It's $15,000-$25,000 per sale for the company, known in the sales industry as a high ticket item.  

My son-in-law has had the highest numbers for calls and sales of periphery products and, in the first few years did really well, hitting targets and earning a good living, one year hitting low 6 figures.  Immediately after this successful year, the company was sold and the new company changed the sales targets making such success impossible for most.  Actually, the new company changed the sales targets several times seemingly hoping the sales force wouldn't succeed.  Nice plan!

Undeterred, my son-in-law made all the targets.  He is both a highly motivated and incredibly organized person.  Type A

UNTIL a new manager took over the offices of my son-in-law's (SIL) territory.  My SIL was told the new manager wanted a new home office suport rep so my SIL was taken off all the accounts for that area, 4 offices, and given the worst 2 offices in the country.

The highly productive offices, which my SIL actually built, were given to his top manager's brother.  Nepotism, now legal?

My SIL told his managers that he didn't mind building the 2 underperforming offices, but would need at least one productive office so he could reach his sales targets.  The request was refused.  

Keep in mind, the turn over in my SILs office is huge.  At any time, the management could have given him one or two accounts as they became available from people either leaving or being fired. They did not, but gave them to others, some of whom already had 4 accounts.

So, for the past years my SIL has lived under constant pressure to reach his targets so he could, at the very least, maintain his draw.  He has spent every quarter since wondering if he would have a job at the end of each quarter.  The stress has been unbelievable.  No time off, twelve hour days, and no sick leave even when he was really sick.  He lost 40 pounds!

Miraculously, he managed to barely hit his targets until last fall, not because he didn't work his tail off, but because the 2 underperforming offices kept firing their reps, replacing them with new reps, a process my SIL has no control over.

Several times, my SIL was given 10 days to reach a target or be fired.  He reached the targets each time.

UNTIL three months ago, his office cut off his draw until November, because his numbers weren't high enough. This left him with a pittance of income even though he has consistently had the highest number of customer contacts and still managed to out sell the entire office with peripheral products that didn't count towards his target.  

This last quarter just ended.  My SIL hit his target.  He was on track to having his draw reinstated in November, but two days later, one of his sales didn't fund (less than $300 of $$ out of the over $150K target) and they fired him today.

SUMMARY:  This company fired an employee, employed for over 3.5 years, with perfect attendence, targets met, and record numbers of customer contacts and peripheral product sales.

Here's the kicker.  If my SIL's manager (a really despictable person) had wanted to, the manager could have helped in several ways but didn't.  Possibly because there is profit sharing so, by firing my SIL before the end of September, my SIL won't get his profit sharing ($4,000).

This is a heartless company.  Last month, three mid-managers walked out at the same time.  My SIL's present manager drove one sales rep, who sued to keep his job, into a nervous breakdown.  True story.

My SIL has sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of product per quarter for this company for 3.5 years.

He played by the rules even though the company seemed hell bent on tripping him up, the same way he saw others tripped up and fired.

But he hung tough for 3.5 years.  He actually really liked the work.

His reward?  


What the hell has happened to this country?  Why are employers allowed to be so blatantly cruel?

My SIL's bootstraps are now stretched so loosely they extend above his now skinny head.

Hard work and playing by the rules do not count in this country.  That meme is total bull crap!  Jobs are now a total crap shoot.

I will say that my SIL is one of those guys that came with a tool belt.  There is absolutely nothing he can't do with his hands.  So there is hope, but not if he works for someone else, or so it seems.  He is a brilliant man without a degree, so his job prospects are limited.  

Now, what should I do?  Sell my house?  Sell their house?  Sell both houses?  Do nothing and coast for a couple of years, risk using my savings up hoping my SIL will be able to recreate his income to pay the taxes, insurance, and living expenses for his family before I run out of all savings?  

I don't have any surviving family members to consult with and don't want to burden my few friends with these questions?  I just can't clearly think these days.

Any thoughts?

Thank you.

Originally posted to War on Error on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 09:45 AM PDT.

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