FAA furlough help
August 4, 2011 10:24 AM   Subscribe

My coworker's wife was furloughed from the FAA. I'd like to help out in some small way... what's appropriate?

I'd like to do something to help my (white collar, professional) coworker with the sudden loss of income, but I'm not sure what's really appropriate.

I was considering doing a work collection for those that want to contribute, and putting the results on a gift card to a local supermarket, just as some unexpected help with the bills. I'm afraid it will be taken the wrong way, though.

Any suggestions?

(Side note: I know it's a touchy issue for some, but, less grar is good. Thanks!)
posted by underflow to Human Relations (6 answers total)
Do you know if your coworker needs that kind of help? If I were laid off, and it weren't an immediate hardship, I'd find it a little off-putting if my husband's colleagues decided that we needed financial assistance.

On the other hand, if he came home with one of those fruit bouquets, I'd be delighted.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 10:27 AM on August 4, 2011

This is only appropriate if you are 100% sure that none of your co-workers have spouses with job issues. Otherwise it's incredibly insensitive to solicit your co-worker whose wife has been looking for a job for 6 months or something for money for another coworker who has only been without pay for a few weeks. It is also only appropriate if you know that this coworker is immediately in hardship with a loss of a few months pay.
posted by brainmouse at 10:31 AM on August 4, 2011 [7 favorites]

Honestly, I would do nothing until you get a sense from your coworker that they would appreciate assistance. His wife could be looking at this furlough as an awesome, unexpected vacation time to catch up on house projects or books or whatever, and not as ZOMGWEAREGOINGBROKENOW. Without knowledge of their financial situation, don't assume they'll need help.

If you're also friends with this coworker, maybe take the two of them out for dinner or have them over to your house or something, just as a gesture of support.
posted by pdb at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

It's incedible presumptuous of you to do this without asking them if they need help. So...ask.

Don't ask if you can do a collection. Just say, "I'm really sorry to hear about your wife getting furloughed. I imagine that's really tough. Please let me know if I can do anything for you."

That's it. If they ask, deliver. If they don't, wish them luck and stay out of it.
posted by inturnaround at 11:22 AM on August 4, 2011

And write your congress-critter. (For what little good I think that might actually do.)
posted by jferg at 11:28 AM on August 4, 2011

The just made a deal to put the people back to work.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:48 PM on August 4, 2011

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