The past two years (abridged version):
July, 2005: Unexpectedly laid off from my job of ten years. At least the company gave the 700 of us a nice severance package as well as some helpful job hunting resources, great for those of us who haven't had to write a resume in ten years.
January, 2006: Severance package runs out. Job market thin. Still searching.
March, 2006: Unemployment runs out. Still looking. Crap.
May, 2006: Finally find a job temping with a local company which manufactures various cleaning, skin care, and storage products which you probably have in your home right now. I'm working for the regulatory department, which is interesting, but it involves sitting on my ass for eight hours a day. The pay is about a 40% cut from what I had been making before, but at least it's income. No opportunity for overtime, vacation pay, or sick time, though. On the plus side, there were fantastic discounts on products at the company store.
December, 2006: While perusing the job listings, I notice a position open at my old employer. After reading the description, I realize that it's for the lab I used to work in, using the technology that I spent seven years working on. I call up my old contacts there to find out, and sure enough, it turns out that the lab wasn't able to function with the skimpy staff and high-turnover temps that they were currently operating with. I let the current manager (who I originally interviewed and hired) know I was applying. He called up HR and specifically requested my resume. I was brought in for "interviews" which seemed to be merely a formality.
January, 2007: The division of the company I had applied to gets sold off to the healthcare division of a major light bulb manufacturer. I hear nothing more about the position and assume that a hiring freeze is in place. I sigh and start looking at the job postings again.
February, 2007: I get a phone call from the hiring manager asking if I was still interested. Duh. The next day I get a package from FedEx with the offer. They will hire me back at my previous pay rate, plus 4%, and I get to keep all my seniority, so I'm still vested, etc.
March, 2007: Start back to work. I take a look at the instrument which I was hired to run (which was currently inoperative and the tech who was currently operating it was at a loss of what to do) and have it working in less than an hour. I become a minor celebrity. Life is back to normal.
On the plus side, our third baby was born in April, 2005, so with the long time off work, I got to spend a lot more time with him than I did with Things One and Two. I can't believe he's going to be two in a couple weeks!
It's really weird being back here again. This would be an interesting psychological study; it didn't take long for all the muscle memory for entering data into all the different systems, walking the routes to various locations, etc. to come back to me. I just have strange moments every now and then when I come across something that was never there before or a place where I know there used to be something there, but is now gone.