Carrie Smith of Lincolnville was notified in September that she would be losing her job in provider relations for the Wichita office of Harrington Health. She worked out of an office in Wichita for eight years and spent the past five years working out of her home.
To add insult to injury, Smith was told that because she was the only employee in the company who knew how to do her job, she would be required to train an individual in India to take her place.
She has spent the past two and a half months on the phone and computer doing just that, but her job will end Jan. 1. She joins 20 other employees who also lost their jobs.
Smith and her husband, Wade, have been married for 10 years and have four children — Kaleb, 14; Avery, 8; Lander, 6; and Remington, 2. They have lived in Lincolnville for two years.
Wade Smith is a full-time emergency medical technician for Dickinson County and works part-time for the city of Lincolnville. He often works overtime and has put in as many as 400 hours a month. He also occasionally works for Marion County EMS and is a volunteer firefighter.
The Smiths live in a two-story frame house that was built before 1908. It is not insulated, so gas bills are high. Grandparents help to buy clothes for the children. During the summertime, when the children are home all day, grocery costs can be as much as $300 a week.
Carrie Smith was able to bring her job with her when the family moved to Lincolnville from Wichita. Now she is worried about how they will make ends meet without her salary. The pay was good. She wants to find another job, but that in itself carries with it additional expenses.
“Jobs are scarce around here,” she said. “They probably pay lower. I also will need day-care services and will have travel expenses.”
She said her dream job would be as a court mediator, resolving disputes outside of court. She took a related class last summer and would like to take another one in June to get certification. The class and certification process have costs associated with them, so fulfilling that dream is uncertain.
Meanwhile, the Smiths were grateful to hear that they were nominated to receive extra help from Hoch Publishing Company’s Christmas promotion.
“I was so shocked,” Carrie Smith said. “We are the ones who like to help out, so it’s a little hard to be on the other end of that.”
“I’ve never been selected for anything like that,” Wade Smith said. “I’ve always gone out there and done what I could to provide for my family.”
Carrie is optimistic about the future.
“I’m nervous about it, but I know things will work out,” she said. “I don’t stress out about things I don’t have control over. I’ve always had the belief that things happen for a reason. I think I was meant to find a different position. It will work itself out.”