They were the front line casualties of the Orange County bankruptcy, the foot soldiers who lost their livelihoods when a government gambled on risky investments.
When the dust had settled, 1,639 county employees were no longer on the payroll, hundreds of them laid off and others escaping the dire situation through retirement or resignation. Some rebounded, some did not. Many are back at work, others are still hunting for employment in an unkind job market.
Some are grappling with an unwanted early retirement, while others look back on the pink slip as an unexpected ticket to a better life, the motivation they needed to seek out new careers or education. Their feelings toward their old employer range from bitterness to indifference.
In March, The Times interviewed 50 men and women laid off by the county and told of their experiences in the wake of sudden career upheaval. Today we revisit eight of those people and tell their stories. A18-19