FARMINGTON — When Raymond Parlin got a call at home Wednesday morning to not show up for his next shift at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay on Friday, it was a shock, he said.

Raymond Parlin, 59, of Farmington learned Wednesday morning that he had lost his job at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay. Courtesy photo

He was out of a job. His wife, Raelene, under treatment for cancer for two years, broke down.

The call was from a representative of mill owner Pixelle Specialty Solutions of Pennsylvania explaining the loss was due to the digester rupture and resulting destruction at the pulp mill April 15.

Parlin is one of 67 workers who lost their jobs this week. Another 110 lost theirs in July and September for the same reason.

Parlin has worked at the mill for 33 years, most recently doing production, scheduling and distribution, cutting large rolls of paper into smaller ones for orders. He has been a rewinder since 2004.

In a phone interview Thursday from Boston, Parlin said he was too busy consoling his wife right after the call to think about the news. He said she has been receiving treatments for cancer for two years and he was with her Thursday at at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The 12 treatments so far have cost $15,000 each and the 12 shots were $17,000 each, he said.

But facing the job loss, he said they are in better financial shape compared to some others facing unemployment. Their house and vehicle are paid for, but have some credit card bills, utility and heating bills and fixed costs.

“We should be doing all right because we thought ahead,” he said. He will receive a severance package.

“The people who have children and elderly parents are the ones I kind of feel for because we are like family,” he said. “We work along side each other there all day.”

Although the company is calling it a layoff, Parlin called it a termination and said it was the abruptness of the call that got to him.

“I was angry at first. It is more a blessing now,” he said. “I am not going to work shift work anymore. I will not be working nights. I will not be working holidays.”

He said he has a couple of feelers out for jobs.

“To me I’m going to turn the page and start a new chapter,” he said. “There is not much I can do about it.”

“I understand they have got to make a business decision. It is a business,” Parlin said. “I’ve already moved on. I’ve talked to people who said ‘the old cliché when one door closes, six more open.’ I am opening a door. I really intended to retire from Pixelle but nothing is engraved in stone.”

Nothing stays the same, he said.

“You just never know,” he said. “It is what it is. Nothing we can do about it.”

He is scheduled to learn about Rapid Response services from the Maine Department of Labor, his 401(k) retirement fund and an emergency assistance program Nov. 5.

He plans to check out his options.

“I am always looking for something new and different, something to tax my mind,” he said. “It’s what keeps you young. I will land on my feet somewhere. I am close enough to retirement at 62. It’s a new door to open. I am going to see what happens.”

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