Monday 15th June 2020
I’ll be honest; I’m not writing this the day after I was made redundant. At that time, I didn’t even know I was going to write about it or build this website. I’m writing it a few weeks later. But I did want to write something down that describes how I felt when the meeting invite dropped into my inbox, If for nothing else a little self-therapy.
Looking back, I wasn’t that shocked: I’d been thinking it had been coming for a while. Over the last couple of years, all of the new, excellent opportunity’s had gone to others, and I’d had to pick up the ‘dull stuff’ other people didn’t want. Frustratingly I’d mentioned this to my line manager a couple of times, but he didn’t do anything about it. He made a few rumblings, more of a token gesture than anything else, so the writing was on the wall. It was coming. I was at the point where my face didn’t either fit or was forgotten.
The initial shock when that invite dropped was overwhelmed by the manner and timing of how it came. “How could the company I’d worked for for the last ten years not give any thought to how they did this, wasn’t I due a little loyalty?”
But then, after the realisation had sunk in and my lunch had apparently turned to concrete in the pit of my stomach, my first thought was that things were going to change. There was going to be lots of change, change, change, change and more change.
And that gave me my immediate bad feeling No1. Although my life at work had been dull over the last couple of years and I was treading water, it did give me enough security to buy a new house, car, phone, holiday…etc: things I enjoyed, and that security was about to go. I could live without the car, phone and iPad but I’d just brought a new house; a beautiful shiny large, empty new home. My mortgage had tripled in the space of a month. The feeling of dread that I was now at danger of losing my home was about as low as it got; until the sense of guilt engulfed it, realising that I’d also inadvertently made my partner worry about the same thing. It was also her new house, she should be enjoying it, and it was my fault that I’d thrown us both into this mess.
Immediate bad feeling number 2 was that I was back to having to put a CV together; press the suit, craft CV’s and start the daily trawl of job boards. It was all too familiar, which was a little weird given that I’d not done that in anger for 10 years. This was going to be dull, dull, thankless work that I could quickly put off by improving my shooting skills in Call of Duty. The thought of trawling job boards again… The idea of interviews, having to write and use, ‘job speak’, spend time staring at a CV and write covering letters… The thought of being shot at by teenagers from the other side of the world would be so, so tempting…
Bad Feeling No.3 was that I was going to have to tell my friends and family. I shouldn’t, but I have a problem with losing face. Apart from a little bragging here and there about where I’ve managed to travel to, I’m not one for wanting or needing to be competitive about role, industry or salary. But it was going to be hard to stand up and proclaim, ‘I’m so poor at my job that my company don’t want me. I have no use anymore. I’m the 5th wheel, the 5th Beatle. I’m Windows XP, the Apple Newton. I’m as much worth as the appendix or tonsils. I am… Redundant’
Immediate Bad feeling No4, was that I’d left a couple of Amazon deliveries on my desk at work and I didn’t want to have to go back and face all of my ex-colleagues. One, in particular, didn’t like me at all. The thought of driving 200 miles only to witness a masterclass of fake pity and sorrow made the concrete jump up from the pit of my stomach to the back of my throat.
But that was about it. That’s as bad as it got. I had the necessary cup of tea, a chat to my partner and slowly some light started to shimmer out of the black of the tunnel. At this stage, I didn’t know if it was a train hurtling in my direction or if it was the way out of this mess. But it was a light, and unless I started on the path towards it, I was never going to move on.