After a few weeks of ‘consultation’ I have today been given notice of redundancy from my job. The consultation process has been a charade – a procedure that was necessary to safeguard the company from any possible litigation. I believe they had already decided on the outcome, but we had to have meetings to put forward our ideas as to how the redundancy might be avoided. The timing surprised me; I was half-expecting it a few months ago when the legacy system I had developed and supported was finally laid to rest and I was struggling to learn the new programming languages, but this has happened just as I was starting to be useful. There are a few of us going from IT and many old colleagues from other departments. Budgets have been tightened and the company is cutting away some old wood. The bugger of it is that I have to work twelve weeks’ notice, so I won’t finish until mid-March. Traditionally in IT, anyone made redundant has their access to the systems revoked instantly and is escorted from the premises. Unfortunately, that rule has just been changed here. Maybe if I rant at my screen and say “delete” as people walk by they might let me go?
It has been a funny few weeks. That initial meeting so suddenly called – and the first formal letter informing me that my job was “at risk” came out of the blue at a time when from my point of view we were particularly busy – so it came as a shock, followed later by a vague sense of bereavement at the thought of parting from my colleagues. I have worked with some of them for almost thirteen years. Now I am trying to focus on the things I won’t miss such as the bizarre heating system that blows hot air from the ceiling – drying out your eyes whilst your feet freeze beneath the desk …
I have been lucky with managers in that those I report to have always told me the truth as they saw it – but the truth has mutated with the passage of time and the failing economy. Our project plans – all that future work – has suddenly lost its priority.
I have always believed that things happen for a reason, and was tentatively hopeful that my screenplay might make it through the BBC Writersroom and I would suddenly have loads of time to write scripts. Not expecting to hear anything unless I was successful, I was surprised to find an email from them this morning – but it turned out to be a rejection. By no means the first rejection I’ve ever had – it is something many writers get used to, and at least I know now, and I can knock that little fantasy on the head. It means a lot to me to have dates and times, and to know what’s what. I really wish it didn’t. I wish I could be more laid back, and ‘take it as it comes’ but this is the way I am and yes, I know it is only a job, and losing it is way at the bottom of my list of the precious things in this life that I constantly worry about losing. But yes, I was grateful to receive the email from work this afternoon. I am on holiday this week – I was advised to use it!
So, what next? Preferably something different – something that doesn’t necessitate sitting at a desk for hours on end … but what? I am determined to be optimistic that this change is for the better.