I can now reveal why it's been such a troubled time in the Random Household.
My Dad and I were both made redundant in the same week!
Dad on the Monday. Me on the Wednesday!
We don't work for the same company. We've just both been victims of the recession. We've certainly both been victims.
In the same week Hubby's job wasn't looking so secure, some good friends announced they were splitting up and worst of all my dear friend Barbie lost her Mum.
All of these incidents on their own are worrying or unsettling enough, especially when friends and family mean so much to you, but all together in the space of five days was unprecedented.
When I was told about my job I wanted my say, to show I wasn't a soft option, an easy target. Good old Random Woman she never sticks up for herself, she never complains. She'll go quietly. In the end I did because I wasn't strong enough to deal with what followed. And for that I kick myself. But at least I have my pride, my dignity and my integrity. Not everyone in business can say that.
Unfortunately my confidence took a hit and my self esteem is low. I've even struggled to leave the house on a few occasions. The bouts of depression that have dogged my adult life have started to re-surface. Had I been chucked on the scrap heap at 41? Why me after 13 and a half years of service? Why was it just me and no one else?
What has surprised me is my reaction to it all. For those of you who read my posts when I was umming and ahing about whether to go back to work after my maternity leave, you'll know that the job didn't play to my creative strengths, but what I've found is I've become highly emotional at having to leave when it wasn't on my terms. Even now, two weeks on, I cry at the slightest thing. I did today when I saw some old work colleagues because it's the people I'll miss. 13 and a half years is a long time. Over half my working life. Just gone in an instant!
My Dad has got another job and I am immensely proud of him at 63 for doing that so swiftly. Hubby's company is being very sensible and not making any rash decisions at the moment. Our friends are perfectly amicable with their separation and starting to carve out new lives. Barbie is brave and strong and I am proud of her everyday.
As for me I'm ok. I've started doing some freelance writing work which is fantastic and what I always wanted. I have the boy, hubby and Oscar. We have no debts. I am extremely lucky. I have my redundancy money, my P45 and a chance at a more fulfilling working life.
I'm also very, very sad. Sad that I won't see my friends at work anymore. Sad that it all ended the way it did. Sad that it was all so rushed. Sad I didn't get to say a proper good-bye.
Sad that I couldn't fight.
Sometimes things are just too huge to fight against even when you know you are just in your cause. So now I write and hope that the pen will be mightier than the sword!
Losing my job and embarking on this new chapter has made me reflect on my working life so far and I was reminded of a story from my previous job.
I worked for a concession in a big department store for 6 years. It was in this department store that I met Hubby.
One Christmas the management asked the staff to suggest what we would like as a Christmas party. They provided a suggestion box, pen and pieces of paper and placed it in the staff room. When the time came to open the box, one lone scrap of paper fluttered out. On it was simply written;
"A piss up in a brewery. If we thought you could organise it!"
Which only goes to prove nothing much changes. Whoever you work for!