Sunday, 29 July 2012

The One, One Year On

This is the last time I'll bang on about this. Promise!

Today is the one year anniversary of my last day at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines - the company I worked for, for 13 and a half years.

The day was one of the worst of my life. I put on a brave face. I made jokes. I played the fool and the clown as I always do because that's how I cope.

For Christ sake I even had a "closing down sale" and gave away my stapler and hole punch.

Inside I was scared and frightened and someone had ripped my guts out.

When I left I sat in my car for the best part of an hour crying my eyes out with Ken - who was crying too and we hugged and laughed and cried some more and couldn't believe we wouldn't be working together after all these years.

But now one year on I'm sitting here writing this with a bottle of something fizzy and dry to toast the last year and the amazing changes in my life.

It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Just not done in the best way.

To this day I don't think they ever understood why I contested my redundancy when it was noted that I quite obviously had aspirations and talents elsewhere.

But I felt that was my decision to make - no one else's.

I resented the assumption that I'm good old sport and would go quietly. Without one last hurrah. A send off. A thank you. But with a boot up the arse out the door. Off you go love and do your writing because we know you're hearts not in it and you've had this baby we didn't expect you to have and we don't really know what to do with you so slink off without a word there's a good girl and we'll forget this ever happened shall we!

Well that was never going to be me now was it.

Maybe I got it wrong. Maybe now with reflection I was rash, hasty, angry, hurt, humiliated.

It was the speed, the sweeping assumptions, the feeling of being brushed under the carpet.

I have since been told that I was a "situation" which has now been dealt with. I was too loud. Too noisy. There'd been whispers. Complaints.

Well I moved floors when our department changed I didn't fundamentally alter my personality so what the hell did they expect.

It leaves yet another bitter taste in my mouth about my years working for "the man" as a friends husband calls it and it serves to confirm that I would now, even after only a year, struggle to work for someone else.

So tonight I raise a glass not to those years but to the last year and the years to come.

Cheers and remember the words of the always eloquent and articulate Fletch from Porridge

"Don't let the bastards grind you down!"

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