Last month I found out I was being made redundant. You know, due to the credit crunch and all that. I have to say, it wasn't a total surprise. It came after months of unbelievably high workload, increasing budget cuts and general doom and gloom, so the signs were all there. Nor was it the first time it's happened to me, and no doubt it won't be the last either. All in all, I'm quite philosophical about it, and if truth be told, the timing's rather good too, as our financial situation is quite stable at the moment. With a bit of luck and good planning, I might manage to stay out of the rat race till at least the end of summer, giving me some time to chill out and catch up with life.
The best thing about being made redundant in my line of work is that the moment you're told the news you're immediately put on garden leave. That's when you don't have to work your notice, but you are required to stay at home (in the garden, so to speak) while you're paid as usual. So for the last few weeks I have been relaxing in the comfort of my own home (too wet to sit in the garden at the moment) compliments of my employer. Other advantages include being able to stay up as long as I like without worrying about getting up the next day, having lie-ins whenever I feel like it, going to the shops during the day, having home cooked meals every lunch time and no commuting whatsoever.
The first thing I've noticed about my jobless state is how much more relaxed I am. I don't mind if the shop assistant takes a bit longer to pass me my change, or if the bus is a little late, or the postman delivers in the afternoon. The second thing is how stressed everyone else appears to be. It'd never struck me before, probably because I too was rushing about, fretting about work, worrying about being on top of things, and trying to fit life into tiny amounts of "me" time. And all that for a job that was just that - a moderately interesting, reasonably well-paid job, but nothing exceptional and nothing that I won't come by again in future. In fact, in the last year or so, the worries were so big and the hours so long, it had felt almost like slavery. On second thought, I hope my next job is nothing like this one, and if it is, I hope I have the sense to leave before it gets too much.
Yesterday I had to go into the office at the end of the day to have a meeting with my boss. I was going in just as most people were going home and as soon as I got out of the tube station, I found myself walking against a sea of anxious, rushed faces heading in the opposite direction. For a moment, I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn't one of them - even if it means there's no way I'll be able to afford new clothes or shoes (sniff) in the foreseeable future.
Not surprisingly, I chuckled to myself when I saw this cartoon in the paper, because I've been there.
I showed it to hubby when I got home. He said, "not funny". He's still there.