Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slaving away?

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.


Anonymous said...

Here's to new beginnings and a stress free 6 months. You deserve it ;) and yes, like Hubby, I'm damn jealous!!!!


Mediterranean kiwi said...

tinsie, you cannot imagine how jealous i am working in an office is B-O-R-I-N-G. the relaxed bit makes me reliase how lucky i am NOT to have a full time job

Shionge said...

Yes it is a stressful period globally and I am glad that you are coping well and take this time to re-charge.

Karen said...

Wow, Tinsie! I'm glad it's not a terrible situation for you and your hub. My heart goes out to those for whom this would be a horrible financial blow. Your perspective is refreshing, I needed to hear that today. Thanks, and I hope you're given a sunny, warm summer to enjoy (and soon!).

Mediterranean kiwi said...

just came back to read your thoughts once again about being jobless - i'm sure your life will take on a turn for the better now that you know what you didnt enjoy about being employed

palmtreefanatic said...

Tinsie, I am glad you are looking foreward to this situation and can get plenty of "me" time
Enjoy the break!

Tinsie said...

@ Sandi: Hang on in there Sandi, you too could be made redundant soon ;-)

@ Mediterranean Kiwi: Well, there are some advantages to having a job, the main one being having a salary! But there are also many advantages to being free and able to do what you like when you like.

@ Shionge: Thanks! My job was stressful even before the credit crunch. I hate to think what it'll be like in a month's time. Luckily I won't be there to see it :-)

@ Karen: Without a doubt, if money was an issue I'd be a lot less relaxed right now. As it is, I can afford to take the time off, which means if summer doesn't grace us with its presence this year, I'll be able to go look for it elsewhere. Hehe.

@ Mediterranean Kiwi: I hope you're right! Even if I'm no better off workwise at the end of it, at least I will have had time to relax and enjoy life without worrying about objectives, goals, targets, colleagues, bosses and all that jazz.

For starters, I get to watch the Oscars live tonight, which I've never managed before. Hurray!

@ Palmtreefanatic: Thank you. I like the sound of "me" time and I'm looking forward to lots of it :-)

Betty C. said...

I'm sorry about your job, but to put a positive take on it, this is one of your best posts ever! Extremely well-written with a great sense of humor (humour.) Maybe you should do more writing now that you have the time. It sounds like you're staying optimistic. That's great.

And since you do have the time, this means you can come up with some great idea for our big event coming up next week, I hope you know which one -- I wouldn't want to give away any secrets in your comments section!

Write me an email with your brilliance (my address is on my Blogger profile)...I'm too busy in the rat race to think of anything special!

Tinsie said...

Hey, thanks for the positive feedback :-) I have a long list of things I want to do (more of) now that I have time to breathe, and blogging more often (and with more words) is top of the list.

I'll email you some thoughts about next week, but I have to warn you - creativity isn't one of my strong points. It won't be my fault if we end up taking pictures of our dinners ;-)

Betty C. said...

Well, that would be an idea...???

Tinsie said...

It's the only one I've got at the moment!!

Betty C. said...

Hey, I think you just sent me a second email, it got put in my SPAM folder, and I erased it without paying attention - and it is nowhere to be found. Could you send it again? Sorry!

Kate said...

Time for a bit of a break and fun. I totally understand what you mean. I was sick at home for three days and the days seemed a lot longer than when I am working and rushing about. I was home yesterday. I cleaned,made muffins,corrected,read a bit of a book and watched three films with the awesome and hunky Colin Firth. And I got a good night's rest. Today seemed to fly by and I haven't done a thing else log onto the net at 11. Can't wait for Easter for a few days off:-)

ShadowFalcon said...

I have to admire your out look on the entire situation. I think I'd be crying but then I do like the idea of garden leave!

Hope your enjoying the me time and the next job is one you adore.

Tinsie said...

@ Kate: Life does indeed feel different when you don't have to go to work every day, but hang on in there, Easter's practically round the corner (well, almost).

@ ShadowFalcon: I did cry for about 30 seconds, then I realised I was FREE and started smiling rather broadly. Not liking your job very much does help - and garden leave sweetens the pill nicely. Admittedly I would have been more upset if I loved my job, or it was the opportunity of a lifetime, or the first time I was being made redundant, but none of these applied in my case.

La Framéricaine said...

I stopped over after having visited Betty C. on Wordless Wednesday (it's Sunday, I realize) just to read your post on having been made redundant.

I made myself redundant by "retiring" from a job that I could not easily have been fired from. Of course, I am in the process of feeling like I've gone mad to have done such a thing. My last day of work is this Thursday, March 5th, after a brief open-house in which people can stop over to say good-bye.

It's only a trick of fate that I'm "retiring" as opposed to "quitting." And that I'm moving to France rather than staying around in SoCal. But after 12 years at the same grind, it feels very strange.

I congratulate you on your redundancy and your upbeat attitude about it. I understand very well your perspective and wish you a first-rate break before you go on to do something more engaging and interesting in your next incarnation as a fully-employed worker.


Tinsie said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and leave a comment. I've been off work now for almost 6 weeks and I've not had one moment of boredom or restlessness so far - I'm hoping this will continue for at least another few months.

For what it's worth, I don't think you've gone mad at all. I think you're very brave and simultaneously very sensible to grab (make happen?) an opportunity to change your life completely.

Best wishes for March 5th and the move to France!

Marg, the Sal. said...

Wow, filenada, I had no idea - after chatting w'you I remembered to visit your blog, and while looking at your blog pics I stumbled upon his post.

I sure hope you'll enjoy the break. I had to leave my job with the move and all, and though I do miss the paycheck, I don't miss the frantic race to the bus stop in the slushy snow, or the work related stress!

Tinsie said...

So far so good :-)

Hope you're enjoying life in the slow lane too!