Notes from a Redundancy
Near the end of January 2023, Alphabet laid off 6.4% of its employees. Alphabet is one of the biggest companies in the world and most people are probably aware of this, so I won’t go into more detail. Some of the people let go lament about being treated like a Google Compute Engine cloud server being soullessly terminated. But what did they expect? Treated like an actual person instead of a resource? Let go with some dignity? Welcome to 9 to 5 serfdom. This is my lay off experience from October 2012. It’s been 10 years since I wrote this and I still had a lot to learn about writing. I also had a lot to learn about life. Nevertheless, I wanted keep the rawness of the text, so the editing is minimal.
About 7 weeks ago, I got made redundant. 29 years old and facing redundancy. I guess it could be much worse. I could be twice as old, have little savings, kids and wife and these feelings of desolation and sadness would be compounded, and I guess that’s why lots of people decide that only an extreme, fanatical immersion in religion or alcohol or even suicide is the answer. I like to think I would take a very positive attitude towards it, and hopefully have a lot of helpful friends and relatives to turn to.
I decided that instead of weeping into my semi-naked lap and enhancing the ambidextrous skills of moving the mouse and typing one handed (with my left hand), not washing, alcoholism and eating instant noodles, I would do something productive enough like writing a diary. Take Anne Frank; she managed living in an attic for the most part of World War 2, I bet keeping a diary helped her deal with the pain. If someone could get through the suffering and emotional torture of the Nazis just by writing, I could easily get through a redundancy just by writing.
On the drunken evening of my redundancy I decided this — that I would write. Strangely I had my laptop with me that day too.
It became a mission of mine to get a job as quickly as possible.
A warning before I begin: some of this diary is a bit graphic, but you know, I felt it was justified to be included and attempts to put into words my anger and confusion and try to quantify my sense of loss and bewilderment.
I managed through this period reasonably well, albeit with some semi-permanent scarring (details below) and an added resentment to my already jaded contempt of corporate companies and shitty management. (the technical term is “not knowing your arse from your elbow” or a phrase that another previous team lead of mine used pretty much on a daily basis “a piss up; in a brewery; couldn’t organise”….and a phrase one of my friends says, a lot “[they] couldn’t organise a root in a brothel with a fist full of fifties”.)
I’m pretty thankful to the immense support network I had, nearly everyone I spoke to had words of encouragement for me. Many did make “I bet all you’ve been doing is watching porn and wanking” jokes, but in between that, gave me words of advice and guidance. Actually, most people who I came into contact with regarding my redundancy were really supportive and positive.
I considered updating this blog each day I was redundant, but I decided to abandon that idea as I thought it might be too depressing.
Day 0 (3/10/12)
I feel…depressed. That drunken sadness. It’s not really a depressed feeling. Even though I had considered the thought of redundancy and the large payout — I didn’t expect it. Now that it is here, staring me in the face, I feel that it is too much to handle. Too much to think about.
Why did they choose me? Maybe I think it was because I didn’t suck enough cock, or bury my nose deep down in someone’s pubic mound and they didn’t feel the two slightly humidly warm jets of nasal powered air tickling the base of their shaft.
Maybe it’s cos I didn’t want to fondle their balls or slowly massage each testicle with my slobbery lips. Maybe it’s because I argued and disagreed so much.
I argued back and caused problems only because problems were caused for me.
So many maybes.
Maybe it was because I still have a good chance at getting another job….maybe it’s cos I was very vociferous over my job and its inadequacies and problems. Maybe cos I vocalised too many opinions; some positive, some negative. Praise was given were praise was due and if a situation deserved to be exalted. When a situation was shit, rather than just beat about the bush and give someone’s genitals a little tickle; a pig deserves to be called a pig. Taking some corporate cock doesn’t change a shit situation. It just makes it worse. Why would you want to put up with that?! Money is good, but selling out and giving in to something that you don’t believe in is emotionally worse. To sell your soul and to give into someone else’s idea is pretty bad. I guess that’s why they say that it is better to work for yourself than for someone else.
A shitty situation becomes the norm, then another shittier situation comes along. Soon that shittier situation becomes the shitty situation and the original shitty situation becomes something positive. Eventually things become so shitty that we’re working in abhorrent amounts of shit and anything just a little bit poo stained is held in high regard.
Day 1 (4/10/12)
Go to bed at 1am on the morning of day 1, with the hangover already kicking in. Have a terrible sleep. Wake at 6am wide awake. Time to look for some jobs.
Examine CV. Examine Covering Letter. Find a job for a “technical writer” I’ve been interested in for a while. It’s a pretty big tech company. Tailor letter and CV for that job. Apply.
Surf the Internet a bit more. Try to relax and check news. Doesn’t work. Check Facebook. That engages me for about 20 minutes before I get restless.
Fury starting to lift. Not depression or panic yet, but just a sense that I must somehow resolve this situation. I have enough money for a few months mortgage payments, and to live, maybe even go on a little holiday. But right now I just want to find a job.
Apply for another job I have shortlisted. Tailor CV and CL. This site even has a little application form.
Uhhoh. Maybe this job isn’t for real. Oh well….hit APPLY.
Apply for yet another job I have in my shortlist, also for some sort of “technical writer with a testing background”. Tailor CV, hit apply.
Go to eat some breakfast. Bring breakfast back to desk, check a bit more Facebook and think if I want to watch something (news, cartoons) while I eat. I tab away from Facebook. Nope. Job searching.
Read someone’s blog about their working day. A technical writer…..hmmmmm…is that going to be too boring? It pays well, and I have skills for it. Better stick with what I’ve been doing for the past 2 years.
Adjust CV a bit more and apply for a “mobile phone contract software testing” job. Don’t submit a cover letter. Ooopsie. Ah well, they can ring me if they have questions. My CV looks interesting.
Find another interesting job, hit APPLY — a mini application form. Sigh.
Fill it in, attach yet another tailored CV and hit submit. This job I’m pretty under-qualified for. They want 5 years experience. Glad I submitted that CL….oh wait,….I didn’t….I DIDN’T?!
Panic. Curse. I didn’t. Repeat expletives in no particular order while adjusting my CL.
Reapply again for the job and this time attach a tailored CL. Phew. A double submission, not great….but hopefully they’ll read my CL, and then look for my CV.
Find another job I have shortlisted and hit APPLY. Fuck it. It’s the last shortlisted one I have. I might as well apply. Tailor CV but not the CL. It’s just a resizable text entry boxes for the CL. Can’t be that important. I bet it’s just another fake job designed to lure the hopeful jobless into the jaws of a recruiter.
Relax. It’s now about 9am. Check Facebook a bit more, write an email to my old colleagues saying “goodbye”. Check and recheck email. Read some more blogs about jobs.
9 turns into 9:30, 9:31, 9:32. Why is no one emailing me! I guess it’s too early. 10am comes and goes. Replies from old colleagues but no job related email. Just one saying a cheery “thanks for applying!”.
Reply to emails for colleagues. 11am I get a call. Oh my God….. Let it ring 2 times….voicemail then ring them back, or just pick up? Compose myself, wait 3 more rings, then pick up.
A job agent sounding very excited. “HELLO KRIS. AMAZING CV, JUST HAD TO TALK TO YOU” a very English accent boomed down the phone. “TELL ME ABOUT [your previous company]”. I explain. He stops me half way through. I panic a bit. Was I babbling? I have a habit of babbling and becoming too technical too soon.
He was still excited. I get invited to go and meet him later that day. He explains about the contract jobs he has. Big companies. He politely asks my salary. I tell him. He sounds neutral. He calmly tells me the payments for jobs he usually deals with. I’m impressed. I don’t show it. Well, I try not to, with just a nonchalant “great. Sounds cool” even though the lowest daily wage is nearly double of my previous one…and I’m mouthing “fuuuuu……”. We arrange to meet later that afternoon.
A few hours later, I’m sitting in a bar. He rang me to say he’d be late, so I’m just round the corner of his office. Maybe beer’s not the best idea considering I went out last night, got a hangover BEFORE I went to bed, and only had about 4 hours sleep… Maybe I should pick up a coffee too.
On my walk to the recruiters office, I decided that a high-strength caffeine drink wouldn’t play too nicely with the albeit tiny amount of alcohol in my system. I was already feeling a bit hyper on excitement anyway. I have a habit of getting the shits after having too much caffeine then mixing it with alcohol too.
Day 2 (5/10/12)
I thought day 1 went quite successfully so I treated myself to a movie and a takeaway dinner.
But damn, being unemployed is expensive. Treating myself to things cos just a small interview with a recruiter went well. It was very positive though, and I left his offices feeling really excited. He explained about many different jobs to me — permanent ones, but mainly some contract ones. I am probably gonna take one of the contract jobs. More money and contracting means there’s minimal involvement in office politics.
I hate office politics. It’s so easy to get caught up in it. Everyone loves a bit of juicy gossip. And once I hear some juicy gossip that interests me, the inquisitive side of my personality takes over, and I’m almost like a Private Detective, digging deeper into the juicy gossip to see how true and valid it is. I know there’s people worse than me too, who shamelessly use office gossip nefariously to their advantage.
So I hate office politics.
There are usually just 2 different sides, but many different factions. Some people say they don’t care, but they want to get involved and play the corporate game. This is alright. It ensures survival, but it is not a game that I want to play. I like being independent and not following a side. I try to be impartial but then your impartial attitude is not part of the main corporate attitude…almost dictatorship…and so you become an outsider, and join the other guys who want to be impartial but can’t.
Anyway, damn, being unemployed is expensive. I got invited out to lunch today with some former colleagues. I’m going to that, but that involves not only an expensive meal at the pub, and maybe a drink or two, but train travel. Then I got a call from yet another friend, who knows I have nothing to do now, who is moving house. He asked me if I’m “busy today” and if I wanted to help him move. He’s a good friend anyway so I obliged.
He said he would take me out for dinner too which is nice. But now I run the risk of being in the city on a Friday night…and it is quite a hot day…so prime time for going out. I’m not incredibly worried yet, as I just got my severance pay today.
I spent the morning checking emails and reading news. I did consider applying for more jobs or emailing the recruiter asking the situation, but I decided not to just yet. I’m in no real rush. It would be nice to have a break for at least a week. Calm down. Collect my thoughts. Do some more writing. Not turn on any instant messengers. Take advantage of this imposed down time.
Day 3 (6/10/12)
I’ve got a cold today. Today is the start of the first weekend. I did no job hunting. I tried to stay in bed for a while, but the birds were too noisy and I couldn’t sleep.
Day 4 (7/10/12)
I spoke to my dad today and he confirmed my suspicions. Redundancies are usually about money. My dad, running his own business for many years, mentioned this too, so it made me feel more comfortable.
Day 5 (8/10/12)
After a series of phone calls and emails, I have managed to secure an “interview”. The inverted commas are because the recruitment agent called it a “meeting”. I’m not sure what he means. Maybe it is his terminology. I only just thought about it now…maybe I am thinking too much into it.
Day 6 (9/10/12)
I can feel the nervous anticipation of something unexpected, deep down inside me. Tying knots in my gut. The familiar feeling of butterflies in my stomach.
The constant need to shit.
Legs feel like they should be shaking. Skin tingling every now and then. It is good. I’m glad that I have this feeling.
It is a subconscious made physical sign that I shouldn’t be too overconfident, for this, for anything. I should treat it with the serious it deserves.
When I first read the job description, I did think it sounds like a generic sort of role for my industry. The original job spec I got was more interesting, and the verbal conversation preceding that — detailing the job — sounded even more interesting. I now don’t what to expect. This confusion is good. It means that I don’t fully relax. I am confident in my ability to adapt to anything that piques my interest. I am not so comfortable with the first impressions though. I’m not that great at reading initial signs — how I look, how I dress.
The recruitment agent was super confident in me, and gave me lots of encouraging words. He told me to dress in a suit, no tie and just exude natural style and confidence. The last two things I have admittedly paraphrased. He didn’t actually say that. He said “your skillset and attitude match the job and you’re confident. You know what to do.”
I hope he means what I think he means; “exude natural style and confidence”. Fuck it. He does mean that.
I have a leaving meal to go to for a former colleague of mine. It is her last day. She resigned before she had an idea that there would be redundancies. Maybe if she didn’t resign, maybe she would have been made redundant and got a payout.
Later that morning I meet my old colleagues for lunch. Some of the others (2 English guys and one French guy) joke about how it is surprising to see me wearing a suit and that they are shocked that I even own a suit. I joked to my old boss that I own 2 suits in fact, for both times when I have been to court.
Later on, another English guy made a similar joke about court. “That suit looks quite clean and new. I suppose the only time you wore it was when you went to court.” None of the Aussies or other foreign nationals made that joke. I love that even so many 1000's of miles away from the UK, our British sense of humour never dies. It cheers me up.
The interview went well.
Listened when I should listen, asked some relevant questions, sold myself, explained my skills, was concerned at some things, puzzled by some things, sympathetic to some things, agreeing on choices of technology, offering my own opinion on some things…standard interview fare.
Their offices were impressive. A good pretty good view over the west of Sydney. Not as impressive as my last company, which overlooked Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge, but this one was higher up, nearly twice as high, and I think they had something like 18 lifts, splitting the building into 2 sections; 9 lifts for the first 15 floors, 9 lifts for the top 15.
They had an express lift too; getting to the floor I wanted to go to in about 10 seconds, which was cool. My ears popped on the way down. The LED panel which lifts up to show the floor read “EZ” on the way back down. I don’t know what that means. Maybe a sign to say “that I should take it easy (EZ….). Things will be ok.
I feel relaxed now. A few beers later and I don’t feel the need to empty my bowels every 5 mins. I can drink alcohol now. I proved it by drinking a few pints.
It feels a bit strange drinking in the day in the city centre. You would think that there would be lots of tourists about, in bars….but I walked around a lot and checked out quite a few places, and everywhere was pretty much empty apart from the obligatory gnarled, faded cap and leather jacket wearing alkies and the odd business meeting.
I’ve decided that I might just apply for a few more jobs tomorrow, just in case. I can feel that niggle of the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, cos it feels like I have done that. I suppose there is nothing wrong with confidence, but overconfidence can lead to trouble.
Day 7 (10/10/12)
I went shopping today to buy a new shirt. The only dress shirt I own is 2 sizes too big and has my initials monogrammed on the sleeves. Lots of families about during the day and women with pushchairs. As expected really, and quite a few kids about but a lot less busier and crowded.
I remember when I was living in Ealing in London — I did shift work, so would regularly get 2 days off during the week. I remember how going out during the day time felt very different to going out during weekends. There were different people to see around the town. The lighting was different. There was a more relaxed atmosphere.
I have since discussed this topic with a friend of mine and she also seconds this point of view. She only works a few days a week, so has time off. She also mentions that weekdays have a different sort of atmosphere to weekends.
Day 8 (11/10/12)
The news I wasn’t hoping for. The job rejected me.
I had failed the interview.
I spoke to the recruitment agent about it (I had to ring him to get the bad news — I emailed him the day before and he said we should catch up midway through next morning…typical…I should have realised this is a bad sign if I have to ring him).
Apparently I had failed the interview as it came across that I wasn’t that interested in the job. To be honest, I wasn’t hugely interested. Just standard work for what I do…just for a good company. I didn’t come across as that interested in it — but thinking back on my behaviour throughout the interview, there wasn’t much I could have changed.
Afterwards I spoke to a few of my friends, who were all positive and said helpful things to me. I had scheduled another meeting with the recruiter (I’m not sure why….he said for “interview technique”) for Monday….5 days away…
I found a guide to interviews and looked through it. Like a checklist.
I had done everything.
Thought about things. Talked about myself a bit. Said how I would be suitable for the job. Not fidgeted. Had good personal hygiene. Had a relaxed seated position, but not too relaxed. Body language was great.
The only 2 things that I knew went wrong were:
- I made eye contact for too long. I stared at the guy interviewing me. He was so boring and described the job in a very lacklustre way that it was hard to listen. So by intensifying my listening I had inadvertently stared at him. Right into his eyes. So much so that he had to look away a few times and then stopped looking at me altogether.
- I should have asked way more questions than I did. The interviewer did cover all the things I would have asked though — number of employees, type of work, style of work, company structure, what area I would be going into. Generic things like that. But that’s where the problem was I suppose; they were just generic things. A candidate REALLY interested in the job would ask stuff that wasn’t in the generic section. Oh and a possible
- I thought of a third. The desk for the interview was in an L shape, so we sat at right angles to each other which made getting comfortable a bit difficult.
Day 9 (12/10/12)
My sleeping pattern has become noticeably different and I’ve been sleeping later and later, and getting up later and later. I’m naturally a nocturnal person I think — I’m better at things in the afternoon — and so now not having a job to get up for means that I can slip back into my natural way of living. I do enjoy getting up to see the sun starting it’s trillionth ascent into the clear blue sky, but I do enjoy seeing the progress of the moon and stars across the velvety dark navy night sky.
Weekends now seem to be a burden. That’s what I’m thinking today. It’s only Friday but if it was another weekday tomorrow I would feel a lot more comfortable.
Day 10 and 11 (13, 14/10/12)
It’s been sunny, really sunny these last few days. Like summer is here already and it’s still spring time.
As it’s the weekend, I attempted to do normal weekend type things. I watched a lot of movies, read, shopped, cooked and went for walks.
Day 12 (15/10/12)
I noticed some redness in my eye this morning. A bit bloodshot. I have a meeting as well, with a recruiter today at midday.
The meeting went pretty positively. She is English and sounds a bit like Tulisa from N Dubz, “secret” sex tape, X Factor and Big Fat Gypsy Gangster fame (the last one I just came across by accident while I searched for aforementioned sex tape). I think that possessing an infectiously confident and positive attitude is essential to be a good recruitment consultant.
I met one of my friends afterwards and we sat by the harbour and chatted. She is pregnant and has no job too, so was available to meet. We sat in the sun for a while and slowly walked around.
Day 13 and 14 (16, 17/10/12)
No phone calls these days. Fuck me dead, two days and no calls.
I decide to just keep applying for jobs. I spoke to one of my friends too that day; he has also had no luck finding jobs. A promise of an interview here and there, but nothing solid.
My eye has been getting more bloodshot. I went to the doctors. I picked the wrong time though, as it was quite busy and had a full 45 minute wait. It was alright though. I had my phone on me and had applied for a few jobs earlier that morning.
While I was waiting in the doctor’s waiting room, I remembered a story about the recruiter that helped me get my previous this job — 2 years prior. During a big group leaving meal once the previous Development Manager (he was going to the US to work) wastalking about this recruiter and mentioned that she was the best recruiter he had dealt with, and if you get a good recruiter you should hold onto them.
I joyously remembered this and quickly dropped her an email later that day. She replied back in 7 minutes. I was shocked. She’s good. We exchanged a few emails over the next hour and she said that she would try to help me get a job.
Over the next few days she kept me updated with different companies showing interest in my CV.
I emailed one of my friends in the UK a few days later, he is a recruiter, and asked him his advice. I told him about how many of the recruiters I have dealt with are awful
His reply was pretty helpful and positive and just the advice I was after.
I wanted to know the general way that recruitment consultants work and it’s best to not fuck them about so that they get worse at their job: basically just be honest with them and “if anyone gets pissed of with you for being up front and honest then they are not worth keeping in contact”. It sounded like pretty good advice.
And if I do secure a few different jobs…the negotiation of salaries and different job offers: “it’s really not a good idea to get into a bidding situation as all parties could get pissed of with you and withdrawn the offers”.
And then something to never forget when getting a job….”Make sure you get a company whore to go in the company Ferrari”. I decided not to broach that last topic during my interviews.
Day 15 (18/10/12)
Finally, some phone calls.
Seriously, what the fuck do these recruiters do all week?? Surf LinkedIn looking for jobs? Create ads on job boards for jobs that don’t exist?
I actually know that some recruiters are busy, but surely they all aren’t majorly busy on THE SAME FUCKING DAYS, busy enough to not give me a call or answer any of my emails. “A huge industry wide circle jerk in the park” is the first thing that came to mind.
My eye is getting worse. It’s now hurting a bit when I move it. I went to the doctors again, and got prescribed some eye ointment to go with my drops.
Day 16 (19/10/12)
My eye is still pretty bad now. The eye drops and ointment aren’t working. Later that day I’m gonna find out that I’ve had an allergic reaction to the ointment — like a 1 in a fucking thousand chance that this would happen!
My cornea and pupil have clouded up. Wtf.
I had a phone interview in the morning and…smashed it! The Test manager was English, and the Project Manager was Irish. It felt like I was already winning I think. Good old cultural nepotism.
All the questions they asked, I answered well. Descriptively, maybe too descriptively.
I hate phone interviews really, as sometimes there can be awkward silences, or what is often the case is that it is difficult to judge when to stop talking, so I just keep going and going, almost babbling.
I got stopped a few times after inserting a few awkward silences and pausing on “and then….”
I heard later that I had got invited back to a 2nd, face-to-face interview next week. Fuck yeah!
The company is pretty good who the job is with, and although it’s only a Contract job for 3 months, there is a high possibility of the contract being renewed for 12 months.
Later that afternoon I went to the doctors yet again, as my eye is still pretty bad. The doctor was pretty helpful and she arranged an appointment with me at a local private Eye Hospital in 15 minutes.
Or I (eye…heheh) was given the option of going to the normal, free hospital and waiting for 3 or 4 hours, as my case isn’t an emergency. Choices, choices. One is free and one costs a lot.
As I was running up the road to find a taxi I had already decided to go to the private Eye Hospital because fuck, waiting around. My health is worth spending money on rather than my mortgage.
It turned out to be a great choice. A thorough service, with minimal waiting around. Knowledgeable staff. Efficient, even though I was there for nearly 2 hours, most of the time was just waiting about for eye drops to work or for the numerous doctors and nurses to have a look at my eye.
It turns out that this place is a bit of a training academy for optometrists and eye specialists, as a few people had a look at my eye.
And it was full of old people. And all the doctors and nurses were female. Thinking back on my experience, being the youngest patient there by at least 20 years I was a novelty that day, and I could have been in and out in 30 minutes and had to see only 1 doctor.
I’m sure the local hospital is also pretty good too, but I just didn’t want to risk waiting for hours and in the end they would have referred me to an eye specialist anyway.
It turns out that I have a condition called Iritis. I translated it to Chinese for fun and it is pu tao mo yan…or Grape Membrane Inflammation. Sounds pretty unusual and less painless than it actually is.
Iritis is an inflammation near the cornea. It’s a virus that is usually caused by stress and by a foreign body getting in the eye. A few days ago I did get some dust in my eye then rubbed it a lot and then maybe the heat made it worse, and having a fucked up sleeping pattern didn’t help either. And definitely the stress of losing my job also didn’t help.
I eventually left the hospital and made my way to a pharmacy to get my 3 eye drugs (one is Eye Steroids, the 2nd is an Eye Steroid ointment and the 3rd is quite clever — it is an eye drop that dilates your pupil, so it looks like you’ve been popping wild amounts of Ecstacy pills, with pupils the size of dinner plates.
I usually have hazel coloured eyes, but over the next few weeks I would not have an eye colour. Most of my eye was pupil colour.
As it is painful for my eye to focus and the retina is a bit damaged, scar tissue has formed between the lens and cornea. So every time I focus I get pain as the damaged tissue is disrupted.
This Eye Dilation drug has been prescribed to me to dilate my pupil so wide that I cannot focus temporarily and so the scar tissue won’t form between these 2 areas as much.
So there won’t be a build up of scar tissue in one area and therefore less pain when I move my eye or try to focus. I was pretty impressed by this, as too was the pharmacist who I shared a knowing “cool, huh?” with.
But the next few days are a weekend. I have to drip this pupil dilation drug 3 times a day. I’ve been going out in the day time with one huge pupil, and because it has been pretty sunny and bright, I’ve had one small pupil,…not to mention that my dilated pupil has been letting in a huge amount of light.
Close up conversations without sunnies have been awkward. With my had over a slightly bloodshot, huge pupil-ed eye, I think I’ve scared a few people.
One girl in a supermarket actually stopped making eye contact with me midway through our conversation.
I’ve also been trying to scare fellow shoppers. Another thing I thought was quite amusing was that with the iodine yellow eye drops from the hospital, the bloodshot weeping eye and the drugs to dilate my pupils I look like the chick from 28 Weeks Later with rage in just one eye.
I was feeling pretty conscious and nervous about others seeing my eye, but after a while I began to find it amusing to wear my sunglasses for a bit, or shield my eye while talking to someone, then reveal it to them and watch their face change subtly as they noticed my eye. Most face to face interactions were fine. I survived a few job interviews like this.
Day 17 and 18 (20, 21/10/12)
Yet another weekend. Fucking weekends where no one works. Whose stupid idea was a 5 day week.
I am amused at thinking of how much I revere weekends during the working week (ie. when we have a 9–5 job), but how being unemployed makes me wish that weekends would just finish quickly.
Day 19 and 20 (22, 23/10/12)
I have an interview on the 22nd.
The morning of the 22nd is quite cloudy and overcast, with intermittent spots of rain.
Books and movies always seem to use bad weather as a sign that something untoward is building up.
A great omen for an interview.
“It’s bullshit, it’s a part of fiction — to use the weather as a metaphor, as another tool in their arsenal of synonyms to show that tension is rising in the external plot”.
My friend calls and asks about the interview.
I tell him it’s later today.
He wishes me good luck then says “bro…it’s cloudy and grey. It’s raining. What does it mean…?”. He laughs in a mock-menacing way let’s the words trail off and then pauses and says “only joking man. You’ll be fine”.
I was getting a pep talk later that day from one of my recruiters, the one that sounds like Tulisa and in amongst the golden nuggets of wisdom — like how Richard Branson fights off illness in his sleep (no joke…..he imagines miniature armies marching inside him and fighting out the “bad” things, then he pees them out in the morning. Apparently he’s not had a day off sick in 40 years…because of this)
Tulisa tells me that being a recruitment consultant has highs and lows; “being a recruitment consultant is all champagne and razor blades”.
This made me laugh nervously. As she explained that one day you can do really well and you want to celebrate with champers then the next minute things are so bad that you just want to slit your wrists, hence the razor blades.
In my head I was thinking “Tulisa….the razor blades are probably a reference to the cutting up of vast amounts of what fuels most of the recruitment industry (cocaine) and the champagne, well it goes pretty well with cocaine…”.
But I didn’t say anything.
Her meaning is nicer. For fun I carried on thinking of novel ways to cut up cocaine. Laser cutting maybe.
I have another interview tomorrow too, on the 23rd.
Day 21 (24/10/12)
I found out today that I got a job!
Well, in fact it was last night, but the recruiter didn’t want to leave a message. So I rang him back this morning to find out the good news.
It’s a shame that it’s not with Tulisa’s consultancy. She was pretty good and the guy who I first met was really good too. I got really positive feedback and encouragement from them. I’m going to keep in contact with them, as a good job agency is hard to find. One that is quite supportive, provides lots of help and guidance and works with good companies.
Not to say that the job I have now is with a bad company, or that the recruiter I got a job through is bad. They are pretty good too. It just came totally out of the blue.
It’s been 21 days since I was made redundant. 3 weeks. If I count the end as when I actually got a job it is 2 weeks and 6 days.
Post Script — 7 weeks later…
I decided to celebrate in a Chinese New Year festival sort of way — have little celebrations over the next few weeks…
My other colleague who got made redundant finally got a job last week. I feel pleased. I do think that he probably was enjoying having a break though and like the joke of the “next door neighbour with one enlarged breast getting job seekers allowance — she is milking it” sort of way — I think he was liking having time off to drive his car, play computer games, spend time with his girlfriend, etc. I have no girlfriend, no computer games, no car.
After all, he is pretty smart and finding a new job wouldn’t be too difficult. Anyway, I was very happy to learn he got a decent job and have spoken to him and he seems happy.
My new job is great. The people are great. The working environment is good. The location is superb. I look back now on my old job, and while I do feel a tiny bit angry for being made to leave (I could say lots of nasty words and curse them with 1000 years of brain gnawing parasites), I still view it as just something necessary in my life to jar me out of my comfort zone. I view it as a valuable life experience.