On being made redundant

Good morning! Thank you for visiting … I’m Chamomile, just call me Cam … here you’ll find the views, ramblings, rants and inspiring philosophies of an …. Oh let’s just say I’m a lady of certain years! Hmmm, that’s already two exclamation marks, but there you go, I tend to get over-excited sometimes.

You’ll notice I almost said I was an elderly woman. So, I’m in my early sixties, look it but don’t feel it, more of that later. I seem to have ended up as that old cliché, the dear old lady living alone with two cats. How did I get here? That’s something I ask myself almost every day.
 

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Oh what a beautiful morning!

 
I have worked hard all my life, throughout my pregnancies, returning to work a few weeks after the birth of my children (at that time in South Africa there was no financial infrastructure to support the incubators of the countries future), because I was not financially savvy and seemed to be perpetually short of money.

Divorced and selling up in South Africa in order to return to my birthplace, I found myself once more virtually penniless, with no property and a few possessions. So it was back to work … until last December when I became a statistic, one of the thousands who were made redundant in the economic crash. Yes, our employers ticked all the boxes, the consultations, what do you think we can do to save the company … we saw the writing on the wall but we thought it was written in chalk and could be erased. Then, on Wednesday we were told we were to close on Friday, not really time to say goodbye.

What is that like? Who can describe the feeling? We will each have our own version. I hated that word “redundant”, with it’s connotations of being tossed on the scrap-heap, of no further use, we don’t want you any more thank you very much here’s your money now go don’t darken our doorstep. So here you are, unexpectedly forced into retirement, suddenly it’s upon you when you didn’t plan it this early in life. I always thought I would work until I was 90!

What bad timing, just before Christmas, I thought, until someone pointed out that it was best before you’d maxed out your credit card on prezzies and wondering how to pay it off in the new year!

What do I miss the most about not working? Of course it is the regular income, suddenly having to budget even more strictly, juggling pension, benefits and savings with the same outgoings and expenses. But what I miss is the social interaction with my colleagues and customers. Our shop was on the high street with people in and out all day. We got to know our “regulars” and they were almost like part of the family, sharing their problems and joys, discussing current affairs, putting the country to rights, stretching the mind. Suddenly it was all gone. Here I was alone in my garret, staring out of the window wondering what I would do today.

Thank goodness that funk didn’t last long, after all it was Christmas. Spending time with the family kept my mind off it. In the new year I decided it was time to put my vast knowledge to use, spend my redundancy money on a new computer, good digital camera and other equipment and set myself up a website http://www.secretarybird.net. I am a good typist, love doing research on the internet, and am happy to spend all day on my computer. Now I am ready for customers ….

Suddenly I have all the spare time I could want, and meet up with my friends whenever we want. We use our bus passes to go out for the day, or we simply walk along the beachfront. That’s when I count my blessings … I live in a nice seaside town, I have good health, I have a lease on a huge old Victorian flat, my two cats (oh yes, the proverbial), good friends and a lively mind.

Yes, I still miss the money, and I’m in the process of writing a book on how to set up a website for free. Now my friends and I (three of us made redundant in the past year) wonder how we managed to find the time to do all the things we did when we were employed, our lives are so busy – oh, and all those library books to read! Those exercise classes we can attend, the reiki course …

 

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One Response to “On being made redundant”

  1. summertime75 Says:

    Sorry but being made redundant means just that redundant, not wanted and in many cases unwanted and unvalued by ones previous employer. Good luck with both writing your book and the many to read.

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