Some of you have asked 'How was your last day at work . .? ' and to those who emailed good wishes and kind thoughts, thank you for asking, I really appreciate it. Lovely to know that others are thinking about me when I feel a little isolated. It's been quite a learning curve as those I least expected have offered support and kindness and some I have known for years have said absolutely nothing. They're as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike!
I was retrenched formally on the 15th April although my best friend had alerted me to the fact that it might be on the cards for some time. Hopeful that the business would pick up through the March quarter, I worked my bum off, made suggestions for revenue-raising, website improvement, lead generation and client contact and was met largely with blank stares and a feeling of fete accompli . . my position was to go and that was that. My boss was being very curt with me at the time and I didn't know why but he was struggling with how to tell me after doing battle in my corner for weeks so I appreciate that. One of the other partners totally ignored me and I didn't know why. I was sworn to secrecy and kept schtum about the whole prospect. I felt a useless as a string condom.
Anyway, I'm a professional and love the people I work with, especially the three Executive Assistants in the "Quad" as we affectionately call it. So named because four workstations make a square with each of us positioned in each corner and a wide open space in the middle. We laughed, we chatted at that tiresome 3:30pm. We shared our thoughts, discussed our families, solved each other's problems and asked each other what was on the menu for dinner. Because I liked them, and one was away on holiday when the news hit, I decided to stay on until 15 May to hand over and make sure life was made a little easier for those taking on extra responsibilities.
I didn't work every day. If I had interviews, I'd take a day off. If I needed new glasses, I'd take a day off. I went in late, I finished early. Frankly, once the announcement was made it was embarrassing going into work knowing that you had no value or real reason to be there. The Quad girls are eminently capable, Marketing went straight to the licensee who wasted no time producing materials to a lower standard and a higher cost but . . .they produced them. IT was handled by a very competent outsourcer and troubleshooting passed over to an equally competent Jaime and once Laura returned from her leave, she took the mantle of EA on admirably. I realised once and for all, my position really was 'redundant'. I had become as useless as a chocolate teapot . . .
So, final Friday . . wondered in late, . .took down the wonder wall of all my blogpals which was very hard, I'd grown used to your smiling faces and sweet words and symbols that greeted me every morning and will now have to 'erect' something at home to keep my spirits up. Told my funnies people to send their hilarity to my personal email. Took a few lovely calls from a couple of clients and suppliers who were sad to see me go. I had one email from a partner who was unable to attend due to his daughter's impending wedding. and despite the fact he doesn't like my 'team building' style and I think he's a frosty old sod, he acknowledged that I'd done a good job over the years and he was grateful. A nice gesture I guess. So, little left to do but tidy the desk, clear the cache and head for lunch.
The problem with these 'departure' lunches is, you can't be 'exclusive' about who you invite and can be even less exclusive by refusing to attend so there were a couple of people who attended that I really didn't want to be there. They were seated as far away from me as possible so they didn't bother me. Seriously? They were just there for the free lunch and a chance to escape work for a couple of hours, neither bad me farewell in the end. Both as useless as tits on a bull!
I received beautiful flowers and chocolate, $500 worth of vouchers for the local shopping centre. Well needed as I'm desperate for more 'corporate' clothing and new shoes. The Quad girls had previously framed a photo of the four of us and duly signed it. I love it the most.
TheBoss gave a heartfelt speech and I declined to reply other than a quick 'Thank you . . ." for fear of incriminating myself had I taken up the gauntlet and said more.
Actually, it was very nice. I sat with Thommo and Char, Jaime and Laura. We laughed I drank (a lot). I conducted myself with grace and good humour. Wondered back into the office, gathered my remaining belongings, put on my red 'power' trench coat and bid fast farewells and left feeling as useless as a snooze button on a smoke alarm.
As I walked through the underground carpark, I had this rather foreboding feeling that an era had ended, two friendships had changed, others had cemented. TheBoss met me with a bottle of Moet in his hand and a silent apology all over his face. We exchanged a quick peck and that was it. Nine years of familiarity and I was tossed back onto the pile. I wasn't emotional, I wasn't upset . . just numb and feeling about as useless as a glass hammer.So, arrived home about 4 ish . . .opened a bottle, shared a couple of glasses with Clare who's going through her own dramas and then headed out at 9:30 to Gold Class Cinema to watch Angels and Demons. Damn that recliner! I was so warm and fuzzy after a plate of spring rolls and two more glasses of champagne that I slept through most of it, woken only by a couple of prods from Clare because I was snoring and in time for that silliest of moments when the priest flies a helicopter containing anti-matter and parachutes into the Vatican fountain. . .really wish they'd cut that scene! Ah well, the thought was there and apparently the film was OK but none of the magic of the Da Vinci Code (stop groaning! I liked it!).
Thanks possums for your kind thoughts and emails and for your messages of support. I know that at least three of my commenters are or soon will be out of work. As a single, it's a daunting prospect. As a couple, it's tolerable. Good luck to you all as we embark on new things hopefully!
One door closes and another one opens . . soon . . . any moment now . . .really . . c'mon . . when you're ready . . .either that or find me a rich man with a heart condition! But for now, I'm about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.