This week has probably been one of the most difficult 7 days I’ve experienced as an adult. Certainly the most disappointing. The company I’ve been employed by for nearly 13 years is going into administration, having failed in its attempt to secure investment from the many interested parties that flirted with the idea of acquisition and expansion. This leaves colleagues of mine, people I consider friends, some of which have been employed by the company for longer than I’ve been alive without a job. Fortunately I have been able to find an alternate means of employment, allowing me to accept a rather valuable, if not entirely generous redundancy and continue working immediately. This was my biggest concern. Not being able to provide for my family was a paralysing notion. Though only officially informed of our current predicament just a couple of weeks ago, the companies struggles to remain solvent were all too apparent, even to someone as oblivious as me. So I seized the initiative and applied for every available vacancy I felt I could do.
Encouraged by my family I persevered despite the many failed applications and vacuous responses. Job hunting is such a profoundly frustrating process that really tests your inert capacity to tolerate rejection. If you’re not being informed by some vague missive that you aren’t qualified for a job, you’re not being told anything at all. Much of the free time you get not applying for every vacant position in a 20 mile radius is spent making redacted alterations to your CV, emphasising key skills or attributes deemed beneficial to potential employers. It’s a tiring, thoroughly impotent means of recruitment that’s more concerned with the fastidious qualities of the person rather than the individual themselves.
But mercifully I’ve successfully navigated my way through the convoluted online job sites and monotonous recruitment agencies to find work that is a reduction in pay, but still keeps a roof over my families head, leaving me to reflect on a job I’ve been loyal too since I left school.
I remember the elation of receiving my first paycheck there, a meager £740 which by today’s inflated standards is comparatively poultry. But I was 17 years young. No one up to that point had ever been irresponsible enough to give me that kind of money before. That weekend was a haze of frivolous exultation, purchasing the much coveted Nintendo GameCube as well as a wealth of games and fatty treats that give me heart palpitations just thinking about it. The hedonistic excesses of preliminary employment enabled me to fully embrace the value and fleeting acquisition of money. I learned a valuable lesson about squandering money without carefully considering the implications of not having any. Eventually I began saving some of it, preserving small quantities, flourishing to an amount that finally allowed my girlfriend and I to get a mortgage. Acquiring our own little bastion to raise our boisterous little girl and live reasonably comfortable and fulfilled lives. I won’t forget that, nor the experiences I’ve shared with my colleagues.
I could never say that I loved my job, nor that I hated it either. It’s not work I’ll remember with effusive admiration, reciting anecdotal tales about a 12 hour shift where I drank 8 cups of tea and got a splinter in my finger. But I will remember the people, the jokes, the camaraderie and some of the most absurd conversations I’ve ever had and the ridiculously heady Christmas parties I’ve ever attended.
I want to wish them as well as anybody else who has recently lost their jobs the best of luck. I’ll certainly miss them.