Three months ago I booked a week off in August. I figured that no matter what happened (my husband was made redundant very unexpectedly) I was probably going to need the break. As it happens the hubby is now back in fulltime employment with a fantastic new job.

So I now have a week off to do whatever I choose. There simply is no describing the feeling of abandon that has overwhelmed me. To put the icing on the cake, today was actually a good day at work. I was busy, productive and knew that I was staring these days of freedom in the face.

Husband with a new job, has not accrued enough holiday to join me. Which I am pleased about. Because, it’s hard when someone loses their job for no real discernible reason. They’re fragile, their confidence is low and they think they are a failure. Even the expression “loses” seems to compound the feelings of isolation and rejection they experience. I think somehow its worse when its redundancy. They couldn’t even give him a reason for Christ sake.

unemployment (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

A friend at the company rang him on his personal mobile about two hours after the meeting where he’d walked in a big fish with new projects and opportunities and walked out unemployed.

“I hear you’re sick” the friend said.

“Umm, yeah” my husband replied.

That’s the thing with the hush papers they make you sign. You get XXXX if you leave quietly and promise not to tell anyone or raise any kind of action against the company.  If you refuse to sign, they give you a week to think about it, then you’ll get the statutory which is equal to one salary month pay. My husband decided that we couldn’t wait six months to get justice and he would rather search with all his heart for something else (accompanied by a reference he could write himself – all part of the deal).

The worst thing was suddenly it all starts to make sense. All those people who were going off on the sick and were un-contactable suddenly weren’t with the company any more. So my husband joined the line of “leave quietly” and I still bristle at the injustice of it. The decision was his and sometimes as much as these things get your hearts gladiator going, you have to accept that the person you love will find their own way.

We went to see a lawyer, to check, if what they were doing was legal. It is to a point…. If you sign.

The worst thing about unemployment and redundancy is that even if it’s not you, you get to go through it just the same. My sweet apples, and it is so tiring. You feel every good day where someone calls to talk about an opportunity. You are at every interview and you feel personally rejected when they don’t get that job. After the first few weeks, pressure mounts on you both, that doubt starts to creep in. Will they ever get a job? It’s not the money, you know you can keep going for a minimum of five months due to the “Deal”. It’s the uncertainty.

You are still working of course – long hard days. You can’t talk to them about work because at least you have a job. So you start to become strangers. You become careful and watchful with your words, you don’t celebrate your own little successes anymore. You get frustrated when you get in late and the dishes are still in the sink. You think things like “You’ve been at home all day, why the f can’t you do just one thing around the house”.

We were lucky in two ways. The first is that I am passionately and madly in love with the most wonderful man in the world. The second is that I’d been through it eighteen months before. I think the understanding of all that. Saved Us.

It took eleven long weeks for him to find something. The sense of relief was overwhelming for us both. He never knew that I doubted, I was always strong, happy and positive . On the inside I was and still am, a little emotionally wrecked!

So these days of freedom are a blessing, I can have duvet days. I can get up when I want. I get to re-charge those batteries. What’s even better is that I completely forgot I booked the time off until my Boss emailed me at 11.30pm on Thurs night about a handover. I debated cancelling it. Duvet and Writing days won by a country mile.

So I sit on my writing couch with a big fat grin on the face…..

Comments as always welcome.

13 thoughts on “REDUNDANT – IS A FILTHY WORD

  1. What a difficult thing to write about. To do it with humor is such an outlet. Supporting someone who has lost a job and is frustrated is so important.

    Have fun on your get away.

  2. This must have been an extremely trying time, but I’m happy to hear that your husband has a fantastic new job. Kudos to you for the positive vibes and support, I know it was difficult. Enjoy your week off! You earned it.

    • Thanks Tamara, it’s always tricky when these life changing things happen. We were really lucky. I know that some people take a lot longer to get back into work and my heart goes out to them. I am hoping maybe just one person will read this and know that they aren’t really alone and other people do understand.

  3. Excellent writing about personal frustrations – sometimes writing about it after everything helps to alleviate the weight from your shoulders so I hope you are able to move on and enjoy your future more with your husband now.

    • Thanks Dragonfly, this post started out about what to do with my fogotten week of freedom and turned into talking about the redundancy and how impactful it is, even when you are the one who still has the job. I must admit I am looking forward to having some downtime to recharge the batteries. Plus I get to write in the morning! Oh happy days!

  4. Personally, I’ve always disliked that word. — Don’t give me that look; you know which one I’m talking about.

    I know the feeling quite well. My ex-girlfriend doesn’t cook, nor clean, but always found the time to ask what she should wear in order to look good going out with her friends, after a part-time work week that was so exhausting. – Hilarious. — Hence: EX-.

    I’ve been unemployed for a few years now; not for the lack of trying mind you, but because discrimination is still quite popular. If you don’t look like the models on television, they don’t want you; no matter how well you believe in doing your best. So, I’ve come back to writing once more in hopes that I’ll work myself into a break, since it’s just about the only thing that I’ve not attempted to pursue.

    • Thanks for the honesty and I am sorry for the pain. I know this shit hurts. I went through it eighteen months before my husband did and it took me four and a half months to find something. We were at the worry about the mortgage stage when I finally got my new job. Thanks for your comment. As for the writing, keep at it. The world would be a duller place without your voice in it.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and smiled a huge smile with your “duvet days”! I can so relate. ^_^ I know how priceless those moments are when you’re in rat race.

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