Please note, when I referred to The wind of change, I also distinctly remember stating that I did not wish for any uncomfortable out of the blue changes.
No thank you! Out of the blue uncomfortable changes were not welcome. They were the least welcome changes of all. In fact, it would be correct to say, they were as welcome as a highly infectious and disastrously deadly disease.
Unfortunately, I regret to inform FPE, out of the blue uncomfortable changes are exactly what happened to me at 3pm on Tuesday 6th January 2009.
It started off as a normal working day. I was sitting at my desk, in the office, doing production things.
The telephone rang.
I answered it.
It was the publisher calling from the meeting room.
He wanted to see me.
"The publisher wants to see me," I nervously informed my boss. I recognised the seriousness in his voice, and alarm bells were eerily ringing in the back of my (often as messy as spaghetti) head.
"I'm sorry," was my bosses reply.
My heart sank to the carpeted floor.
My legs started to shake with uncertainty.
I walked the walk of doom, down three flights of stairs, to the meeting room. I opened the door and the publisher met me with an apologetic look, and the HR manager was sitting next to him with an envelope in front of her. My time was up!
I sat down and the publisher began to talk. Words were coming out of his mouth, and they must have made sense to him, they must have formed perfectly acceptable sentences. But all I could do was sit and stare at him, and muster all the will power I had, so that I wouldn't violently shake or burst into an embarrassing flood of tears.
The HR manager passed me the envelope and said I was not expected to stay in the office after the shock, I was to go home and come back at ten thirty the next day to discuss matters further.
I walked out of the meeting room. I wanted to wake up and discover it was all a bad dream. It wasn't. I was wide awake and it was as real as my appreciation for George Michael - now that's what I call real!
I walked into the toilets and burst into tears.
So that was my last day in the office. After nine years it all ended with a conversation I can't remember and an A4 envelope.
In the envelope were internal vanacies, but nothing suitable for me. There were also details of my redundancy pay out. Well, all I can say is, at least I was employed for nine years and I wasn't a newbie. The payout will certainly help clear my debts, which was my biggest worry when I sat in that meeting room.
Now it's just the small matter of finding another job in the current, on the verge of a recession, climate.
I went back to the office the next day for my meeting, and then for lunch with my boss and my work colleague and friend. How very apt that our last supper was in a bar/restaurant where we have enjoyed many office lunches and parties. And the menu only had about 3 choices and the heating was not turned on, because the waiter explained it was their last day of trading. The solemn lunch and venue perfectly matched our moods.
Apparently the atmosphere in the office now resembles a grave yard. A guy working for editorial has also been made redundant. My boss is wondering how the heck she is suppose to cope without me, and the editorial director is wondering how he is suppose to survive without his side kick. We heavily suspect the whole department is heading for closure.
After the meeting and lunch with my boss and colleague, I walked around pondering what to do with the rest of my life. I took photographs and almost forgot my predicament.
I might not be around for a while, I have a CV to type, agencies to visit, websites to scan, and a new career to find.
Then again, I might have heaps of time on my hands. I may be writing constantly about my jobless life.
You have been warned.
The Tower of London, near the underground.
My kind of libray.
The red London telephone box which is now black.