Thought For The Day: I Have Just Lost My Job

Losing your job is never easy. The humiliation, the insecurity and the money problems are all terrible, but it's the crippling apathy that stings the most
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Losing your job is never easy. The humiliation, the insecurity and the money problems are all terrible, but it's the crippling apathy that stings the most

I have just lost my job. There was no leaving card. They knew my views on that sentimental nonsense and as a mate said, a leaving card from those still in employment, is the final insult.

I simply retreated into my shell and downed tools soon as I was put on a week’s notice, leaving only carnage behind for whoever has to pick up the mantle from me. Complaints went unanswered, calls weren’t returned, and I started taking lunch breaks again. Then, a day before the official leaving date, I gathered my stuff and left quietly in the early afternoon. No fanfare. No bullshit. Just the crushing disappointment of being out of work again.

The best way to manage me is simply not to give me any notice about my job ending. Just spring it on me. That way I won’t have a clue and I’ll do my job properly until the end. Basically, what I’m saying is, I need to be sacked. It’s the only way. For me and for the employer.

To be on notice was weird. I felt like a loser. The usual anger I experience when being sacked wasn’t there. Without this, I was at a loss as to how to behave. I’m simply not used to being given any notice at all in jobs. I’m usually escorted out by security at short notice. I’m okay with that. And if you’re a security guard, or a manager, worried about running into me in the future (if there are actually any jobs out there) take comfort from the fact that my small talk when being escorted out of buildings is of the highest order. In fact, I don’t believe my ‘just sacked’ small talk can be bettered anywhere. I will make it easy for you. I will even make light of the bag search my boss orders you to carry out. If the bag search expands to a full on body search, I will though want to see some paperwork.

I got my head down and worked for younger bosses with salaries that meant they could get their lunch from Eat every day, whilst I waited for Boots to put their reduced to clear stickers on their budget sandwiches after 3pm.

So now it’s back to the drawing board, jobless, stuck living in a hotel. Without a reference that says I am currently working, I can’t get a flat. Two years ago, I had my own sitcom commissioned by Channel 4. Now my life is as big a mess as every script I’ve written since my career went tits up in late 2008.

I did my best in this job. I got my head down and worked for younger bosses, fast streamers, high fliers on secondment, with salaries that meant they could get their lunch from Eat every day whilst I tried frantically to quash stomach rumbles as I waited for Boots to put their reduced to clear stickers on their budget sandwiches after 3pm.

Working for young people whose whole lives are ahead of them is a demoralising experience. I looked at them and could visualise them attending my funeral and claiming to know me better than they did. I was studying for my GCSE's and sharing a bed with my dad before some of my bosses at this job were born. If you can remember what you were doing the day your bosses were born, you’ve got a problem.

Taking orders from a boss born after 1985 is not easy. You have to fight the urge to say, “whoa, hold on; I remember watching Live Aid. I even posted my first love letter the morning of Live Aid”. But it counts for nothing. It should. But it doesn’t.

Given I’ve not even been CRB checked, I don’t even know how they allowed those kids to manage me. Unless you’ve never had to loosen your belt after a meal, or walked in on your partner having sex with someone else, I don’t know how you have the experience to manage someone.

After this latest miserable experience, I’ve put under my strengths and skills section on the CV “able to work for very young bosses”.

To unsettle them, and here’s a little trick for older readers who like me may be suffering the indignity of working for youngsters, I made frequent references to all my loved ones that have died to show them how much more than them I’ve lived, before confirming with them they wanted me on filing.

Then there was the Christmas party email that was circulated to staff just as a number of us were being terminated. That was hard to take. Did they really need to send that there and then? Could they not wait a week until we were gone?

The people behind that, I want them to know that come Christmas day, I will find their houses, and I will stand outside in my scarf and pants, shivering, as they give their kids their Christmas presents. I will sing Christmas carols badly in a high falsetto voice, and I will push my emaciated, unshaven face up against their windows as they unwrap their presents, pulling a terrible face that will forever haunt their kids. Those kids will be in counselling for a long time. Though they’ll probably recover in time to line manage me in the future.

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