Monday, December 13, 2010

The Stages of Redundancy

Just like the five stages of grief, there appears to be a number of stages to redundancy. Also, like the stages of grief, you can go through all of them in a matter of hours, or sit in one of them for days. They appear to be very similar to the bargaining, denial, anger, depression and acceptance.

I've had enough time to lull myself into the thought that I am accepting of this massive change - but now I'm getting to the sticky end of things, there are a few doubts hanging around the place. I mean, Tin Can, String and Whistle have been a part of my life for the last three years. I've made some incredible friends. Then again, I'm looking at the last year, knowing I stayed on because I had a holiday booked and the company was paying for the airline ticket. Professionally, it's been the most boring year of my life. Okay, I've managed to do some study, finish a qualification and do some interesting stuff periodically, but in general, I've been pigeon holed into "Writer Girl, Word Nerd and Barbeque Organiser" and that is all I'm seen as good for.

Sitting in a meeting the other day, Jaspal was there among others. He wanted some document work done. The question got raised - who's going to do this? There are no technical writers left in the company - all gone.

It was then that the grief set in. It hit home. There would be a role for me if the company valued what I did - and if there was enough work to go round all the time. And here comes a blast of the depression. Why don't companies value clear, concise, well constructed words? Why do they see what I do isn't valuable? Even worse - why don't they want me around.

Thankfully these thoughts were banished in a few minutes, before the anger set in.Why can't they see the value of what I do? Of course there was the bargaining - "I'm not doing anything in January if you want me to come back as a contractor". And of course, denial - but not on my part. I heard my current manage say, "Oh, Pand will sort that out," to which I fired back, "Oh, no I wont! I've got better things to do!"

I also don't mention the other states you find yourself in this situation. Apathy, belligerance, playing hookey, tea room time, where you find yourself in long conversations about life, the universe and everything with people you normally wouldn't have contact with. It's a funny, twilight state.

I'm really grateful that I've had a long time to come to terms with this. I'm grateful for the three and a half months pay that they're giving me to go away. I'm grateful they are letting me surf the internet for jobs at work rather than do "productive" stuff. I'm especially grateful for the career counselling the company is providing. I had my first session with the consultant on Friday and she's given me a lot to think about. What do I want to do? Where do I want to do it? What do I want to change about my work situation? What would I really want do with my working life? (Be a full time novelist - but this isn't practical - I don't have a rich husband or the talent and I like having a roof over my head and food on the table) I'm seeing her again in Friday after doing a psych test and filling out a long questionaire about my working history. It's good for focus, regardless.

I'm accepting of the huge changes coming my way. I had a talk with a friend this morning who said, "Ah, Mars/Uranus Square - huge, unwanted changes. It's happening to everybody. I bet you've been ill." Yep, snot

How I will go without Popeye, Wozza, Glen Waverley, the Grounded Dutchman and the crew, that will be the hard bit. It's not the job I'll miss, it's the people.

Right, back to "work". I've got a doctors appointment in a bit, see if we can clear the snot that's been a constant in my life for the last week. Like the job and the waiting around, I'm over it.



JK said...

Oh, brilliant summary - I have been feeling a lot of this too as a fellow redundancy "victim".
Except depression, I've not had that - I am generally very happy but flashes of the anger and some kind of strange disappointment appear from time to time, as well as the "twilight state".
Never mind - keep reminding yourself of the truth: it's totally their loss!

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pandora,

We have a fair few rounds of redundancy at our place over the years but I've somehow managed to avoid the axe.

From chatting to mates who suffered, their feelings are pretty similar to the ones you describe - particularly the anger.



Kath Lockett said...

Pandora, this is so well described that we can all feel and completely understand your range of emotions as the end date arrives.

I've been fired from my last job and just resigned from my newest job so there's a similar range of depression-anger-worry-freedom-black humour-relief swirling about.

Maybe we BOTH need to write a damn novel in 2011?

Pandora Behr said...

Funny thing is, for all this excitement, the thing I'm looking forward to most is the future. I just need this part of my life over with.