November 2013 was drawing to a close along with my job. The were good days and bad days, hopes raised and dashed. At times it seemed cruel that we had to be there, slowly dismantling our world and our work. At other times we savoured every moment there was left. Through it all the little moments of beauty kept me going.
22 November 2013
Today was a day of mixed blessing for sure. It began with the walk to work. The frosty air hurt as I breathed in and my breath came out in white clouds but a blue sky overhead almost made up for it. The river was very low, the mud banks dotted with seagulls digging about for food and a meandering rivulet shone gold in the low sun. Along the embankment leaves fallen from the white beam were thick with ice crystals, winter is on the way.
When Mr Haughty was in the office getting all panicked by the scale of the job ahead of him he came up with a plan that involved me. It was a small sliver of light at the end of my dark tunnel. Seeing all my detailed spreadsheets and the amount of work I get through in a week he thought it might be good if I could be retained. Straight away I said I had no interest in working in the Frozen North but he thought I could work from home.
“I might consider it but it would depend on what exactly I was offered,” I said.
If the decision was down to Mr Haughty I knew there would be a job offer. Whether I would take it was a different matter. Working from home sounds good on the surface but I had a feeling it would turn out to be me getting up at six, starting work while I ate my breakfast and then noticing I was still in my pyjamas at nine in the evening. There was also the small matter of doing everything I do now plus all the fire fighting to put right the mistakes made by the new office. The decision was never going to be down to Mr Haughty though, every single decision is now down to the new CEO, the man who decided to close our office. The word unlikely sprang to mind.
While I was working my way through more contracts this morning my phone buzzed with an incoming email. Mostly they’re just spam but, for some reason, I decided to check it out. It was another interview, this time with the university as an administrator for the students, better still it’s full time and easy to get to. That was the good news.
Barely had I put my phone back on my desk than the office phone rang. It was Arabella. This was the bad news, even if it wasn’t unexpected. The CEO has said no to retaining me. Mr Haughty is beside himself, I don’t think worried even covers it. Arabella was very upset, she’d been lobbying for me all along. She cheered up a bit when I told her about the interviews.
At lunch time Alice and I went to the coffee shop on the corner and treated ourselves to a sit down drink. Alice had a very naughty hot chocolate with whipped cream and I stuck to skinny latte. Our drinks came with a biscuit, Alice left hers, I didn’t, probably the calorie count came out even.
The saga of the boxes continues. A new courier arrived this afternoon. He even had a pallet. He came upstairs. He picked up one box which promptly fell apart due to the decided lack of duct tape. One little strip of duct tape across the top of each box barely held the lids on. Anyone would think there was a nationwide shortage of duct tape, even though we have rolls of the stuff in the cupboard. The courier sucked his teeth and went away again, shaking his head, without the boxes.
When I got home tonight my redundancy letter was waiting for me. Hardly unexpected but sad nonetheless. So I now have just twenty eight days left working for Silver Helm. That’s twenty more chances to look out at the sunset from the penthouse suite on the fourteenth floor.