I was a public sector reject

Happy monthiversary to me! It’s almost five weeks since I was in gainful employment.

My final day at work was strange indeed. It began with me struggling to put a large pot plant in my car which was parked outside the training rooms of the professional development centre. As the wind slammed my car door shut for the third time I let out a loud expletive (rhymes with luck) only to realise that the window was open and an entire room of people was staring at me, mouths open. Bad enough but then I realised the room was full of the most senior leaders in the council receiving their CRaPP training. Oops.

I left at noon, arms full of pen pots, folders and spare jackets (the office was always icy in winter). A colleague and I left together for moral support and said goodbye cheerfully to everyone. I had a box of chocs for the dinner ladies so popped down to the canteen to say goodbye and….burst into tears in the middle of the canteen. I was folded into the not insubstantial bosom of the head dinner lady much to the bewilderment of the diners.

The dinner ladies: the ones who think liver pâté is vegetarian, who incinerate toasted sandwiches and whose baked potatoes taste like old army boots. I have no idea why I ended up clutched to a lady in a tabard, a box of crushed Quality Street melting between us.

Minutes after leaving the office, my pass card was deactivated. By 9am the day after, my e-mail account was deactivated so that out of office message disappeared and my P45 had arrived. Efficiency that I had never experienced in all my time with the council. I had been well and truly deleted like one of those Egyptian Pharaohs whose face is chipped off their statues when they die.

Fast forward a few weeks and schools are back and most of the bank holidays have passed. I’ve been meeting with colleagues and planning and drumming up business. Schools are quite rightly cautious at the moment because of their budget concerns but there is small, fine trickle of interest there.

It’s a brave new world out there and it’s time I stopped yearning after my job and started looking forward.

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6 Responses to I was a public sector reject

  1. I was also in the same boat six months ago and set up my own company. I can make a very good argument for why this is the best time to be starting a business…. and a very good argument about why it is the worst time!!! The view that I subscribe to can change from day to day and hour to hour! But I will say that although there are dark days … these are less than the good days and I honestly think it is the best thing that could have happened to me! It is very liberating to do the work that I think is important – to be able to give my opinion on a topic ..

    Of course, it is early days and it takes time to build up the contacts and the work but there is life after local government!!

  2. Mike says:

    It’s a brilliant time to be starting a business, the world is full of opportunity, plus I know of a primary school shortly to be looking for a consultant SIP – know anyone who might fit the bill ?

  3. Mike says:

    Too far away ? Pish, your freelance now.

  4. Tim says:

    Keep at it!

    Funny how efficient they were at deleting your existence. In my (only mildly bitter) experience, employee terminations are one of the few things which large organisations do with any sense of alacrity …

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