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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Something to look forward to

This January we have the most depressing day of the year to look forward to. The complex formula takes into account things like debt and weather and failure of new year’s resolutions and the mental health wizards have calculated that this year’s D-Day is 24th January.

This year we might also add into the calculations the huge (‘swingeing’ as we’re learning to call them) cuts to well, pretty much everything and the rise in VAT. We can’t even drown our sorrow on drink cos that’s gone up too.

 For those of us being made redundant we also have the worry of how we’re going to afford life without our jobs.

 I need something to look forward to. I get the same amount of holiday leave as anyone else at the council but because of working in education, I am not allowed to take term time holidays.

 My contract ends on Thursday, 31st March and state schools don’t break up for Easter until the following week so I’m looking to blow some of the redundancy payoff and go on holiday straight away. A holiday will give me something to look forward to otherwise I know I’ll be moping around the house feeling sorry for myself come April.

Citizen R driving across Ischia

 I quite fancy doing something like a road trip rather than sitting on a beach somewhere and this is where I need some help. Where can Mr. R and I go to get away from it all and where would readers recommend? I’m really stumped for ideas so all advice will be gratefully received. If you could tweet this too and ask your friends and colleagues that would also help. Thank you, lovely readers!

 Meanwhile, batten down the hatches for Monday 24th January and hey, let’s be careful out there.

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