Being told you are “surplus to requirements” when you have worked somewhere for over 17 years is never nice and never easy. Even when you suspect it is coming and maybe even a tiny part of you wish for it to be so, just so the wait is over if nothing else. You are going about your business and suddenly somebody asks you to “pop down” to your own office without any further explanation. You duly oblige, you descend the stairs (Green Mile anyone?) and enter said room. Empty. You sit down in your own chair, at your own, very tidy, desk (well, we were expecting important visitors after all). Next, the door opens and a Senior VP from German HQ walks in, followed by a very nice HR person from a sister company. Doomed. Fight or flight? Ruuuunnnnnnnn! No, can’t, they are blocking the door. Ok then, there’s only one way to settle this: FIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!! Maybe not, is that going to help me? Perhaps not. There’s only one way to handle this then: SMILE! Well, grimace more like. And nod a lot. Strangely I recall it now as if it was a poor tannoy announcement with a really bad echo, hearing words I have had to use myself to others before me “As you know… know… know… the market is very difficult… difficult…difficult…“ “I am very sorry… sorry… sorry…, that it has come to this… this… this…” Eventually the tannoy announcement stops and my visitors leave, leaving me with a letter which does confirm that I have been duly tapped on the shoulder. Silence. In fact, stunned silence. You hear the expression, but for the first time I felt I actually knew what it meant AND felt like.
Soon, you start to move, and speak, and, oh yeah, breath again! You seek out your fellow shoulder tapped colleagues for some jovial (brave) banter and “how was it for you”. The most difficult part was not being able to tell your colleagues that weren’t in on the act. 3 more weeks would pass before that could happen and was probably the hardest part of all, after losing your job that is. Then again, I didn’t even tell my nearest and dearest for 24 hours. The dust in my brain had to settle and I needed to process it all.
Anyway, is the moon made of cheese?
In my experience, yes I think it is, then again I could be wrong. So why the moon? Well, now that I am no longer working for the same outfit I was with for 17 years I made the following approximate calculation:
I commuted a total of
3825 times to and from work. That’s at least 11475 hours of travel. Continually that’s 478 days or 1 year and 4 months!
Distance wise it was 344000 miles or 14 times round the world, OR if you go to the moon (!): The moon is 238,000 miles away. So I have made it to the moon and nearly halfway back. Currently stuck somewhere between the moon and the International Space Station. So, can someone please offer me a job so I can get back to earth?
Is the moon made of cheese? I honestly don’t know. The 17 years went by with rocket speed and I didn’t get a chance to look….