On Thursday the phones rang. We got summoned to a meeting with General Manager and the owner the following day. We were all to be seen individually. That's not good by any means. Not knowing what the meeting was about didn't help the growing feeling of dread. Quick round of phone calls later nobody was none the wiser and the only thing we had established at that stage was that we were all given 15 minutes for our meeting. Whatever it was it was going to be short and to the point.
Thursday night was sleepless. Imagine being hung with a noose that's just too loose to do the job properly.
Friday morning was spent consuming too much coffee and not enough food. Suffering from a caffeine overdose probably wasn't the best of strategies but in times of crisis we do tend to stick to the things we know to comfort us. One by one we went in and met the two men behind the big desk. Like being sent to the principal's office in school.
We had imagined all sorts of horrors waiting for us. We went in hoping for the best, fearing the worst. I was told my colleague was going to be made redundant and I was expected to pick up the slack, or at least some of it. Our Deputy Manager would look after the rest. We were all to do this while taking a 5% pay cut.
As the day went on, more news came. Changes we were going to undergo. Cuts in staffing levels. Savings here, savings there. "Restructuring of the business" they called it.
Some came straight out of their meeting, slammed the door and left. These including the colleague made redundant whose 40th birthday party was on that very night. Talk about timing.
Saturday was spent in disbelief. How could one person be singled out to be made redundant while the rest of us stayed? Survivors guilt, I suppose, in a way.
We swapped stories, seemingly we all got the same story. Business levels down, recession etc. We knew all that going in.
On Monday we met our financial controller. She's been with us for 22 years. She was let go as well. After being offered a different title with same duties she's performing now, only with 30% less pay. Needless to say she refused. She's leaving in 8 weeks.
That was pretty much as much as I could take. It was a culmination of an exceptionally shitty few days.
I got home that evening and talked long and hard with Mr S. I had a little cry. Then I put on some Miles Davis while Mr S poured me a huge glass of red wine. I cooked comfort food; cheese and bacon risotto with baby leeks and white wine. All seemed right in the world of me again. We'll see how long until the shit hits the fan again. Until the I'll find solace in jazz and carbohydrates. And alcohol.