I’m writing this from the future and this is the past. But this is how it happened. I get up and admire my garden. The sun is up giving life to it. Its off to work I head today, having been out of the office for two days, and most of the week prior to that.
We are going out tonight as one of the lads is leaving. So I jump on the train. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed commuting by train. I sit I relax, I admire the view.
At Walsall I consider getting a monthly rail pass. Then I pass on it thinking I’ll get it on Monday instead as I’ve got to get a ticket back form the centre of Birmingham anyway and I can use my travel card.
I walk into the office and site down. The 3 lads next to me look glum. What’s up I ask? They called a meeting, every one is invited.Everyone I reply, well everyone but me, no ones contacted me to say I must be here. I sit down and switch on my PC. I turn to the lad next to me and ask, when you say they have called everyone in, have they called the site staff in too? Yes I believe they are down the other end of the office. Ah shit, the banks called it in. Start packing your bags boys, we’re being made redundant. What a day for it to happen. I haven't got my car here. I collect some of stuff up deciding what to take when the announcement is made. I go and speak with a few colleges, its definitely the end for some of us. Back at my own desk my boss comes and tells me which meeting room I’m going to. He stumbles when he says it. This is the boss that hired me some 23 years ago. I’m redundant, I now straight way, he never stumbles on such items or report. When he comes back and tell the person next to me he is in the same room as me it is for sure. The uni students can’t believe, it. They are told they are in the same room as me. How do you know they ask. I point my eyes to the person I sit next to, because we are in the same room as him. Ah they say, yeah why would you keep two students.
Goodbye second home, Goodbye Birmingham. We head to the room at 1:30pm and are promptly advise that the company is no longer in a position to pay our wages and as such we should take it that our contracts are now broken and are redundant. There is quiet a lot of emotion going on, the production manager can’t believe it, he can’t believe we are being made redundant, he can’t believe I’ve been selected to be made me redundant and is shouting around, and pointing at me how can you make him redundant he knows everything. Everything. I tell to calm down, relax and not to worry for me, I say look around you, it has been rigged hopefully to let me go, look all the sales people are here. All of them. Those who are being kept on are slaves, they wont get paid, with no sales people they are looking at running the business to the ground and finishing what projects they have to off. The project I was working on, is not being built yet its all on a pc not in the real world. They don't need me ,and I don’t want to be here to kill off the company completely. Things settle for a short period and the paper work is handed out and what we must do with it. We are instructed to sign on straight away and fill out the online forms. Apart form that we are on our own, although they say otherwise.
There’s hugs, tears, I’m asked if tonight is still on. I laugh and so say do you really think so. Its cancelled. I return to my desk to collect some stuff, to work out what to take and what not to take. We have all the time in the world, there is no rush. I though have to work out how to get this all home. I ask one of the other lad with a company car. He kindly agrees to take stuff to his house where I can collect it later. What space he has left in the car, as he has been there a long long time like me, he allows me to take up. Is there anything else he says. I look at the cactus behind my bosses desk and on his window sill. Are you serious. Yep the cactus is mine, its 17 years old. come on lets see if we can fit it in.
Back in the office once more, I round the lads up, and suggest that while the night is going to be as it was, that perhaps we should go to the pub. We should have a final drink together. And so it is agreed.
Telephone calls are made and we head to the bar we all have come to love so much from me bringing them all here. People join us, there is talk, there is gossip, there is cheer. Not everyone is here though. But this is how it ends, it ends together as a team, that’s what made it so very good. We lift our drinks, we celebrate our hard work, we celebrate what the future may hold.
And so the journey home is the last from work. I wonder, will it be concrete or steel? I already know the answer… Yeah it was great, but I guess as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end eventually so will I ever actually find out?