My job situation at the moment is precarious and uncertain, as is the same for so many people at the moment.

The government are once again cutting the budget for essential services, meaning we will all see a reduction in services, and an increase in our taxes, of course.

As part of this, my company are having to cut 25% of their budget, whilst they are looking to find savings in other ways, the biggest expenses are always employees. Before this announcement my department was already going through a reorganisation process, probably in anticipation of having to make savings.

Having crunched the numbers, they have decided that there are 42 employees too many who are trained and paid for my role. Thirty two of these people are currently not doing my role as their full time job, but as they are trained to do it, and being paid in accordance with that training, they are included in the pot of potential employees/redundancy fodder.

This of course means that there will be 32 vacancies in the other, lesser paid role, leaving 10 people who will definitely be without a job.

To decide who will/will not get a job they have devised a matrix which gives/deducts a number points to/from each employee depending on various factors like sick record, performance, willingness to travel, length of service etc.

Based on the draft matrix that has been released by the unions, I fall somewhere just above halfway, along with probably the majority of other employees. The one thing that lets me down is the “willingness to travel” part, which is a black and white, you are willing to travel anywhere within the region, or you are not willing to travel at all.

While I am willing to travel some distance, the fact that I do not drive, and my working hours fall at unsociable hours when there is no public transport, means that I cannot say I am willing to travel anywhere within the region. This probably puts me at the bottom of average, with only those who have an incredibly bad sick record and/or a disciplinary record below me, and therefore in what I call “redundancy fodder”.

Which brings us back to those 32 vacancies. Those who find themselves in the bottom 42, and therefore, with a 90-day redundancy notice, will be invited to “apply” for any role that becomes available and matches their skills. Those 32 vacancies are in a job that I loathe, in a location that is probably the furthest away of all the possibilities, and will include a pay cut a well as additional travel costs. Even if they would agree to change my hours so I could get public transport, it would be a 2 to 2 and a half hour commute each way, on top of a 10 hour working day. Oh and did I mention that that role will also soon be subject to a re-organisation where I may find myself once again looking at redundancy, only this time on a lower pay grade.

Those who don’t get another job within the 90 days, will be made redundant.

There is of course the chance that I scrape in just higher than the 42 lowest scoring people. The lucky people not facing redundancy then have to give three choices of location they would like to be re-organised to. Again, the matrix comes into play and those scoring the highest will be given their first choices, those at the bottom of the barrel (me) will be given what’s left, even if it wasn’t one of their three choices. Which again leaves me with the possibility of having anything up to a two and a half hour commute to work, and a large taxi fare back from work.

Of course, you say, I could learn to drive and get a car, problem solved. Except:

Last year I made the poor, poor decision to go part-time, seemed like the right thing to do at the time and it was open for me to come back full time after 12 months. However, I was given incorrect information on what my part-time wage would be and accepted inconvenient hours based on this information. It wasn’t until I returned to work that I discovered I was taking a much larger pay cut than I could afford, and by then it was too late. Of course it was only supposed to be for a year, but so much changed in that year, and now, with the threat of redundancies, I am unable to go back full time, or even change my hours to something more convenient.

So here I am, just about scraping by, finding myself in a larger amount of debt than I would like, and no way on this earth of affording to run a car, let alone buy one.

So that leaves me not knowing which to hope for. To be included in those who keep their job, but end up in an inconvenient and expensive location which I would have to leave anyway, or to be redundancy-fodder and take the money and run.

Whilst I am fairly confident of getting another job within customer services quite easily, I have a wealth of experience and am probably over-qualified for most customer services jobs. However, the jobs that I am seeing that fit within that experience are £5-10k less that what I am earning now, which is on top of the £5k pay cut I already took when I went part time. At least taking another job would pay off some of my debt and leave me with a few more options open.

And now I come to the end of my ramble. Those who know me from Twitter and have bothered to read this far, will know I always start with the worst-case scenario and work up from there. Sometimes Usually I will let a despairing rant slip while I am still in worse-case scenario mode. Following that model, the end of the story is thus.

There is a slim chance that I will get the location I want, keep my job, get a full-time position, pay off my debts, and carry on with my life as I planned it before the world came tumbling down on me eight years ago. A slim chance, but it’s a chance, and I guess this is what I need to hope for. While that chance is there, I do still have to be prepared for the worst.

Whilst preparing for the worst, I’m also trying to look at this as an opportunity, a chance to do some of things I didn’t get to do whilst I was too busy earning a living, something that will make up for the fact that circumstances have washed many of my dreams away. Working abroad is one of those things, and whilst the huge weight of debt that still somehow has to be paid while I am gallivanting around the world is still hovering around my right shoulder, the huge weight of my ever-increasing age, and doing something adventurous while I still can is bouncing on my left shoulder whispering seductively in my ear.

The right side says, pay off your debt and take your adventure in five years time, the left side says, screw it all, the debt will still be there when you get back, and if you get stuck in another job, you’ll never take the opportunity.

Whichever side wins out, it’s sure nice to have a dream again, even if it’s an unnattainable one, ‘cos, “Sometimes dreams are all you got to keep you going when the day gets long.” – Brandon Flowers, The Clock it was a Tickin’

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