Being in a consultation period was a pretty meaningless state for me to be in. My job was deleted in the re-org and my job description was clearly designed to be so specific to me that it would be impossible to move to another post – even if there were any available. This was, after all, a serious re-organisation designed to save hundreds of thousands of pounds (more on that later).
Now my job description and my job didn’t necessarily match up, but being new to the public sector I never realised how important this discrepancy could prove to be. So while I was never going to be able to save my job, it meant that I knew the outcome of the consultation period and could get on with planning for being part of the squeezed midddle.
It wasn’t that I was planning for an extended period of
worklessness unemployment. At the time I fully expected to waltz into a new and fulfilling career and be able to keep my dignity as I walked out shouting ‘nah, nah, nah, naaah, naaaaah.’
Despite my conviction that a new job was just round the corner there was nagging voice in my head that kept reminding me of some advice I had heard years ago.
It came from a fun-loving grasshopper who spent the bountiful summer enjoying himself. While others around him were busy making preparations for a harsh winter, Mr Grasshopper played with his fiddle and most definitely did not collect acorns to sustain him over the harsh British winter.
As this all happened some years ago the story has a happy ending. Despite failing to prepare (and therefore preparing to fail) Mr Grasshopper lived in a world where there was no need for a government sponsored Big Society. Instead, society looked after itself and even managed to care for those who had not made provision for times of hardship. (Check out the documentary here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAd0jOuQg8o)
I, however, do live in a world where we are increasingly expected to do the hard work of preparing for hard times on our own. Which is why I felt like I was in a slightly better position than some of my colleagues when the cuts were revealed.
Many were in a state limbo, but I knew I was a goner so was able to squirrel away some extra cash to help cover the mortgage in the unlikely event I wouldn’t get a job before the deadline rolled around.
It could be seen as an admission that, even back then I was preparing to fail (in my job hunt), but as I sit here playing with my fiddle I’m relieved that I have some funds to fall back on.