In the morning my manager called me into the boardroom. I was about to tell him some joke about the other day when I noticed that the company’s legal advisor was sitting there with him, looking at me with a strange sombre expression on his face.
“Listen,” my manager said. “You’ve been really valuable to us these past few months, and it’s been a very painful decision for all of us, but we have to let you go.”
“This, of course, is by no means a measure of your performance.”
That’s strange, I thought to myself. I’m late for work every day.
They then told me about how the company is undergoing a restructuring and about how every industry is suffering at the moment. Because of that, my role in the company has been made redundant.
“We just let go of Blake.”
“Senior Designer Blake?”
“He wasn’t very happy when I told him the news over the phone, especially when his wife is no longer working,” my manager said. Blake had been working there for about eight years and was home sick that day. “He didn’t take it very well.”
“This doesn’t seem right.”
“It was a pleasure working with you, Dean.” My manager shook my hand and rushed out of the boardroom.
“Is this really happening?” The legal guy showed me a piece of paper detailing how much money they were going to give me. He shook my hand and told me to call him if I had any issues with what was presented, because I probably wasn’t in the right mind to concentrate properly. He then followed me to my desk where he stood behind me, making sure that I packed up and left as quickly as possible.
“Can I at least email a goodbye to the rest of the team?”
“We’ve completely blocked your email account so you can’t do anything.”
I walked to my car in silence. How could something like that end so quickly? This kind of thing was always in the news, but it was never really real until it happened to me. And then I thought: how did it come to this? How did I let myself depend on a job? All of a sudden I missed her and hoped that she’d never find out. I placed my lonely box of things in the boot, cried, then headed to the gym. I worked out for three hours straight while thinking about what to cook for dinner.