The secret diary of a single parent bloke
Following months- no years- of unhappiness with my employer and my job (read Written Warning, Work, Knackered ), I’ve come up with a plan to escape. And following the “Nosebleeds” incident, I actually think that my life may depend upon it working because otherwise, despite being only 33, I’m heading for a breakdown, heart attack, whatever, and I’m not prepared to sacrifice myself or my family for those awful people! Maybe it was my great weekend that’s spurred me into action, but I suddenly feel much more confident and ready to change my life again.
In simple terms, I’m going to leave and start my own business as a graphic designer. But of course nothing’s quite so simple. I’m going to need a gap between leaving this job and starting my business, possibly up to six months, but I can’t afford to quit and live off savings. So I need my employer to make me involuntarily redundant, and I think I know how to do it…
Staff and managers are leaving and not being replaced, the machines are broken, the place is filthy, even water-coolers and pot plants are being removed to save money. They’re haemorrhaging money- every month the finance director announces that this has been a great month, but “readjusts” last month’s figures to show a huge loss- there are only so many months you can move the money around! And now they’ve just lost their biggest customer. More redundancies must surely follow!
So here’s the plan: I’m going to make a pain in the arse of myself! Nothing malicious, nothing naughty, and everything will be in the company’s best interests. For example, at the monthly manager’s meeting, I will point out how much money could have been saved if [insert manager / director / managing director] hadn’t messed up [insert several of their mess-ups] and propose a better way of doing it. This will infuriate them, but I will have only done it in the businesses best interests. At the same time, I will boast about how efficient my staff are, how well my department’s doing, and how bored I am because there isn’t enough work coming in (thanks to the Sales Team under-performing). They can’t sack me, because I’m doing nothing wrong (and technically, everything right), but they’ll want to get rid of me, which leaves only one choice: redundancy!
It’s a risky strategy, but I need it to work: I can’t continue like this and my children can’t continue to spend 9 hours a day at school, but I’m so convinced that it will work that I’m staking everything on it. I’ve even ordered a brand new bottom-of-the-range Apple MacBook on buy-now-pay-in-12-months to use for my new business. My new business will be able to pay for it when the bill comes in!
Background note: I can’t tell you very much about my employer for anonymity reasons (as I type this up in 2011 they are still trading, albeit under a different name) but I can tell you that they’re a small manufacturer of a particular consumer product in a rapidly diminishing market. In Summer 2006, a few months before this diary entry was written, they had shed 10% of their workforce through redundancies and stopped replacing people who were leaving.