Four Years

I recently lost my job due to a company restructuring whereby my worksite was shut down and the staff were made redundant. I worked just over four years which has given me a bit more life experience.

I’ll get the negative out of the way first. I’ve seen stupid, lazy, selfish and greedy people over the years. I’ve seen the dim but well intentioned, and those that take advantage. I’ve seen how thankless work can be and I’ve felt the pain of working through the pandemic while still having to travel to the office everyday, even when there were no buses. I’ve seen the power of a union protect useless workers and have faced the angry, aggressive and ignorant. One person just didn’t get on with me at all (we didn’t dislike each other, there was just nothing there), and I saw a man on the bus that made me think the Discworld’s Foul Ole Ron was inspired by a real person.

From the last paragraph you’d think I had a pretty terrible time of it… You’d be wrong. While there have been problems and irritations, I have seen a lot of good. I’ve seen motivated, hard working and intelligent people. I’ve seen the strength some people have to show up with a smile even though they have deep personal trouble. Cheerful old men that were a bit old fashioned in their thinking kept the laughter going, that includes one very strange friend that I miss who sat behind me for a while who had the habit of angrily swearing at his work. One good man took me for a new experience hitting golf balls at a range. Plus I’ve had management that let me get on with work undisturbed as they knew that I knew what I was doing.

There have been people that had an impact on myself and how I feel I’ve grown over the years. Where some people made me want to change, others gave me the confidence to be proud of being who I am. From what may be one of the nicest women in the world to someone that always put a smile on my face I felt encouraged to be creative or artistic, I got something I didn’t realise I needed which was a bit of self confidence. I’ve never been the best but I’ve seen that it’s still worth a try.

I’ve encountered religious types over the years with some openness in conversation with the ridiculousness of the world always being good for a laugh. Unexpected connections have been made discussing modern sociopolitical issues, history and the odd idiotic TV show or video games. In my time I’ve also learned that I really can’t stand radio DJs.

I worked in the postal industry which meant I read mail for a living. We had a few suspicious package scares and evacuated due to bomb scares at least once. I’ve seen how the general public can be incredibly odd with their insecurities, odd with anything at all really (preaching, accusing Americans of terrorism against themselves, bizarrely packed letters, illiteracy and weird phrasing) and it’s all been quite fun.

At one point I even met up with two old school friends at a pub for a catch-up. It was like we’d never parted, but we had grown differently as we went down different paths in life.

In all honesty I wouldn’t have traded it for anything (ok, maybe for a big lottery win). As a first job, I got really lucky and had it been down to me I’d have accepted it as a job for life. The people were good, the work was interesting and it genuinely saddens me to have lost so much.

My outlook on people has changed through this job. I was valued in the workplace as I learned enough for people with more experience to ask me for help, but the company saw me as just another number. Being valued in the workplace restored my faith in humanity a little as I now see it’s the small, personal connections that matter rather than high levels of success. I didn’t make connections at college in the same way because I knew the expected time limit but after working I realised that time doesn’t matter, people can matter no matter how long you’ve known them.

Rewatching the Yugioh anime hit home with this too as there’s a bittersweet ending where we’re reminded that just because someone leaves our lives it doesn’t lessen the impact they had. Everyone I’ve known has changed me a little. So thank you to all, whether my opinion of you is good or bad, something of you will remain.

I don’t know what the next step will be but whatever it is, it has to be good for me.

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