Saturday, November 27, 2010

There's No Easy Way to Say This

Yesterday afternoon my boss came up to my desk and asked if I would duck into one of the meeting rooms for a quick chat. He does this now and again, usually to discuss some pay or other business related thing, so I wasn't particularly fazed. We went in, shut the door, and sat down. He looked at me and said: "There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just read from this letter."

And that was it. He didn't really need to say any more, because bosses don't tell you they have something difficult to say, then read from a letter, unless it's for one reason. Sure enough, through the fog that enveloped my brain over the next few seconds, I managed to catch snatches of words about business conditions and a weak US dollar and contracts not being renewed. Then three words I couldn't possibly miss.

Four weeks notice.

Not just me, about a dozen of my colleagues too. No sooner had I got back to my desk then the boss went up to someone else, a friend on my team, and asked him to the meeting room for a "quick chat". I watched them head into the lift, then packed up and went home before I had to watch anyone else being led off.

So today I dusted off my CV and started the search for a new position. Thankfully, I'm a professional, and I have enough experience in a diverse range of areas to make me fairly employable -- at least I hope so. I've already started firing off emails and checking job sites, and there's a couple of possibilities in the pipe-line. I don't think I have much to worry about.

But it's still a bugger. I really enjoyed working with that company. It was very layed back, and the guys I worked with were real friends, not something you find in every workplace. Besides that, I got to work in the CBD, with a great gym nearby and a bunch of book shops only too happy to take my hard earned cash.

Still, there you go. So many amazingly wonderful things have happened to me this year. My lovely little son James was born in March, I signed a 3 book deal in May, and my first ever published short story came out in October. It somehow seems fitting that the year would finish on a less than positive note. Even though I hope it won't turn out to be anything more than a minor inconvenience.


  1. I'm sorry to hear that, Peter. You're taking it with remarkable aplomb. Good luck finding a new job - it doesn't sound like you'll have much of a problem.

  2. Peter, so sad to hear of your loss. Even though this may be a difficult time, I am often reminded of an old saying that "when one door closes, another one opens". I think you may have already laid the groundwork for your next opportunity. Good luck.

  3. Good luck with the hunting and procuring of a new job. :)

  4. What unpleasant news, especially at this time of year! I hope the job hunt is swift and painless and lands you something immeasurably better.

  5. Thanks for your comments all - it's much appreciated. I agree with pilot about one door closing and another opening. Hopefully this will indeed lead to better things :-)

  6. Peter - I just saw this post. I'm so sorry. I don't know if job loss is as rampant in Australia as it is here in the US, but I lost a construction-based job a couple of years ago due to the economy. The upside was that it was the first time in years I got to write full-time again. Make the most of the writing time while you have it - I'm sure you'll be back to a day job before you know it.

  7. Hi Liz. Yep, I'm sure I can make use of the time, although I hope there isn't too much of it. I've wondered about deliberately taking a break to get stuck into the latest book, but I'm not sure how practical that is right now. Still, I'm sure while I'm looking I'll be grabbing any extra writing time I can.