Tuesday 15 November 2011


Redundancy. Such an ugly word both in meaning and in the physical appearance of it written down. There is something about the arrangement of letters in the ‘dundan’ portion that just doesn’t look nice to me. It is a word that we hear all too often in this climate and it has just claimed another victim.

Having myself been in danger of redundancy for some time, it is very unsettling to have to say goodbye to a colleague in these circumstances. First there is the cloak and dagger way in which the whole situation is handled. Communication breaks down. No one will tell anyone else what is happening; lots of sad, red, stressed faces walk around in silence creating an atmosphere thicker than quicksand.

Then there is the goodbye speech by the two-faced management. The hypocritical ‘you will be missed, thank you for your contribution, etc.’ announcements that everyone knows are false because this person has been made redundant so clearly their contribution wasn’t appreciated.

And last of all comes the aftermath. Walking into the office and looking at the empty desk where your friend sat. The pity and sadness you feel for their situation. The terror you feel and the sense of impending doom that you are next. Then the guilt for thinking of yourself when you still have a job and someone else has nothing. It is a horrible word and a horrible consequence and every day I keep my fingers crossed that the last one really was the last one. Sadly it never seems to be the case.

Elloise Hopkins.

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