Here I go again – Job hunting! The company I have worked for went into liquidation yesterday. Officially it liquidates on the 29th November but the doors are closed, trading has ceased and all the staff have been made redundant.
Even though I’ve faced this before, twice now in the last two years, it doesn’t get any easier to deal with. I’ve run the gauntlet of emotions over the last two days, panic, anger, resentment, relief and guilt among others.
We had to go in for a last meeting today and talk to the liquidator about redundancy pay, outstanding wages and notice payments which was a short conversation for me as I’ve only been there for seven months so I’m entitled to very little. It works out at about a weeks worth of wages, a weeks notice money and any outstanding holiday pay although just to stick the knife in a little more as our holiday year runs January to December and we stopped trading before the end of the year I’ve probably taken more holiday than I’ve accrued so I’ll owe them money.
But however hard it is for those of us who’ve lost our jobs I can’t imagine how the people who started the company twenty-seven years ago must feel. What do you do when something that’s been such a huge part of your life for all that time isn’t there anymore? I could hear colleagues asking them what they were going to do now. I doubt that they’ve thought much past what they’re going to do to get through the day and the next few weeks let alone made any long-term plans.
The telephone was torture. We all have direct lines as well as the switchboard and all I could do was sit at my desk and listen to it ring. I could see numbers coming up on the caller ID that I recognised, customers that I know are reliant on the products we supply for the survival of their own business and I couldn’t pick it up. There were seven messages on my voicemail and countless emails in my inbox that I couldn’t answer, including a couple of big orders I’d been working on. Some of our customers have prepaid for products that they will never get and some of them have machines that they can’t be without in for repair with us that will now get sucked into the liquidation and who knows how long it will be before they get them back – still in need of repair. Potentially our company going down could fold other companies as well and they are people I’ve spent the last seven months building up good relationships with and the last few weeks lying to – it doesn’t sit well with me but there’s nothing I can do to help and I hate it. In the end one of my colleagues came over and turned the ringer down for me, ignoring it was all we could do.
So tomorrow I have a meeting with an adviser at the Basingstoke Job Centre. We have to sign on to secure any notice pay we may be entitled to but I don’t intend to rely on the paltry benefits I might get for any longer than I have to – now I’ll take anything and keep hoping that elusive career comes along soon. I thought I’d found it last week but it wasn’t meant to be. In the meantime it’s back to CV’s and job boards and agencies and letters and interviews and waiting. It’s the waiting that I hate most of all.