The last two days have been the longest year of my life. The phone has been ringing regularly with people in shock, and my in-box is filling up. I'm still stunned, and feel sick constantly. Mrs T is in a similar state, but thank goodness we have each other. Coming home to an empty house, or sitting here just with a well-stocked booze cabinet and wine rack for company would not be helpful.
I think my ex-colleagues feel like they've been bereaved. One said to me "you're like my second dad" and a lot of them need comforting. Another said "I’d of said something more meaningful than Good Morning if I’d known it’d be the last time I saw you" which is almost the sort of thing you write in books of condolence. I'm almost like a bereavement counsellor at my own funeral. I didn't realise how much I loved them all until I had to go through this. I was never a great people manager, but I believe that inside eveyone has potential and everyone is good hearted (bit pinko liberal for someone in Banking, I know) and tried to get people in the right roles and get them to develop themselves. What's making this hard is that I was and am really close to my team. They weren't just droids in a factory. They're people with real lives, cares and worries. I want to be there to help them through this difficult time as more cuts and changes are made, but I'm like a ghost. I can see and hear but I can't speak or touch anything.
Then there's the phone calls with friends and colleagues who left the business a few years ago, - all offering support and a chance to blow off steam about how unjust it all is. And the imagined phone call when they tell you it's all been a terrible mistake, here's your job back and a big cheque for all the distress we caused you.
I've got a fair few of the "it's happened to me, - best thing ever" e-mails and comments. I hope it's true. I can see chinks of light, but nothing that is shining on the path forward.
I graduated in 1982 in Sheffield, the Rome of the North. I graduated into a dreadful recession although in many ways a more benign society. 12 months I was unemployed, sustained by friends (notably Pete Berry, now of Baccus) who kept me going and helped me develop a routine. I was supported then by what seemed a generous welfare package to a 21 year old who was trying to be independent and live in his own bedsit. The current Mrs T and I were engaged at the time, but she was living back at home with her father in the midlands. I had few worries, and few responsibilities. I had little to lose. Even so it was deeply depressing not to be wanted. That pales into insignificance to how I feel now.
I know I'm more experienced now, and have better contacts and skills, but nothing really tops the power of ignorance. When you're young and you don't know what you don't know you believe you can do anything. I certainly did, and when I finally got a job with the then Anglia Building Society I proved it.
When I get myself sorted I'll write up how it all happened properly. It'll be a story both amusing and shocking and if I was looking at it from outside of myself I'd find much to laugh about. I've already had one phone conversation with an old boss that was a brilliant mix of outrage and laugh out loud funny.
Not much about wargaming in this one, except to say my Xyston Ramesses dropped through the letter box this morning. He looks a lot better than the painted one on the website, and as a 28mm figure he of course measures up as 35mm top to toe. Who said anything about scale creep.
I realise I should take time off, get my head together, and paint some toy soldiers. Bit difficult to focus on that now, - another thing I'm enormously resentful off, - they seem to have taken away from me what I use to relax at the very time I need it.