Lately it seems that I reach year’s end wondering how the coming one could possibly be worse than its predecessor, and being optimistic about the new one turning out well. Yeah. You really have to commend my optimism and enthusiasm, but note that they have often been mightily misplaced.
Of course, no year is entirely bad, but one that commences with the sort of workplace upheaval attendant upon the CEO’s sudden and unexpected departure – in effect, his simply never returning from annual leave then being replaced by a far less experienced person – is unlikely to progress well; nor did it. Long before the redundancies were announced, staff were already leaving and others of us, of whom I was one, already seeking alternative employment, with all the attendant stress that that entails.
The amount of mistrust, distrust and general ill-will and ill-feeling you deal with in such a workplace climate rapidly wears you down physically and emotionally. I know I’ve said previously how grateful I was to Youngest Aunt for her unfailing support, and I reiterate it now: I wouldn’t have survived without her.
But I did survive, and I survived the job-hunt merry-go-round. It’s true that my new job is a short-term contract position but also true that it is probably likely to be renewed. Reassuring, but really not reassuring at all until I receive confirmation. I know my work ethic and eye for detail are appreciated by my fellow team-members and the section managers, and that they were partly responsible for my being offered the job in the first place. So I’ll blow my own trumpet and say that I have good, high-level skills and – all things considered – I remain a reasonably fast learner so I know I’m pulling my weight in the team.
The funding areas in which I work have the capacity to generate truly positive outcomes, and it’s rewarding to read some of the final reports that come my way. Otherwise? It’s totally disheartening and demoralising to be associated with a government department whose broad umbrella covers some of the most unfair and draconian social programs ever seen in this country. For this dyed-in-the-wool unionist, let me simply say that there are days I feel like the worst sort of class traitor, simply by virtue of that loose association.
YoungB is still enjoying his job, whose intensity will increase in the next week or so as comparison cases start rolling in. When his contract expires next December, there might be some opportunities in another department. He has so far proved himself to be an asset because of his Italian language skills, pleasant manner and his general ability to communicate clearly to a lay audience, the last of which saw him invited to return for one of next year’s annual fundraising gigs. We have to hope that these other skills will be seen as too valuable to lose. We also laugh that they effectively give the lie to a wry comment from YoungB’s Year 12 home group teacher that he would need more than charm and good looks to get on in the world. Ya think?! 😉
We said final farewells to a few elderly friends this year, but all the OS cousins are still with us, so in that respect 2019 wasn’t such a painful year as the few before it. We are all in reasonable health and there have been no medial dramas elsewhere in the family.
In sum, how was 2019? Pretty much the same as every other year: a mix of good and bad; and losing my job was perhaps the real downlight (if that’s the opposite of highlight). If I had to pick one overwhelming positive feature that helped to counter the negativity, it would be the security provided by all sorts of support and assistance from my family and friends. I anticipate that 2020 will have similar ups and downs, but family and friends will remain a constant. Also, there will be some new babies in the family, which will alter the family landscape again in the loveliest way. Christmas 2020 will be a very different experience.
Very best wishes to all of you for 2020, and may it hold lovely new experiences for you, too 🙂