He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.


Well, that’s it. Today, I prepared my handover for my successor, handed over my keys and left my job. As of now, I am redundant, unemployed or one of the jobless masses - whatever you choose to call me. I’ll be looking back at this point in three months and considering it as either the pivotal act that changed my working life, or the one that commenced my demise - only the next couple of months will tell.

Unlike some of my peers who have recently left, I guess you could say I did a relatively low-key departure. Showy is not me. I didn’t do a final tour of the working-floor like a foreign dignitary, I didn’t have a leaving “do”, where members of the clique-erati were made to feel inadequate and outcast by their absence and I didn’t immediately expect everyone to repeatedly examine my facebook page - to hang on my every breath and see whether I’d farted that day.

I just said,“goodbye” and left.

And I feel I left with dignity.

That’s not to say that I didn’t wave farewell to people in my own way. In fact, it was more gratifying that people hunted me down and said their goodbyes, people who appeared to be genuinely sad to see me go. I’ll be sad to leave some of those people behind too. As always. amongst the rough, there’s diamonds.

But most gratifying of all was the sheer quantity of little gifts and cards I received - to the point of embarrassment. I was so preoccupied with staying professional and doing a good job right up to the end that I was too busy to write a single card. For this reason, I feel genuine guilt. I saw the great efforts that many had gone to, along with the generosity that they demonstrated. When I read the cards, I saw that people had written little letters in there, telling me how I was “caring, yet professional”, “a pleasure to work with”, and how I’d kept them on the strait and narrow. More complimentary things have been said in my final week than in the seven years previous. The genuine feelings of fond affection from those I managed went towards endorsing something, namely the feeling that I must have got it right somewhere. People management isn’t easy. Everyone’s got a story about a manager who was an arsehole.

I knew that this day would come just over three months ago - meaning that I’ve had a lot of time to mentally prepare. I’m just a little bit sad, but still me - if that makes any sense. I’m at the acceptance stage. In a couple of weeks, I’ll go on my driving trip - and when I return, I’ll hopefully be a step closer to employment. At the moment, I believe that I’ve done the right thing. The company that I worked for is so precariously on the edge of oblivion that my package is the best a normal person could hope for.

And if it’s not and I’m regretting my words in three months, then stuff will occur, things will move on and shit will inevitably happen.

But in the meantime, it’s time to move on. It’s time to enjoy Christmas.

Road Trip, Part 2

Once Christmas is out of the way (in fifty-three days time, if you didn’t know), the job market will probably be non-existent - so it seems fitting to take a couple of weeks out. With the wonder of the internet, I can pretty much make my job applications from anywhere (made easy by acquiring some very cheap mobile-broadband), so I may as well take a trip and enjoy my time off.

Having taken a road-trip back in May (a thoroughly enjoyable experience), I feel it’s time for another, albeit on a significantly tighter budget. I’ll be taking my own car and having a long plod around Europe. Again, the intended distance is likely to be about 2,000 miles.

I’m getting a plan together. As you might have gathered from my previous trip, one must always have a plan. Plans are good and fun to make - even if you toss them out of the window on arrival. So, here’s mine so far:

1) I’ll start by taking the Harwich to Esbjerg (Denmark) ferry and do a near-circular route through Denmark, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Luxembourg - probably coming back via the chunnel in France, although I’ve not booked a return journey yet - just in case I get a prompt interview.
2) I’ll head down through the fjord region of south-east Denmark. Are Danish fjords like Norwegian ones?
3) I’ll find an autobahn in Germany that’ll let me legally drive my roadster to its speed-limit (about 120mph).
4) I intend to do a circuit of the Nurburgring, although possibly not at the speed that many others do.
5) I’d like to see the snowy mountain ranges of Interlaken (Switzerland). A quick search on google-images brings up some amazing views.

I’d also like to pay a visit to some of the smaller, lesser-visited areas of Europe - in particular, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. Some of the photography of Liechtenstein that I’ve seen looks amazing. Maybe I just like snow-capped mountains.

Stopping along supermarkets along the way and staying in youth-hostels, I believe I can do the entire trip on a shoestring. It’ll be a good challenge, anyway. Job-hunting never seemed so civilised...