Darker days ahead


A colleague of mine accidentally sent a document to an office printer while she was at home. It was late at night when she did that and being a part-timer, she wasn’t going to come in the next day. So, she texted and then emailed me – knowing I’m often the first person in the office, usually just before 7am. I saw her text and email the following morning and when I got in, I promptly picked the document up and tore it up before throwing it into a secured bin. She was anxious about not having that document sitting around. It was her resume.

A little while after she got into the office that morning, she asked if we could have a private chat. She confided in me that as expected, she found something else and would be moving on.

I wasn’t completely surprised of course and as we chatted for a little while, it pulled into focus for me, that my employer continues to tether on an edge. A recent ASX announcement continued to paint a gloomy picture as it reported a 3rd or 4th successive loss, with the intrinsic value (NTA actually) slashed yet again, reduced by another 50% or so. By all accounts, it is a company needing drastic action soon. Either a takeover or an M&A appears to be its only option. With such a course, employees are always fully exposed, as I know only too well. I have been through at least two jobs which subjected me to such vagaries.

So a couple of days after that, after a team meeting which was rescheduled for later that day, that colleague met my boss personally to deliver the news. What surprised me more, was when I found out the next day, that another colleague had also decided to up stumps. That other colleague is a younger person who has allowed the travelling bug to remain resident in her system. She had gone to Canada for a holiday in the third quarter of last year. She must have liked the place a lot. Her resignation was triggered by her being granted a working visa in Canada. She’d be leaving soon after Easter. So the first working day after easter, half the legal team would see their career resurrected elsewhere, leaving the remainder half – my boss and I – to try our best to make the empty tomb look less empty. So to speak.

I was saying to Tress over the weekend, that I have started to be afraid of what’s in store at work. I’m just scared the increased workload would be such a turn off that my heads down bums up mentality would take a turn for the worse. They say the battle is half won with the right mentality. Conversely I guess, with a fear that comes with the loss of half the team’s capacity, the battle is probably more than doubled. It would I believe, feel like we’d be pushing the boulder up a somewhat steep slope.

In any event, the weekend was wonderful, my debilitating cold and cough notwithstanding. We went out to my favourite local Italian for dinner on Friday and then went home for an early night. I had left work a little earlier to get a prescription from the doctor, for something to help me sleep better. The concoction was very effective as I collapsed into a heap very soon after downing the linctus codeine.

I sent t he MX5 in for a service on Sat morning, before doing some grocery shopping and lunch, after which it was work on the greens. I edged and line trimmed, mowed and swept, and washed the wagon. Then it was another linctus codeine affected early night. The next day, after St Alf’s Tress and I trekked into the city to catch an iconic Italian cars show on Lygon Street. The rows of prancing horses and other equally exotic Italian vehicles stirred the passion so and after a bite of gelato in the famously Italian precinct of Carlton/Brunswick, we caught some lunch near the QV market before wandering through the market and then we headed home.

It was the third consecutive weekends Tress and I had trekked into the city. Last weekend it was to catch up with some old friends from Uni, who had visited from Cairns. It was really good to talk and really catch up with what has been happening with each other’s lives – swapping tales of our “kids” and where they seem to be heading in their lives.

Back home, we walked the little man, I cooked and Tress ironed, and then it was yet another linctus codeine induced early night. I get how the government thinks that stuff can become addictive and made codeine a prescription-only help.

I got in this morning and went to work straight away, dealing with the half a dozen or so of emails I had seen over the weekend but decided to only read them in detail when I get in.

So as we started the new season, just on two months into the new year, I have lost 4 colleagues with whom I work well, and whom I like. Last Friday a sales guy left. He was one of the more intelligent, decent and fair dinkum guys around. Another – a head of distribution sort of a guy – is probably half way into his notice period, and these team members who are smart, suave and classy lawyers (one even hails from Melbourne’s blue blood – father a senior judiciary person and all that). It’d be a (another) long week and I wonder what is to become of the next few months at work.

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