Stephanie Colpron is our hostess for the Tale Weaver Prompt and has given us another topic to get our teeth into.
This week she invites us to share a tale of resilience, of falling and getting back up to see the story through; it might be a grand quest or a project at work or at home… Ours to decide.
First off, I can identify with being made redundant. After twelve and a half years, I was made redundant, as was not only my department, but the entire office as jobs were being transferred elsewhere over a period of time.
It was the first time in my working life that I had been out of work that was not of my choosing. It was not a nice feeling. I felt a reject, unwanted, and old. I was 44.
I tried to sign on at the temp agency that had got me the job in the first place and was told I was the wrong shape for temps they were providing. This knocked my self esteem down another notch, and going to the dole office didn’t make me feel any better.
I qualified for benefit immediately but had to go every two weeks and provide proof I was looking for work or that I had followed up on anything they had provided me the details of.
It was soul destroying………… being out of work and claiming benefit was new to me and I didn’t like it, but writing so many letters and getting one reply in 10 if I was lucky, and one interview in ten replies, it cost me a fortune in stamps for which I had no subsidies or assistance, and more than once Hubby found me in tears as I just didn’t know what to do.
Reasons for not hiring me ranged from my age, my qualifications or lack of them, being over experienced for the job on offer, why consider part time, too old to work under a twenty something supervisor and wages as some could not understand I wanted to work but knew a starting salary wouldn’t be a patch on what I had been earning and so I was prepared to work for less. But they still wouldn’t give me a chance.
I refused to be beaten though, played by the rules of the unemployment office, and put in a complaint about a locum clerk who said
‘My, we have been busy this week, haven’t we?’ when I had sent off over a dozen letters and got absolutely nothing back.
It is bad enough being out of work when you don’t want to be, but for someone who was holding a job to be so sarcastic to someone less fortunate who was trying their damned best, well, I wasn’t having it.
I was out of work for 3 months, and finally landed an interview from the Want Ads on my own. The salary was less than half I’d been earning, and credit control something I’d not done before, though I had experience in purchase and sales ledger. No-one had held the position for about six months and the job was mine for telling a joke (the interviewers were fed up with all the weirdos they’d previously interviewed). Apart from the basics of how the office computer system worked, I was able to mould it to suit my way of working, and within 3 months I’d turned it around, reducing their aged debt report by over 300 pages. Within 6 months, the figures were looking damn good if I may say so, I had a rapport with several of the large companies we supplied to, and more importantly, I got results from practically everyone.
I was given a small increase after 3 months, but my first annual increase was over 10%, so even still nowhere near what I’d been earning before, I felt appreciated for the work I did.
I designed spreadsheets for the major clients that could be sent via email and the Big Boss was over the moon at my analysis of the aged debt report which I’d broken down by branch, percentages to the whole, and the overall picture for the company.
One customer travelled over 200 miles to come and meet me just to put a face to the name and voice at the end of the phone. I had only been doing my job but understood his circumstances, and having cleared it with my manager first, we were able to let him trade on a sale or return basis over the long holiday and he never missed a payment thereafter.
I was good at my job, sympathetic to the little guy trying to make a living, and wouldn’t let the big guns pull the wool over my eyes.
It was funny, but over two years after I started they found my initial email with my CV attached. It had never been opened because they didn’t know what it was. I wonder if they would have employed me had they read it?
Haha, they never opened it? Well good for you for being persistent and strong. I have to try and find a job now…it isn’t much fun. David was sad to have to leave his job when he enjoyed it, to come down to Florida with me, so he has to look too. It is tiring but you have a good motivational story!
Keep positive. Good luck in the hunt.
wow! thats great Di! I know you were a fantastic worker, you have that way about you, you are a good numbers cruncher! Xx
You are a strong woman who knows her worth 😊
Long time ago now.
Have you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Big Magic? This reminds me of how she had turned in a story to an editor before she was a top selling author and it was rejected. Years later she turned it in again to the same editor and it was accepted with glowing review. Time can never tell how a situation might change!
Not a book or author I’m familiar with I’m afraid. Thanks for commenting.
Good work finds appreciation sooner or later.