D-Day was yesterday.
Twenty-one terrific people lost their jobs. Their individual stories would break your heart. Fiona has a gorgeous one year old who looks exactly like her. Tony’s partner is pregnant, as is Marcos’s wife. Eoin has been with the company for years, whereas Brendan gave up another job to come here just eight weeks ago. Luka is Croatian, and won’t be able to stay here if he doesn’t have another job by May.
Dear, sweet Mary (TallNeuroticGirl to readers of this blog) left in the same blaze of energy with which she does everything. The only person on earth to be able to get sound out of a ‘silent’ keyboard (she’s had it less than a year, and half the letters are worn away) rushed about, tidying this and forwarding that, all the time keeping up a stream of chatter, asking me to make sure that this person was OK or that person was looked after. The office is a lot quieter today, though that would have been the case even if she were the only one to go.
And my great friend BlondieBird is going as well.
We all expected it, her section was the one most likely to be gutted, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
I’ll miss her lovely, and genuine, smile when she’d say hello in the morning. I’ll miss the amazing sandwiches that she’d construct for herself at lunchtime, using tomatoes, cucumber, ham slices, cheese, sometimes rashers or sausages left over from her breakfast, all brought in from home individually wrapped in cling film. I’ll miss her astonishing mutliple sneezes – five, six, maybe ten little explosions with a “chooscuseme” at the end, which was how you knew she was finished & could say “bless you”.
Most of all, though, I’ll just miss her. She became a really close friend of mine, even though she’s twenty-four years younger (I accused her once of fancying me, and she snorted and said “maybe if you were twenty years younger”. “You’d think the ‘twenty years younger’ would be the most hurtful part of that sentence,” I told her in reply, “but actually it’s the ‘maybe’.”). When I was suffering the blackouts she’d make me text her every evening to let her know I’d got home safely.
She and GoldenEyes became really great friends, to the extent that they socialise together outside work as well, and GE was even more devastated than I was.
And today BB’s gone off to sign on the dole. She says she’s planning to turn up there in a hoodie and pyjama bottoms.
One last story about her. As I’ve said before, at Christmas she got her blonde hair dyed a sort of plum colour. Recently I heard her on the phone talking to someone about their website. “It says ‘clink on the link’ to move to the next section, but there’s no link,” she said. Then I heard her say “oh, that link there, I see. Thank you.” She hung up the phone and I heard her sigh and then mutter “I’m still blonde”.
That’s my friend. That’s Jenny.