Saturday, 23 March 2013

327: Spread Your Wings

Look at it as an opportunity, they said.  A chance for a new start, try new things and spread your wings.  It’ll be for the best, you’ll see.

Angie didn't see it like that.  The letter had arrived in Saturday’s post, a buff envelope holding the decision that would change her life.  She recognized the header before she opened the letter fully and sat staring at it whilst her breakfast went cold.  We’ll be in touch to arrange a meeting, they’d said, but instead of a date there was just the end.

Twelve years they’d had from her.  Getting up early, staying late, odd weekends morphing into most weekends, extra duties, pay freezes, increments next year, no promotions and all along she’d done whatever they asked.  She’d even lost her health when they announced that stupid multi-site merger.

As she applied for her own job, she realized following the company line meant she had little to back up her application.  Large chunks of white paper stared back at her as she struggled to find examples of using her own initiative or times she’d implemented a new policy.  Maybe willingness to be a company doormat would count for something.

The interview had been predictable as soon as she saw the pinstripes on the suits on both panel members and other applicants.  Angie had worn her smartest dress and matching cardy and felt like a maiden aunt sat amongst the thrusting young executives.  None were a day over 30, all stood a better chance than her.

They were very sorry, couldn't keep all the staff, appreciated she’d be disappointed.  She stopped reading when the platitudes made her screw up the letter into a tiny ball and toss it into the waste bin.  When she retrieved it and smoothed it out, the word ‘wings’ was the only one that caught her eye.  How could a meagre redundancy payment help her spread her wings when it was the company had done so much to clip them in the first place.

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