I am told my maternity cover contract will not be renewed on 29th March. Someone else was marginally better, according to HR scoring system, than me, even though I had been trained in the job for six months (a little bitter? yes!) 1% difference. Was it worse to be so close or affirming that I nearly got it? I still haven't decided.
Ok. Cliche time! The world does stop. The floor does drop from beneath my feet. My legs do turn to jelly. My heart does skip a beat.
I am sent home, a drive I know I won't have to do many more times. I won't miss the tram plant traffic or the
SOUNDTRACK: Devendra Banhart weirdness and Ben Folds Five piano genius
I have been a Laboratory Assistant (spreading sputum on plates), a Medical Receptionist (taking semen pots from shy men), an Admissions Officer, Post Mortem secretary and worked in Student Welfare.
On arriving home I check the website of the company I have continued to return to, for seventeen years of employment. This company is all I have known of the job world and is automatically the place I return to.
I scan some agency sites. Nothing tempting.
At The Parlour, a slow pint of something with a daft name and Danny Baker's autobiography "Going to sea in a sieve". How I feel, at this moment, but my concentration is poor and I have to re-read it all again at bedtime.
I plan out my ideal week, the PA in me leaves little space for the spontaneity other parts of me may require.
I make concrete plans with the cafe for writing workshops I was tentatively setting up.
Within a few days I decide to quickly expand this and have now made enquiries in several different regions. I contact venues, secure a creche, design flyers and posters, update my website, social networking and other online forums. I write my first blog in three months.
Also, I have secured 14 hours work from home, employed by a neighbour's company, without the cost of petrol and 9 traffic hours and I will have an extra couple of afternoons with Frank. Within three days things are looking promising.
The Belle and Sebastian pop mope is becoming quieter and is now outside my head. Booker T and the MGs are doing something amazing with my car speakers and the world is suddenly wider.
After an early morning Zumba Boost, I revel in Frank's energy and courage at Head over Heels, a soft play area and leave some flyers on the counter and my heart half way down a slide into an unknown life. my one moment of unadulterated joy this week: a multi-drop slide, like the ones at Alton Towers in 1984 (but without the wicker bag with handles - I can still feel the joy associated with holding these mats in one hand and a cold railing in the other, waiting my turn!)
Watch this space: it will be full and new and scary and surprising and I will grasp opportunities by the ears and make things happen.