In March of last year I found out that teaching is no longer a profession in which you are safe when there are cuts – in this current climate there appears to be no one who is safe.
I was given a notice of redundancy in October and worked out my notice in complete and utter turmoil. This was due to a number of reasons, the obvious financial pressures but also because of ‘promises’ of a contract extension.
I am currently in limbo that’s the best way it can be described. My contract extension is sat on a desk waiting to be signed off by someone on leave and it has been sat there since December. In theory this sounds good – it will all be resolved surely? However, it is a race against time as if I am removed from payroll before the contract is signed I then become officially redundant.
I suppose perhaps naively that I expected there to be more humanity in all of this, the fact that people have the power to employ or destroy based on one signature seems somehow cold.
In a way it has got me thinking about how I treat those around me and how important compassion and empathy are. This is why tonight I will travel to my uncle’s funeral in convoy with my stepmother and represent the southern contingent of the family. The extra complexity stems from the fact my grandmother is too ill to travel and therefore part of the family will stay with her down south.
The dysfunctional nature of my family has often been something I have struggled with – the Mary Poppins fly a kite moment has never quite transpired. However, being treated so clinically and coldly by my employers has reminded me that despite how dysfunctional a family may be underneath, even if it seems buried, there is love, kindness, compassion and a desire to connect.
I want to make sure that I don’t become cold, that I don’t get to a point where I dismiss people without a second thought and going through the threat of redundancy has only served to drive this home to me all the more.
Life is hard, families are difficult, it can wear us down.
Don’t lose the beauty of the your humanness.