Illegitimi Non Carborundum

February 4, 2008 at 2:18 pm 1 comment

Illegitimi Non Carborundum 


Wednesday this week was cathartic. No, I do not mean that I spent a lot of time on the loo purging my bowels. No, I meant rather in the sense of being emotionally purging. For, this was the day that I left my employer of 20 years, having been put on gardening leave for the sin of finding employment with a competitor company. 

The day started much as any other work day. The alarm went off. I came downstairs and made a fuss of Maslow, the furball baby, and fed him. I showered. I donned suit. I grabbed my laptop bag, mobile and wallet, said goodbye to C, and headed for the door. 

It being October, and, therefore, the “grey period” weather-wise for the North West of England (it lasts from about September through May!) and it was minus 2 degrees, with a thick layer of ice (or rather frozen dirt – the car needs a wash) on the windscreen. Having de-iced, I wound my way through the gloom and not-so-leafy (it’s Autumn) lanes of Cheshire, to the office in Shameless (see earlier posting) where I have been based for the last fourteen years. 

At the weekend I had signed a new contract of employment with a new company, to start in December. This was a huge, huge, huge, huge (it was huge!) relief as I am being made redundant and due to leave my present company at the end of November. I informed my boss on Monday and on Tuesday got the call to say I was being sent home on paid leave. This was not as dramatic as it may have been. I was not under any immediate suspicion of having stolen the company’s crown jewels, commercial secrets, customer database and intellectual property. At least I don’t think that I was. At least my boss said that I wasn’t. In any case, I was not frog-marched from the building carrying my wife’s photo and a potted plant, flanked by burly security guards.

No, it was a lot more civilised than that. Thankfully. On Wednesday morning I cleared my desk. It has never been so tidy. I cleared my half of the cupboard which I shared with a colleague. I cleared my pedestal drawers. I threw away all of the absolutely essential files and folders that I had been hoarding over the years, filling one of the huge blue, plastic, recycling bins. 

I was left with very little to show for my twenty years of dedicated service – an Oxford Gem dictionary, a calculator, a photograph of my wife, a couple of books on management style and “The Business Skills of Adolph Hitler and Gerald Ratner” and the like. Just one small bag and a single trip to the car was enough to see me moved out. Moved on. Expunged. 

I cleaned out my email and set my final “Out of Office“ message. I undiverted my desk phone, and took my final supper, my very last meal with the Ladies Who Lunch (see previous posting). It was quite emotional. Not because of the food, but the finality and suddenness of the act of farewell. The girls were on good form and trying to buoy me along with the odd joke, the occasional reminiscence, and the latest from the X-Factor. But, there was a sincere affection, both ways, in the hug and peck on cheek as we parted outside of Shameless’ bingo hall. I will miss those girls. 

And so, I sent a final farewell-email to my closest colleagues and work friends, before packing up my PC and handing over my laptop. I had a lovely kiss and a cuddle with the girls in the office (thus discovering how Vanessa got her stripper name on, and handed my security badge in at reception. 

And there I was gone. I drove home through the gloom with a tear in my eye and a feeling of……..deflation, anti-climax, and, wondering what I will do with myself for the next five weeks. I would like to thank all of those former-colleagues that have sent me emails and kind thoughts. Please do stay in touch. I will miss you all. And, for those of you who haven’t sent emails or kind thoughts…….shame on you! I wish you all good luck, success, health and happiness. And, to all, but especially my Ladies Who Lunch, remember the motto: illegitimi non carborundum!   


Entry filed under: Economy, wythenshawe. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Don’t Look Under The Bed Mid-Life Crisis

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Middle Man  |  June 17, 2008 at 9:40 am

    It seems that the meaning of “illegitimi non carborundum” is lost on some of you. Roughly translated it means “don’t let the bastards grind you down” and it is the unofficial motto of the Royal Marines.



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