Feb 12, 2021: Hellish

Today has been, for Carole, hellish.

I think hellish is a good word for it. I had to do an emergency cheering Just Eat order for lunch, just to make the day better. And I do not do these things lightly.

Last night, she got an email about a meeting this morning at work. Previously at work, there has been talk of changes.

These two things combined lead to worry, upset, misery and the general human urge to speculate wildly about what a meeting could contain.

But, on the whole, she seemed to be okay about everything. And upbeat. And positive. And whatever else.

Then she couldn’t sleep. Which wasn’t good. But she did get to enjoy the nocturnal child next door running up and down the stairs at 4am, so that was fun. And so did I, to be honest, because Carole quietly coming downstairs to sleep on the couch is not as quiet as she might think it is.

And then it was hours until the meeting and she was flapping a bit and went for a walk to clear her head and probably opened most of the windows in the house as well (it’s what she does, it’s how I know if she’s doing well or not). One thing she did not do was feed Peppa. But she rarely does that, so you can’t take that as a sign.

Then she had a meeting which boiled down to “you will receive an email telling you if you are keeping your job or not.”

And then there was a freakin’ massive wait for an email and it was awful. Awful. I hung out with her and tried to distract her from everything with, you know, all the fun things I do because I’m so fun. And we looked out of the window of her office a lot, and we waited some more. And I distracted her with more fun things and a teeny bit of tidying up/organising. And stuff.

And then her email came.


She’s safe. That’s good.

A lot of her friends are not safe. That’s bad.

But, selfishly, it’s good on our end.

But it was awful. I mean, redundancies via Zoom is the new breaking up by text, surely. It’s an absolutely wanky thing to do whichever way you slice it. I mean, when I was made redundant I took Exploding Kittens in to work and we played it in the kitchen until we were called in for our individual meetings but at least we actually had each other to talk to or cry on each other’s shoulders or explode kittens with. Carole was in a room on her own – well, she had me but on her own in terms of work colleagues – and it was frankly horseshit.

And who does that sort of thing and doesn’t already have the emails set to go on a timer delay?

It was utter shit to watch it unfold, and in some cases the lack of support and communication was staggering.

But I’m also glad that I was around for her – in some ways, it was nice to be here when everything unfurled rather than being at the end of a phone when things got announced in an office environment. Ready to say things like, “Well, it’s just as well we didn’t just spend a load of money on a new car!” and other helpful zingers.

But still, we had a Burger King lunch and that was really nice.

Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.

She had a kids meal. She got stickers, for goodness sake.