‘So, let me get this right. You sauntered into work without a care in the world and 10 minutes later you were back pounding the pavements after being informed by Mary, Mongo and Midge from the board that you were suddenly surplus to requirement and that technology is now keeping your desk warm?’
The deflated form in front of me nodded and tried to rub the reality of the situation out of his confused eyes
‘They can’t do that, can they? I mean you have a contract, doesn’t that count for anything?’ desperation edged unannounced into my voice
‘Well apparently they can and they have. I’m being made redundant, not sacked. They won’t be allowed to employ anyone in my position though. Last in, first out. A computerised system is now sitting in my chair and drinking my espresso’ he sighed with resignation.
Disbelief sat facing uncertainty, both of us not daring to voice our true concerns. We had bought a flat because of this job, put our son into a private school and made a life for ourselves, made friends; some true, and now it appeared, some false.
‘Well I don’t believe it. They can’t just let you go without prior warning, there must be another reason. Is it because I wouldn’t move my play to accommodate ‘she who must be obeyed’?’
My mind wandered back to a couple of weeks earlier. I had been due to direct ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ at the theatre but my 2020 November slot was being called into question. I’d heard through the Luvvie grapevine that someone higher up the theatrical food chain wanted to rearrange when their play was on so they could appear in their partner’s production. Suddenly I was being ‘requested’ to accommodate. I enquired as to why a newcomer was being given such short shrift when surely new directing talent should be encouraged but I already knew the answer, hence the title of this blog.
Silence echoed around the increasingly claustrophobic lounge. My Tui uniform clung to me like a second skin. Looking down at my name badge I let out an audible sigh and tried to remain positive. At least I had my part time job to keep us afloat, seasonal as it was. I’d just have to make sure that my sales targets remained high so I would be brought back to work next summer. I loved working in the hotel I had been allocated for the season. We had a wonderful and energetic entertainments team that the guests adored and even my reticent team leader had accepted that I was a good addition to the ensemble.
‘So, what are you going to do now?’ I enquired to my weary spouse ‘Do you have to go back in to the theatre to complete any unfinished jobs or is that it, Hasta Luego lighting guy?’
‘I’m afraid that’s it. They don’t need me anymore, I’m officially unemployed. Anyway, it’s been a hell of a morning, I’m going to take a shower then have a lie down, I’ve got a banging headache’ and off he trudged, a shadow of his former optimistic self, confidence annihilated by a group of volunteers playing god.
Injustice raged through my vodka enhanced veins and I slumped down in front of my trusty laptop, exhausted by the change of events in our already uncertain expat lives. Only this time it wasn’t the local authorities making our new life in the sun hard, it was the decisions of people we thought we knew and more importantly, trusted. The other Brits abroad.
Looking at the myriad of untapped letters hovering beneath my fingertips I paused for a moment, tilting my head to make sure that the noisy shower was indeed running. Thoughts cascaded around my brain like the water droplets no doubt drumming over my confused husbands shoulders. Moving to Spain didn’t automatically entitle us all to a Happily Ever After…or did it?
Reaching for the keys without forethought, my impatient fingers took flight, replacing reality with fantasy while allowing creativity to override negativity
‘Once upon a time……’
To be continued…
A New Wife in the Sun is available for proof reading, wedding speeches, radio presenting and anything that involves not having to smile at people for any amount of time.