16 February 2009 – a visitor



Alfie turned up on my doorstep this morning.

“I thought you’d been abducted by aliens,” she said, narrowing her eyes and looking me up and down. “You look like shit.”

“Thanks,” she was probably right. I don’t think I suit the unwashed, no make up and dirty pyjamas look.

“So, why haven’t you been answering your phone? Was it something I said?”

“I’ve been a bit…” I felt tears coming to my eyes.

“It’s OK, I was worried that’s all. Joe was worried too, he’s been calling you about once an hour.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No worries. He was only calling to ask if you could help him with his route. You know how useless he is? He phoned me yesterday because he was lost in Oxford, he followed the sat nav directions and ended up in a field.” For the first time in over a week I laughed. He does that about once a month in the exact same place. I’ve lost count of the times he’s phoned me in a panic from that field in Oxford. Bless his heart. “Seriously, he’s as worried about you as I am.”

“I think I’m going to be OK now.” I told her. Over coffee, I explained what I’d found out and my plans to fight the redundancy. She didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm though. To be honest, she sounds like she’s quite pleased about the whole thing. All she talked about was how much money she was going to get, she’s worked it all out. It’s like she’s forgotten she won’t have a job or an income and that money won’t pay her mortgage for long.

“I guess you don’t know about Mary either,” she said, once she’d stopped telling me what she was going to buy with her redundancy pay out. “She went back in to work on Monday as if nothing had happened. Just sat down at her desk and started working. Pat had to force her to leave. She came back on Tuesday too but they disabled her key pass so she couldn’t get in. She stood outside crying for ages and Pat had to go out and drive her home. Apparently Pat had a word with her husband. She hadn’t even told him.”

And I thought I was bad. Poor Mary.

Alfie said they are outsourcing marketing and customer services to outside companies, they’ve cut four people in reservations two from administration, one of the contractors and one of the IT guys, the one who deals with the web site. The web site is going to the same company that’s taking over marketing. I can’t see how outside agencies can work. Joe and Zac, the two Southern reps are looking for new jobs. Joe thinks the place is going bust and we should take the money and run. I can’t see it myself, Robert is loaded, he’s got several other companies but Dream Factory has always been his special baby. I’m sure he’d close the others before he let us go.


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