In which I consider hibernation as an option …

Like many places in the UK this morning we’re waking up to a landscape in a deep, cold slumber. Like many we’re rationing our use of the oil in the tank as prices have rocketed. So it’s an effort to get up to slip into layers of fleece and my Bob Crachitt fingerless mitts.

But fleece is always comforting. As the great artist John Shuttleworth once observed,

‘You’ll always be at peace, when you’re in your fleece …’

All these cold thoughts and the decreasing volume of activity in the recruitment market has prompted me to consider how I should be spending my time over the next few weeks. Is hibernation really an option?

Once I’ve consumed all the Christmas goodies surely it should be possible to nod off during The Queen and wake refreshed and ready for action sometime towards the end of January? The upsides are obvious.

Asleep, I miss the sales that Mrs RPS has already instituted a ban on. I miss looking through my now empty work diary for the New Year. I may miss some melancholy farewells as friends and colleagues continue to leave before they’re pushed. I’ll miss whatever new nonsense emerges from higher up the food chain. I’ll miss the anxious scanning of job boards in my ongoing search for relevance.

Yes, there are many reasons why hibernation feels so attractive right now. Sadly, if we were ever programmed to work like that I have lost that piece of software code. After six hours I’m awake even if I don’t want to be.

So if hibernation isn’t an option I got to wondering if any other ‘-ions’ were.

Substitut-ion? Where, like in the Prince and the Pauper I swap places with a member of the royal family to whom I bear an uncanny resemblance. Watch out Princess Anne!

Re-educat-ion? Where I retrain in a trade, profession, craft or sullen art that’s high in demand in our new Big Society. Watch out for Citoyen RPS community activist and pain in the arse.

Emigrat-ion? Where the RPS family find a country that will have them and leave …

Not so funny that option really. At a Christmas drinks do last week a few of us in the ‘Dead Pool’ got reminiscing about the last economic crisis that we remember with fondness. The early 1990s. Most of us were at the start of our professional and married lives back then.

And what emerged was that almost all of us had considered going. We looked at the economic and social wreckage around us – hailed by many as a success – and wondered what there was to keep us here.

Each of us decided for oddly similar reasons to stay. We thought there was every chance of helping to rebuild a country that was economically successful and just. So here we are 20 years later thinking those choices may not have been that wise.

Our conversation soon turned to our children, as we rapidly discounted our chances of making it abroad, it became obvious that we were beginning to have similar conversations with our off-spring.

‘Why stay?’ I don’t know that I have a convincing argument beyond ties of family and history to keep my children here. Do you?

In the meantime, given the weather right now, I am actively considering following the excellent advice of Mr Simpson and finding me a relevant franchise.

About redundantpublicservant

A redundant UK public servant looking for work, sharing his experiences and providing a space for others to do the same.
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9 Responses to In which I consider hibernation as an option …

  1. A says:

    Careful… Her Royal Horsiness will have you beheaded.

  2. Mean Mr Mustard says:


    Though batteries tend to fail in the cold, it is a chance to recharge. Sleep longer, and maybe go for some long bracing walks around your Wessex locale? It will declutter your thoughts.

    And then reorganise – though at a measured pace. As an official ‘idle benefit scrounger’ myself, I am legally obliged to continue actively searching for gainful employment, and dutifully record my activities for review with a (so far always friendly) Civil Servant. Often they are on a short term contract themselves, and thus likely to very soon be joining us amongst the ranks of we redundified. I don’t mind the discipline which signing on engenders – they have told me I need not bother between Xmas and New Year – but I have to remain active.

    So, applying for jobs which close on 22 Dec.
    Then out for walks, weather permitting.
    Another careful scrutiny of the CV. With an extra page to include all ‘secondary attributes’, ready to integrate and launch inside twenty minutes if needed.
    Construction of Hybrid CV Version 1.
    A review of all the paperwork I have gathered from seminars, briefings and individual discussions, lots of websites and resources not yet investigated.
    Registering for an 2011 OU course – one which I will be able to fit around any full time employment that may come my way.
    Signing up for job alerts with the various larger employers who have their own Human Remains Depts, even if there’s nothing currently listed.
    Finish reading ‘What Colour Is Your Parachute?’
    Getting quality prints of the Functional CV prepared, ready for an Agency blitz in person in the New Year, in two separate nearby towns.
    I attend a ‘back to business’ club in one town, and will investigate the one in the other.

    And just maybe, add more than my name and email addy to my empty LinkedIn account. Though it really didn’t look like so much fun over there.

  3. Troodles says:

    Hibernation sounds just the ticket. Been trying for two days to apply for a job, but technology is determined to stop me. Main PC keeps crashing after 45 seconds and laptop has decided to lose word (or the link to xp on main PC) so I cannot update my CV. I’ve tried every googled tip from helpful people in the same boat, but going to have to call in the geeks. Perhaps it wasn’t the job for me anyway.

    Happy Christmas

    • Dear Troodles,

      Sounds like a nightmare. I recently had the experience of fannying around with an on-line system which seemed designed solely for the purpose of preventing candidates from successfully applying.


      Chin up


      • Mean Mr Mustard says:

        Yes – the hopeless Royal Mail site that redirects password resets to unrecognised urls. And a helpdesk that doesn’t. So, that rules out that career option, though I hear their prospects and industrial relations aren’t so good anyway.

        If an employer can’t / won’t handle job applications properly, would you want to work for them anyway?

  4. Offtheconveyor says:

    Hello RPS! May I suggest the following – ions?

    Libat-ion. Alcoholic of course for medicinal purposes. Maybe followed by a periond of abstent-ion?

    Procrastinat -ion. Practice the art of being busy doing nothing whilst still having something to do – you fill the time today and you still have to do whatever it is tomorrow. Otherwise you do it today and are bored tomorrow. Others may call this displacement activity.

    Practised in equal measures, this might get you through the festive season until the UK gets back to some sort of normality.


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