All around me everyone at RPS towers is getting ready for work or school. Hustle and bustle. I didn’t know we had so many hair driers. It’s like being under a flight path at an airport. Still, all the activity prods me into new-Year life.
Strangely, I am quite busy at work with all sorts of tasks labelled ‘ … and before you go.’ In another life and at another time I would, of course, have given these my unwavering attention and focus. Just now? Well, it’s safe to say I’ll do my best in the circumstances.
Since the autumn I’ve felt a little like the astronauts in Apollo 13. As their crippled space ship dragged itself back towards Earth. Each day the destination point of their journey getting bigger in the spacecraft’s window until it’s immensity becomes overpowering. My R-Day is now filling my consciousness almost entirely.
But at least I have had some adjustment time for my re-entry into the jobs market. I know many people haven’t had that. And, of course, a lot of the communication about redundancies in the public sector gets done via megaphones in the media. It’s all hugely unsettling even for folks who will get to keep their jobs.
From what I know. From the conversations I’ve been having with colleagues across various public sector organisations there’s a sense of foreboding. I caught some talking heads on Newsnight last night. Much of the language was very curious. They talked as though the spending decisions in CSR2010 had actually happened. Making the old mistake of believing that a ministerial announcement equates to implementation.
Those of us in the real world know how untrue that assumption is. It’s true that for many of us the pain has already begun. But across public services the impact of the government’s plans has yet to be felt. I feel for everyone who has yet to take the journey we are on.
But there’s much to be done both at work and in my Operation OASIS. Rending my clothes, anointing my head with ashes and crying out in the market place against my fate is not a productive use of my time. Unless, of course, the Arts Council has any money left to support some street theatre in which case – like England – its ‘I have ashes, will travel.’
Today then I am sorting out a series of appointments to help with the elements of my planning for a life after 28 February. My task for today is to sketch out a business plan for RPS Inc. How will we generate some income once my current employment ends? We have several ideas on this which all need some research to see how viable they are.
I saw a story yesterday in which the PM announced a shake up in how support would be offered to entrepreneurs. My heart sank. Great, I thought, the middle of a public sector recession costing hundreds of thousands of jobs is just the moment I would also chose to ‘tweak’ support arrangements for business start-ups. My task for today is to find out what this means for me in trying to get any support right now.
There’s a lot to do and only 53 days left to go. I’ll let you know how I get on.