Well it’s very much the final run in here at RPS Towers. A strange calm has settled over us. I suppose in classic grief cycle terms we’re at acceptance or more accurately resignation. No amount of hooting or hollering will change the fact that my time with my current employer has almost run its course.
In fact the few – very few – remaining work commitments are a bit of a pain getting in the way, as they do, of making significant progress on some projects that have got me really fired up. But, like my many colleagues around me we’ll keep our professional ends up.
The last few days have been interesting though in that discussions with folks about my plans for 1 March onwards have taken on a more concrete form. Plans are being drafted. Schemes hatched. Coffee and Danish consumed.
No vast riches are, as yet, flowing in but in my most hopeful moments I can see opportunities arising to do all sorts of things I have put off or dismissed as unfeasible or been prevented from getting involved in ex officio.
Quite a lot of my thoughts and conversations now often have a moment when the words ‘well I never thought this is where I would be’ get uttered or flash across my mind’s eye. I’ve tried to chronicle the many weirdnesses as the weeks and months have worn on.
In the beginning I felt, more often than not, that my redundancy was happening to some other person. RPS yes, but RPS playing a version of RPS. Like Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip. It was all unreal.
The real me has been doing the things I’ve done for years: manage staff; attend meetings; draft reports; and, liaise with other organisations. While all the time the shadow me has been living this other life of redundancy consultations, job applications and churning terror in the still quiet hours of contemplation.
Gradually though the two ‘mes’ have come together. As the shadow me got busier the real me got less and less to do. It’s been as though the real me, the one in a this present job got less and less real. The routine demands of that world have had progressively smaller traction on me, my energy and imagination.
In all it has been a strange journey. One that I had never thought to take. Of course I’ve analysed and re-analysed the many hundreds of different decisions I took that led me to this place. But the simple truth is that I, like many public servants, was in the way of a radically different vision of the scope and size of the state.
Well, I’ll soon be out of the way in my particular sphere and free to chase other ideas and dreams. I take a little comfort in remembering that being a little lost sometimes takes you to experiences that you would never have found on a map. The hour I spent watching golden eagles below Sgurr nan Coireachan in Glen Finnan would never have happened without a navigational error.
Navigational error? Now there’s a strapline that sums up my career to date …