Monday, 31 December 2001

A Run of Bad Luck

It seems like luck is something that just isn't in my life at this moment in time. Let's take a quick look at things;

    May: Shep, our 15 year old Border Collie, and probably one of the closest companions I have ever had, died. I still miss "everyone's favourite old fart".

    June: Returning to work after a short break in Cornwall, I have a serious accident. I lose my footing while walking past our greenhouse, and my arm goes smashing through a pain of glass. The wound is so bad, when I look at it, I can see my muscle and my bone. I go into a state of shock, and can barely remember anything that happened to me for the next few days, except that my injury almost necessitated a hospital stay, and minor surgery.

    I am later told that, during my first check-up, the Doctor who saw me at the hospital messed up bad. Instead of telling me I should have my first check up with my GP ten days later, it should have been TWO DAYS later. My arm was in a right state. It was caked in blood, and the dressing was falling off.

    I also find out that instead of packing me off to work, because I was suffering from severe shock, I should have had at least a week's complete rest. Even now, I find myself asking people "did I work the next day?", because I honestly don't remember.

    My family, despite being told I had a very nasty accident, ignores me. At a time where I was basically scared to death, when I was suffering from severe shock, and the possibility that I could require surgery because the wound was not healing properly, they ignored me. For the first time in ten years, since the death of my Father, I needed the love and support of the members of my family who do not live with me. And they ignored me. Bouts of depression follow.

    September: Illness follows. My face begins to swell up like a balloon. My brother Paul suspects Mumps, normally a childhood illness, but something I have never suffered from before. A trip to the doctor follows, and reveals that I am suffering from a nasty glandular infection. Still quite nasty but something that requires a week of complete rest. She also tells me that my illness could be stress related.

    That same week, the second of my closest companions, Sam, our 15 year old cat, collapses on the floor in front of me with breathing difficulties. Despite being in no physical condition to do so, I rush Sam over to the Vets. During the examination, the vet tells me that he wants to keep Sam in overnight for observation. He asks me to sign papers saying that I won't hold him responsible for anything that happens to Sam. He gives Sam an injection that would help him breathe.

    Moments later, Sam dies.

    I walk home shattered. I don't remember how I got home.

    November: Three days before my 30th birthday, Shane, my 14 year old Labrador, suffered a massive heart attack, having suffered two minor attacks earlier in the year. Rather than see him suffer, I give my permission to the Vet to send him on his way.

    My last link to my Father is gone, as has my closest ever companion. Shane had been with me since I was 15. I loved Shane with all of my heart, and would have done anything for him, even give my own life for him.

    I am gutted. For four days in a row, I cry when I wake up. I find myself looking at pictures of Shane. Whenever I go out, I don't remember what I've done.

    Late-November: At our weekly staff meetings, Derek, the senior partner, drops another bombshell. At the age of 70, wanting to retire, and with his daughter, Beverley, being unable to run the business on her own, Derek announces that they are selling up. Having given nearly seven, hard working years of my life to them, I feel pissed off, because of an idea I had put forward to Beverley five years ago.

    I told Beverley five years ago that I was very interested in the day-to-day running of the business. I wanted to take a business management course, and asked if they would possibly be interested in sharing the cost of the course, because, in the long run, it would benefit them, because, when Derek retired, I could take on some of his duties. The idea was shot down straight away.

    When Derek told us the news, I began to think back to that moment five years ago. I began to think that if they had gone through with my idea, then Beverley wouldn't be running the business on her own, I could help, and they wouldn't need to sell up.

    That day I was pissed off all day. I was pissed off because they were selling up. I was pissed off with Luigi, Beverley's husband. I was pissed off because, despite being a partner in the business for nearly ten years, he had made no effort to learn about the day to day running of this business, and because of this, Beverley would be left to run the business on her own when Derek retires. I was pissed off because it was Luigi's ineptness that was forcing them to sell.

    That night, I was still pissed off. I began to think about the job offers I had turned down to stay there. I began to think of those times when I would go months without getting any weekends off, because everyone else who worked there was married, and had kids, and wanted to spend time  with their families. I began to think of all the unpaid overtime I had done down the years. I began to think of all the times I had changed my days off for the others there, having to change my plans.

    I actually considered going to Derek's house and handing in my resignation there and then. I have a lot of time and respect for Derek. At a time when no one else would give me a chance, Derek did, and for that I will always be grateful.

    But Derek's plan, that if they didn't sell the business as a going concern in five years, they would close the business down, really pissed me off. Derek could not guarantee that the new owners would keep me on.

    I can understand, perfectly, their reasons for selling the business. But it still annoyed me greatly.

    For the first time in nearly ten years, my future is uncertain. The business may be sold tomorrow. It may be sold in a year. I have no way of knowing what could happen.

    So now I find myself having to look for another job, for another way to pay the bills. It took me years to find a place where I enjoyed the work, where I enjoyed working with the other people there. I have made many friends there over the years, but now, my safe little world seemed to be falling down around my ears.

    I know that the problems that have plagued me this year will seem like nothing compared to the problems of others. It just feels like everything is against me at the moment.

    So what does the future hold for me? I'll let you know once I make it through the mist.