It's not been a very good week this end.
WHEN I went in to work after what HAD been my longest break in 15 years, the remaining lad (1 got the shove on last Friday apparently) and I were called in for a chat with the boss.
To cut a long story short, he's decided to roll back the restorations business to "just a hobby" and as such Gav and I were told we're going to be made redundant... oddly enough, just that morning had his 16 year old nephew come to work with us... ... ...
Now OK, our longer term plan had always been to both quit our jobs and (after our year off exploring the system) begin running the boat as a hotel boat (if you've been reading this since the start you might have already picked this up). NOT a luxury wait on you hand and foot boat - more of a 'come and spend a while living on the canal with us and meet the people, see the sights and chill kind of affair.
It still smarts a bit though that after 15 years as of next Wednesday that will be it - ODDLY enough Thursday is when I have my first hand operation and would otherwise have commenced a 12 week period of sickness absence whilst they recover... TIMING wise, I think it's been done now because you can't make someone redundant whilst they're on sick leave.
On this occasion, I was able to follow my own advice and respond NOT react... given that giving folks the push isn't an easy thing to do, I merely said that I think it was the right decision for the business - it's always been a money pit anyway... and assuming a fair redundancy settlement is reached, I'll walk away with good grace.... it doesn't look like a decent settlement will be reached however as he's been quoting the statutory minimum payouts - which are frankly quite poor as they are capped at 489 per week and I earn a fair bit more than that... ADD to it the timing (it's not actually 15 years until October, it'll round down to 14 years.
I'm disappointed in the way it's been done.
THAT said, on the plus side - given we had planned to resign and expected to walk away with NOTHING other than what we'd have saved, it will be money for nothing I suppose.
WHAT it does mean however is that we'll need to push on and begin trading a year earlier than we'd planned to - I mean, who is going to employ me with 2 unusable hands for the foreseeable future anyway? .
As soon as the worst of my hand pain is over, I'll have to begin making the subtle changes to the boat so we can separate the dinette (aka crew quarters) off from the main cabin a bit more securely and get around to building a proper website - I'd registered the Narrowboatellis.com domain a few years ago in preparation and just published a temporary holding page with a get in touch box.
It means we'll have to give some proper thought into planning a rough route/schedule where we'd like to cruise, along with some kind of on-line booking function... not to mention google adwords so it comes up when people search narrowboat hotels.
IT feels a bit odd to be heading into the unknown having worked full time ( plus) for the last 27 years but at the same time, it's very liberating to think that for the first time in our lives we'll be in charge of our own destiny.
Onwards and upwards!
MEANWHILE - this weekend is going to be a "garage/house" decommissioning project - I've already had the phone and broadband stopped so now it's time to tackle unneeded possessions and "useful tools" I've collected over the years.
Apparently I need to be ruthless when deciding what to keep/throw.
Luckily, Gav (from work until next Wed) is a hoarder and he's calling over on Sunday morning to look through the garage with me so at worst, stuff will end up in HIS garage for me to claim back if ever needed lol.
I haven't got any photos to go with what I've just written so here's a lovely snap I took the other night of a goose family from the side hatch.
Until next time...