It's just as well I had already prepared myself to finish my work contract this Friday, because today we found out that not only was my temping contract not going to be renewed, but no one's contracts are to be renewed in 2009. None at all. In fact, everyone who is currently working for the company through an agency (ie not directly employed by the company itself) is fired.
The company I work(ed) for is a huge, well known car manufacturer (I suppose I can say that now that I'm leaving, right?) and has very evidently been hit hard by the credit crunch. They are laying off their employees from left to right, beginning with temps and contracters (the French word is prestataires but I still haven't managed to find an English equivalent, can anyone help?) and so although it doesn't matter that I will not be staying on - I had always planned to leave as soon as the first contract was finished anyway - it does mean that every single one of my friends have lost their jobs, with very little notice.
I don't get the credit crunch. I don't understand what happened; how, where, why or when. I can't really get my head around it all, but I do see people's lives falling apart all around me due to the effects of the crisis and that makes me so cross. I mean, I probably shouldn't let myself get angry because of this; there's no one to get cross with. As far as I know, it's not one person's fault. But when my family and friends have worked so hard to get to where they are today only to find themselves in rather deep shit in terms of finances and job security...well it makes me mad.
FP and I are struggling ourselves. And as of Friday I will be unemployed. On the dole. Or as they say in French, au chommage.
I come home every night after a hard day's work (or 9 hours of staring cross eyed at a computer screen typing out administration notes) to a freezing apartment and instead of turning on the heating I have to wear three sweaters and a dressing gown because we can't afford the extra gas charges. I am eating black bananas, turning bad apples into apple purée and freezing jars of salsa because we can't afford to waste a single morcel of food. I sit at the desk, the cat's blanket sprawled across my legs, my fingerless woolen gloves warming my hands and I type madly away on the Macbook, short stories filling up MB's in the folder entitled 'Creative Writing'.
I'm going to be unemployed soon, searching for a job - any job - and battling against all those hundreds of other people who were told they were sacked today. The worrying thing is that right now I'm still being paid and I'm poor. What will it be like in January when I have zilch in the bank and it's 50 candidates for every one job post?
La vie bohéme always seemed so...arty in the movies, but I don't actually want to live that way. I want shoes and handbags and a heated apartment.
And right now I don't care how superficial that sounds.