Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Capitalism. This time it's personal.

I got made redundant yesterday. 

I thought I'd created a funky little haven at  work - I tried to be a 'decent' boss and was a big fish in a small pond. Until that is the absentee owner decided to pull the plug.

23 years in the same firm is pretty unusual these days. As is the slightly  paternalistic old-fashioned ethos we tried to maintain. At one point we even had three sets of brothers working in the studio. I was quite proud of that. If we hadn't had that ethos I would have  been less inhibited in parring the workforce down when we hit the recession with a vengeance back in the Spring. Who knows it might even have got me a stay of execution this week - but at least I can look everyone in the eye and say I tried to do the best for them.

It was also some comfort on a spectacularly shit and emotional day to have a number of people with tears in their eyes thanking me and saying goodbye.  And I'm not ashamed to say that I struggled to keep it together too. 

But I'm not kidding myself - tomorrow I'll be at home but their work will continue without me. Everyone will work progressively harder for progressively less - until the next bump is hit when they are undercut by a bigger company with more automation or more off-shoring.

You can read all that stuff about the inherent contradictions of capitalism and the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. But it's another thing altogether when it gets up and bites you on the arse.

No comments: