Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good Fiction Makes Bad Reality

Dale Challener Roe concluded his post at Write Anything yesterday with:

sometimes the things that make good fiction make for a bad reality
My regular readers will have noted that there was no Fiction Friday from me last week and that it's been pretty damn quiet around here. It was one of those moments for me that Dale was referring to, going in and reading the prompt.
"Your character hears this on the answering machine: "Sorry to have to deliver such bad news on the phone, but I thought you would want to know as soon as possible. Your whole department is being phased out. Downsizing, you know."
I had two stories come to mind - firstly going back to that nasty character of Graham from Blackest Black or reworking a story that I never posted about a scientist having his project canned from lack of funding. They were both fleshing out nicely in my head, but I just couldn't get them down, because playing in the background was my own personal story.

Friday was the day that my partner finally got his official redundancy letter. It seemed a little too close to home to be writing about the downsizing of a department, when Dave's department (the Engineering arm of Alcan - which was absorbed into the Rio giant with the take over at the end of 07) was reduced from over 300 employees down to just 26. And this was aside from the other 14,000 jobs that Rio is stripping across Australia.

At least we know now (the finish date is Friday 13th March) and that we'll be provided for in the interim. But the uncertainty doesn't end and that's perhaps what's wearing at both of us. The job hunting process seems to have tripled in it's complexity since he was last job hunting - prelimary interview, second interview, psychometric testing, the prospect of a site visit ... before they can decide on who gets the job. It seems like a waste of time, energy and money on behalf of all parties - but you have to dance to dance.

A paid writing job would be nice ... however writing is never going to make up the short fall of a job during the mining boom, downsizing to a job in the biggest economic downturn of our professional lives.

I trust in the Universe, because at this point, other than believing in my partner and his abilities, that's the only other thing that I can trust in.

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