Addy's blog: Schrodinger’s Cat

I have decided I am Schrödinger’s cat.

For those of you who are not up on your quantum mechanics or fans of “The Big Bang Theory” here’s a layman’s guide to what it means. You put a cat in a box, with something that will kill it (Think a James Bond plot or Wiley Coyote here) like gunpower, poisonous gas in a glass vial or radioactive waste etc. and then seal the box. Whilst the box is sealed the cat can be two states at the same time, either dead or alive, but in the end only one state can be real and you won’t know which is true until you open the box. And the most fun in all this, is apparently this state is randomly chosen – poor kitty.

So, the relevance of some poor cat shoved in a box with something nasty and me? I manged to be both simultaneously redundant and employed at the same time – for a whole week! For those of you who have read my blogs in the past, you will know I’m at risk of redundancy and job hunting (I didn’t get the job in Europe in the end, it went the other way at the last hurdle and I’m actually OK about it all). Here’s how I managed to mirror a quantum physics experiment.

I’ve been actively job hunting for over 2 months, which in itself is exhausting. In fact, on one day I had 5 rejections in some form or another. The very last meeting of that day, was a 30 minute chat with someone who my old boss had introduced me to. As you can imagine, after getting kicked in what felt like pretty much every body part proverbially, I’m not sure I was putting my best foot forward. Somehow, I managed to make a good impression and the words “secondment” were floated around. This is internal speak for a temporary contract on your current terms and conditions, which if you are at risk of redundancy can last no more than 12 months. I chased several times after the chat, as my exit date was fast approaching, and after not really hearing anything had given up. The day before I was due to leave, I got a call saying my 3 month secondment had been approved and could I start the following week. I was pleased, but had no paperwork to support this contract extension. In fact, the next day I received my P45 in the post and got my redundancy payment in my bank account! A panicked phone call to new boss assured me that I wasn’t to be worried, apparently, they couldn’t stop the payment, and we’d “sort it all out later”. I went in the next week and did indeed get a piece of paper extending me for 3 months, but for a whole week I had no idea if it was really going to happen or not, or if I had actually left the bank. So, I was Schrödinger’s cat – both employed and redundant simultaneously!

It then took me a month of faffing, not being paid any wages (I owed them more than they owed me!) and over an hour in a branch one lunchtime to pay my redundancy payment back. Which should I leave again next month, they’ll need to repay me… Honestly you couldn’t make all this up and be believed.

Where does that leave me? Well I’m almost back at square one, I’m still job hunting internally and externally, and am waiting to see if my 3 month secondment will be extended (its technically a permanent role, but is based in Scotland so more hoops go through to move it). I’ve had a stay of execution and am working on something really interesting, but I’m shattered. It’s a really big job, and I’m working all hours to make a good impression and try and stay on top of it all, and still look for new roles. Plus, on the home front I’ve still not got proper childcare sorted as my nanny on mat leave has decided not to return when she planned (which I’m totally supportive of) but is another spanner in the works and a constant juggle.

What I have learnt from all this, is the best laid plans are brilliant but rarely work out, and according to Schrödinger (the scientist not the cat) it’s all a random outcome anyway!

Addy is a director in risk for a bank in the city, with two young kids, a lovely husband a supportive nanny and 2 mad rescue cats.

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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