Beware of the Grim Reaper!

As I stood dressed as a pumpkin recently at my local Community Space (it was Halloween) I was approached by a boy dressed as the “Grim Reaper”. He looked at me suspiciously. So I explained that I was in fact a “Pumpkin”, and that I suspected he had never seen a “talking Pumpkin” before? He pointed the scythe (or it could have been a sickle) he was carrying at me and announced that “with his weapon he could cut me into pieces”. I suppose if you’re a pumpkin this is a pretty vulnerable time of the year, a bit like being a turkey at Christmas!

Who your personal Grim Reaper is depends on your role in life I suppose. In industry Christmas can be a pretty anxious time for many employees. One of the reasons being that within many organisations, especially Utilities, employees have a three month notice period (depending on service and T&C’s) if they are facing redundancy. With the Financial Year commencing on the 1st April, serving redundancy notices around Christmas will ensure that Business’s start the new financial year with a reduced headcount. “Sorry, but we are going to have to let you go, but would you like to join us for a mince pie and a Christmas Sing-a-Long?” “Go **** yourself”, being the most suitable response!

In late 2015 I was involved in a “re-organisation” that would mirror the above, with the consultation period being immediately before the Christmas of that year. It was my job, and I did it professionally – but it was somewhat distasteful. However, as the following year unfolded a new “head man” assured all the staff that were left that the “mistakes of the past would not be repeated”, and he would correct all the errors those previous people on extortionately high salaries had made. When I left in 2018 the total number of employees on the payroll exceeded the number that was there prior to the re-orgnisation.

As 2020 ends there has to be real concern over the general employment situation in our Country. Many industries have been ravaged by the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and many families throughout the world will be facing a bleak Christmas.

In my local Community Space everything continues to be done to ensure the staff continue to be employed in some way. It’s just a small organisation with a small group of staff, who are reliant on the hours they work. But they are not just employee’s they are part of the fabric that make the place “work”, and they are valued not only as employye’s but people.

Elsewhere, partly hidden amongst all the angst that otherwise exists, bigger Organisations have unleashed their own Grim Reaper once again. No repeat of the mistakes previously made but just a whole set of new one’s of their own making – with those at the bottom of the ladder having less distance to fall,  but being impacted more by the damage done.

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