Today is my first day back at work since I handed in my notice. I decided that coming into work would be a waste of my time and I’m “working from home” in the loosest sense. Lucky me or what?It’s been a common theme in stories I hear about work where after a restructuring or reorganisation. These seem to happen every 5 years or so, or when a new CEO comes in and decides to dump the dead wood and manufactures a crisis to allow everyone to be fired or left feeling grateful for their job).
One common practice is for the professionals / managers to be let go (swapping golden handcuffs for golden parachutes) and put on gardening leave. Essentially paid to spend the last 3 months or so doing nothing at all. It’s called gardening leave.
When I left the last company, I would have had 3 months of gardening leave paid but I jumped ship into a new job and didn’t have the luxury of 3 months paid idleness. If you were there for longer than me you could get even longer – and this was on top of redundancy payments. It’s down to the employment contract which states that for every year you work you get X weeks/months pay. But leaving the old company, the terms were very generous.
In the Lady’s company, when they were getting rid of people, they were paid at or close to the statutory minimum and were expected to work up to the day they finish. In many blue collar jobs, you’d be laughed at if you handed in your notice and expected to be paid for a couple of months to do nothing.
White collar privilege? I think so. It’s certainly a bit funny and a curiosity.
So I now have 4 weeks to wind down before starting the new job. Handover won’t take that long and I don’t really need to go back into the office to see my depressed colleagues.
Quite frankly, I’ll be glad to see the back of them. It’s not like I intend to see the back of them but nobody who has spent a long time in a waiting room at the doctors with a bunch of sad looking people, comes out of their appointment and hangs around for the atmosphere. No, it’s “let’s get out of here as quick as possible!”
So, if you need me, I’ll be at home.