by Keren Suchecki
This is my last Double Devolution column – I’ll be leaving HWCP in a few weeks time.
I was the first employee eight years ago in an empty shop without the luxury of a chair, let alone phones, desks, computers, filing cabinets or carpet. It was January 2000 and so cold that I needed to wear a hat, gloves, woolly knickers and a hot water bottle to work. And look at us now, 20 staff in our very own pastel-coloured, eco-friendly, ergonomically designed, high-tech, uber-lovely community building. And just as I got comfy, I got slung out.
I’ve been pondering my leaving do. It’s all a bit complicated, what with so many people losing their jobs here and around the city. There’s a danger of leaving do fatigue as the same crowd of people traipse round the pubs week after week. Choosing a date can get a bit tricky – get in there early before you leave, but when everyone’s still up for it, or go for it a week or two later when everyone’s liver feels like it’s being mentored by Amy Winehouse? The former feels a bit previous, whilst the latter risks not many turning up, which would stay imprinted on your ego as a horrifying illustration of just how unpopular you are. Oh it’s all too difficult.
I must say I was very pleased to get an invite to the leaving do of Bristol’s NRU manager. I think all the staff there are lovely, but I’ve given the department a bit of a rough ride in this column over the years so it was very forgiving of her to invite me.
And that’s the other problem with a leaving do. How wise is it to not invite the people who register low on my how-much-do-I-like-you meter? As I’m going to need another job soon, there’s only so much scorched earth I can risk leaving behind me…
This article first appeared in ‘New Start’ magazine. Keren Suchecki is a regeneration worker in South Bristol.