I got a call on July 3rd from my boss. The first thing he said when I answered is: “we’re bringing you back.” I felt like a huge load was lifted off my back. I returned to work (well, working from home) that following Monday.
Stewart had been using the office while I was on furlough. I hung out in the sitting room: my furlough room. I tried to keep my mind occupied. I read ebooks, started this blog, and took a number of online courses. I would go on a walk the same time every day on the same route.
It helped to keep my mind focused when I was furloughed. If I didn’t, I would run through a gambit of emotions: from depression, to anger, to frustration, to isolation, but then back to relaxation with a sprinkle of a new found purpose.
People would tell me to enjoy my time off. I joined a Facebook group for furloughed people and engaged with the group. There were a lot of people that had it a lot worse than I did. A number of people missed the cut off for furlough and were unemployed. Lots of people were made redundant.
Some people would tell me that I should be grateful that my situation is not as bad as others. I don’t know if I find gratitude or satisfaction in knowing someone else is struggling more than I am. I was surprised at the furlough-shaming. People that were still working had to pick up extra work to cover their colleagues on furlough. Some seemed to view furloughed people as being on a government paid holiday.
I am happy to be back at work. It brings in a sense of normalcy and some hope for job and financial security. I’m glad that I did the on-line training. It really helped me put those lessons learned into practice. We aren’t necessarily out of the dark yet, but at least now I can see a spark of light.
Goodbye furlough room and hello office!