What rhymes with retrenchment?

I have already been through three retrenchments, and they were all pretty sucky.

There is something devastating about sitting on a couch/around a boardroom table and being told your services are no longer required.

Granted there are several ways of delivering this bit of news, but the reality is that no matter how it is done, it is just pretty shite being on the receiving end.

I got to hear it again last week.

I am retrenched/redundant/unemployed and I feel ill enough to want to throw up.  Once the penny dropped and I fully “understood” what was going on, I started to move through a few stages of “The Initial Shock of being Retrenched…”

Mine appear to loosely follow this progression.

Stage 1:  Sitting quietly and trying to take it all in {whilst the voices are screaming}.

Stage 2:  Starting to doubt you are hearing correctly.  An overwhelming urge to shake your head, put your head to the side, and smack your ears because you think that somehow there is a wax blockage in your ears that makes you hear “you are being retrenched” incorrectly.

Stage 3 : Trying to compose your face in a look of mild interest, and at the same time, nodding at the correct times.  When in actual fact you want to throw yourself on the floor, sob like a three-year old and grab the leg of the person who is busy going through there “you are retrenched” script and beg them for the love of gd to reconsider.

Stage 4 : Wondering if you can say something at this juncture that will change the outcome of this conversation. {So the person is speaking and you have stopped listening and you are desperately scrambling for something to say that will change where this conversation is going.}

Stage 5 : Wondering who else knows — are you the only one being retrenched —- who else knew and did not tell you?  The sense of suspicion towards everyone begins to creep through.

Stage 6 : You know the person delivering their script is winding to a close, and now you are going to be this awkward person sitting on the couch, when in reality you need to go and get your cup, and your wire giraffe and leave the premises {after the mandatory body cavity search of course}.

Stage 7 : You suddenly feel really bad for the person/people who are having to convey this rather kak news.  You realise that they are probably feeling pretty shite, so you shelve the fact that you want to burst in to tears, and beg forgiveness, and instead try to act in a way that makes them feel less bad.

Stage 8 : The moment you realise the inevitable.  You are being retrenched.  All the big decisions have been made, and at this point you are really just being brought up to speed.  Nothing you can say or do, at this juncture will change what is going to happen.

Stage 9 : Your brain wonders whether claiming UIF is a possibility, your brain quickly works out what school fees are and whether you should home school to save monety.  You have already worked out what you will write on your cardboard sign which you can stand in the traffic and display “Help, three children to feed, no job, please help, gd bless!” or something of a similar ilk.

Stage 10 : The embarrassment washes over you that you have been retrenched, and you feel a bit (very) rejected, and think “Fuck again!  Again, really again – aah fuck!”  {I would love to be a retrenchment virgin, but it appears I am well on my way to being a retrenchment slut.}

I have moved through these 10 stages, and am in the stage of anger/denial/crazy worry …. and so much more ….. so this weeks sucks chunks.

Leave a comment


  1. I agree with the others but writing a book is all good and well and I would definitely buy it but as Tertia has found out it will not bring in a lot of money unless you go international. That is more of a long-term goal. I do agree that you could probably make money from your photography though. But in anycase, as a retrenchment rookie(only happened once to me) I think it sucks big time and am so sorry to hear.

  2. Mandi Earl

     /  April 11, 2012

    No effing way!!! I say…get that camera of yours out and go for it!!! You are so talented and now is your opportunity….go go go girl!!!

    Thinking of you….xxx

  3. Tania

     /  April 11, 2012


  4. Terrible news!! There are no proper crude language that rhymes with retrenchment!

  5. A ten year old girl recently gave birth in Columbia. She has problems. This? This keeps happening for a reason that will make sense later. Promises. Now will you just listen already? Sheesh.

  6. Oh fuck. Murphy really knows how to piss people off. But maybe you’re destined for gretaer things. Good Luck… Hey, we’ll be visiting CPT the end of April. Can I buy you some chuckles and a drink?

  7. I can honestly say that I know how you feel. I was through 3 retrenchments myself in the past and it SUCKS BIG TIME. (I can use swear words here but I don’t swear.)
    I’m really so sorry – I honestly am because like I’ve said – I know how you feel.
    And I do pray the God will bestow you with another employment opportunity very very fast. Good luck.

  8. That’s lousy. So sorry. You seem to be a woman with lots of talents and I am sure you will bounce back when you are ready. Be kind to yourself. Swear all you want to vent anger. It helps.

  9. Hun, I am going to be honest for once while online and say it: I don’t think its crap at all.

    I think the universe is seriously trying to tell you something. You are destined for other things than an 8-5 (not that there’s anything wrong with an 8-5). I have said this before. Get out of your comfort zone and really go for what you really want to do. There will be no guarantees but you’ll see, it’s going to expand your world. I know it. I’ll help you any way I can!

  10. aeroplanejane

     /  April 10, 2012

    aaaah crap happened to me too long ago I sat on my Dad’s lap and cried like a baby as an grownupbigasswoman. Good luck

  11. Christiane Allen Pitts

     /  April 10, 2012

    So so very sorry. I have been retrenched before and fear it will happen again soon. I agree with the others – you are a terrificly (is that a word) talented writer and I would buy your book in a heartbeat. You put out in the universe what every mother is thinking. Best of luck!

  12. Tanya

     /  April 10, 2012

    Fukem. Now can you please get your talented ass onto LinkedIn. Let’s network baby!

  13. Oh gosh, so sorry to hear about your news. It really just sucks big time!

  14. It’s true. it’s true! Write a book, open a shop, start an online business. Sorry to hear, you wallow some, it’s a bummer! But after you’ve bummed, consider a book.

  15. Alexandra

     /  April 10, 2012


  16. Loretta

     /  April 10, 2012

    Ag kak! Sorry to hear. Never been through this kind of shit myself, but my husband went through it last year so I know the (oh my god are we going to lose our house) gut wrenching kind of fear that it brings on and can imagine how one takes this on as a personal self-esteem issue even if its not. But as someone said above – you are one hell of a talented person – maybe time to start that domestic agency/ write a book or take up the the excellent suggestion of turning you blogger of the year blogs into a book! Honestly I think the gods are trying to tell you that you do not need a boss!

  17. Coco

     /  April 10, 2012

    CRAP CRAP x 100! I left practice to work for a client, and 1 year later there was a hostile take over and yippp you guessed it I got retrenched. It is really k#k and your selfesteem takes a huge knock. I joined a friend, started a partnership and four years later still going strong! Try to think of it as a new beginning … but oh boy it is hard!

  18. Thats totally and utterly crap! That is all!

  19. ludditelass

     /  April 10, 2012

    Eish, that really does suck donkey balls!

  20. That completely sucks. I was retrenched once before I even turne 20. I was glad cause it was only a short while that I worked there and I hated every second and I think they could see my enjoyment.

    Being retrenched as a “grown up” with massive responaibilities are a little lots different.

    I am sorry this crappy situation is yours, but I am glad you have a wire giraffe!

  21. oh fak it. fak it…fak it…fak it.

    please forgive me MOST sincerely for using this cliche, but….one door closes and another one opens. (and all that)

    Why don’t you complile your funniest blog posts in book form and submit it to Penguin? I’d buy your book coz you’re very funny. Marianne Thamm did it, Mushy Peas on toast did it and Tertia Albertyn did it. YOU can too. You’re a seriously talented biatch…!!!

    Some wise old tart once said: “If life gives you lemons, find a child with a paper cut and….”

    It’s time…grip your lemon and start squeezing…

  22. Sjoe – this is terrible. Sh!t, wish I could say something to make you feel better.

  23. so sorry to hear your news!


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