Given that most of 2009 was just a blur for me, of horrendous “curled up in foetal position sobbing” pain, some frankly frightening moments, and my need for nursing and care, it was kind of handy that Tuxedo was around to provide that care and support, saving me from several months of hospitalisation, and generally be the amazing supportive and caring partner he is.

Perhaps not so fortunate were the circumstances that led to him being able to spend all that time with me;  he was made redundant back in April 2009 and despite all best efforts, has been unable to find another position.

The redundancy did come as a shock;  he walked in early Monday morning and half an hour, whilst half way through his daily report his boss tapped him on the shoulder.  Half an hour after that he was all packed up and being escorted from the building.  I should note that he was escorted not because he was raving and throwing punches; it is standard procedure for IT guys as if left unsupervised after being treated so despicably, they can do a LOT of damage to the business, with just a few keystrokes*.

*It was Tuxedo who on my departure from The Abattoir (last full time workplace) told me how to totally wipe my computer so that none of the um, possibly indispensable documentation for the daily/annual operation of the department, maybe a couple of international journals, research and policy documents, could ever be recovered.  Mwahahahahaaaaaaa!

He did get a small payout, not much but added to our savings account was enough to keep us going for a couple of months (we managed to eke out our savings for EIGHT months instead of the two to three we bargained on, which I personally think is pretty fucking impressive) until he found another job. 

The problem was – and still is – that there are simply NO JOBS to apply for.  The IT market in this country is dead dead dead.  It was never particularly vibrant to begin with, there being absolutely NO investment in technology in this daft supposedly First/Western World country.  Here in the 21st Century it is still relying on the “Ah mate we’re all back in the 1800s relying on our rocks and wheat and sheep” (ie Primary Resources only) mentality, that doesn’t look like changing any time soon.  Even before the whole GFC whatsit (Global Financial Crisis), banks and miscellaneous other companies were laying off their entire IT departments and outsourcing to dedicated IT Outsourcing Companies. 

Oh well then, I hear you say (or perhaps not), get a job with one of those Dedicated IT Outsourcing Companies, easy peasy!  But no.  NOT easy peasy at all.  Because all the Dedicated IT Outsourcing Companies were themselves laying off their Australian staff and outsourcing … to India. 

To be honest I find this practice loathsome and scary;  hellooo, in a time of GFC when governments are spending billions to bail-out and keep the economy from drowning completely, it is surely counter-productive to send these jobs off shore, not to mention the security risks involved in not keeping all those sensitive banking details et al in house?  (And before you tell me I am racist and should be thinking about India’s economy and how the influx of funds will help it grow and develop;  it will not, and there will be potentially devastating ever-increasing ripples of effect in all kinds of areas, not just economic.)

So, no job for the sole breadwinner at Chez Crazy, and it is now January, 2010.  Happy New Year.  We are incredibly careful with the money we receive from Centrelink (I FINALLY got a Disability Pension;  Tuxedo has a Full Time Carer’s Payment), we are eking out have eked out our savings, but we are still managing okay.  My much loved Dad has stepped in to help us out and give some solid aka additional financial support.  We’re not starving.  We are incredibly lucky in that WE own our home, not some (bloody bastard IT-job-outsourcing) bank.  If a bank owned our home, we would be royally FUCKED. 

* * * * * * * * *

The Man Of The House’s adjustment to unemployment, or as I prefer to call it, Gentleman Of Leisure Status, was pretty rocky.  Tuxedo had never been made redundant before;  he had barely ever had to look for a job before, having always been head-hunted or offered jobs out of the blue (because he is such a genius and no I am not biased, hell no).  His self confidence and esteem took a bit of a kicking, and for a couple of months I was the one being leaned on, doing the Tower Of Strength thing, and doing what I could to talk him through the bad moments when Jerkbrain© was most active and cruel.

(I will expound on Jerkbrain© in another post; it’s basically that part of your brain that is treacherous, traitorous and viciously unkind, and tears you and your self-esteem into shreds like a pot of pork rillettes.)

Personally I was GLAD he wasn’t at Bull Shit Acronym Co. anymore.  He had been working so hard, for so many months, working long hours, on an ever-increasing pile of projects, with even more bureaucracy and bullshit office politics to deal with, not knowing what his job description actually entailed, only that if there was a problem or a new project he got to do it.

Basically he was doing the work of at least four people, and there were simply never enough hours in the day to give 100% to any of them.  He was stressed, over-worked, under-paid (naturally) and exhausted.  He became a bit short-tempered, and his usual mellow nature was wound tighter and tighter.  Something had to give, and I was GLAD it was the job.

The question then, is:  What to do, where to go next.  There are some pretty major changes and exciting developments coming up for Tux.  He’s got ultra-fit in the past months, his cycling is up to competition standard I reckon, plus he rows (rowing machine at home) and does various free weights and exercises I’ve shown him.  His bod is looking pretty damn hot these days [and not just because it’s 45C and he’s dressed “appropriately”) … mmm mmmmm.

AND he’s starting a degree,  so hoo-rah for new skills and a different direction, and something he has always wanted to do.  Exciting stuff (I can see my own editing and essay writing skillzzz being called on – and that will be good good good for me, that my BA and MA and IQ haven’t completely gone to mushy waste – and Tux’s degree looks so interesting that *I* would love to do it too!).

Best of all, I have me fella at home with me.  I love having him home;  aside from the health-care aspect, it’s company, immense fun, and lots of opportunities for delicious divine hanky-panky in the afternoon when other poor sods are still at their desks and counting down the hours until 5.30 pm.  Mwahahahahaaaaaa.

This (relatively) rough time (financially etcetera speaking, the health shite being a constant not a variable) too shall pass:  We will get through this, together (cue retching sounds from audience).



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