Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Saturday 11 July 2020

Choppy waters

Redundancy, you might dress it up as early retirement, is not a situation that I'm looking forward to but, due to these unprecedented times, now one that I'm faced with ? Prior to the pandemic Fuji SIS were absolutely flying. Each and every target achieved due to the business being fully committed to a program of improved efficiency and customer satisfaction. Yet now what?  Our products remain world class, the factory floor a place which is fun to be part of but, through no fault of our own, we've become a business struggling to survive the crazy reality which Covid-19 has inflicted upon us all. This isn't a Thanet issue, nor even a UK problem, the reality is of global proportions and the economic fall-out will ripple around the planet for years to come. 

Sunset from the back garden. Storm clouds over Pyson's Road and the Fuji factory - how apt?

I'm sixty-four, no mortgage or debt, so why am I finding it such a difficult issue to deal with? If I'm brutally honest, then I think it's the fact that this decision, as to when I cease working, has been taken away from me. I'd always wanted to remain at work until my sixty-sixth birthday then simply walk away, no fuss or ceremony. Now, however, it doesn't look like I'll make it to sixty-five before being consigned to the scrap heap! Not a situation I relish although it does have some very nice spin off effects pertaining to free time and the ability to go fishing, etc... Looking at the numbers, although these are ball park figures and not yet confirmed, it will be a very small margin of difference between the redundancy package and the money I would earn should I stay in employment until December 2021. When looked at in this light it has to be a no-brainer - where do I sign?
Bev and I have talked through our options, so now it's down to HR, at Fuji, and me to see where this situation takes us. I'm furloughed for the next week, so it will be ten days before I am back on site and can set the ball rolling. The factory floor is my second home, a comfort zone in which I'm totally at ease and in control. This current situation is beyond my experience and one that takes me well out of my depth. Turbulent times. I should count my blessings, because we're in far better position to deal with this situation than many other households who are similarly affected. The new normal? Fishing five days a week! I very much doubt it.


  1. I see where you are coming from Dylan, but there is more to the life we have than being on the factory floor 5 days a week. How I would love to be in your position now. I am planning that when I retire ( maybe 6 yrs time) I will use two or three weeks days like work days. I will leave the house in the morning and return at early evening but I wont be spending my time in an office or on housing estates that's for sure! I hope it all turns out well for you and that you get what you actually want not just what is pressed on to you...Best wishes.

    1. Stewart,
      Whilst I am fully able to see where your comment is based, I have lived my life using a set of rules (?) by which I choose to abide. My father worked until he was seventy-four, Bev's dad was seventy-nine, and it is because of their efforts we are now in such a comfortable position. My task, as head of the Wraftie clan, is to ensure that I can pass on the same benefits to the next generation as our parents have done for us.
      I certainly don't expect many others to understand the ethos, but it's where I'm at and comfortable.
      All the best - Dylan

  2. Dyl, the real questions now are, 'Do I spend my free time in a constructive manner, or do I simply waste it?'.

    Such is the dilemma that many face since the structure of employment is the only way they have to stay on the rails.

    Personally speaking, I'd describe activities such as birding, fishing and writing as needing self discipline and application. They are indeed work but in another guise. Certainly not wasting time.

    As a writer you should go down the Dave Carl Forbes route and combine your main areas of skill into works worthy of publication. If you could do basic illustrations, that would be the full quota. Images would suffice accordingly. This is work. Just different.

    1. Ric,
      I'm fairly sure that as one door closes another will open up? Quite where this latest twist ends up is down to fate and my ability to cease the opportunities as they manifest themselves in whatever guise.
      Writing, to me, is an indulgence. Work is pulling tonne pots and heaving 25 kgs sacks of chemicals about. We'll just have to wait to see what lays ahead. Navigating the redundancy process is the number one priority at present!
      Thanks for the comment - Dyl

  3. Dylan. I was in the enviable position that it was my decision to retire at 59 (my ambition had always been 60). The pressure of the job was getting more intense, the pension was a good at 59 as it was at 65, so why not. Like you I had worked all of my adult life, had never been unemployed, rarely took time off sick, work dominated my life and so walking away from it was really hard, especially as I lived on my own and had no one at home to talk it through with. For the first year or so I missed work and the "crakk" with my colleagues intensely but it gradually leveled out and now, I've been retired 14 years and it's still great. The joy of being at work, like you suggest, is hard to walk away from but it can't go on for ever.

    1. Hi Derek,
      Cheers for this positive comment. I think that my reaction is that of shock; disbelief that a virus has been able to wreak such havoc on a very successful business. All the effort involved in achieving this position dismantled because of a situation over which none of us have any control.
      I'm the oldest member of staff on the shop floor and, as such, get more than my fair share of stick. The group of guys (and one very special girl) are an absolute blast to work with and it is this that I'll miss most. My decision to take redundancy is, in part, done so as to allow the younger members of staff remain in employment thus able to continue paying mortgages and supporting young families. In my position I feel it would be wrong to remain in work when there are others who need the income far more than Bev & me.
      It's not like I've nothing to occupy my spare time, I'm certainly not looking at becoming a couch potato.
      Thanks for taking the time to offer this comment - stay safe - Dylan