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This is a question Unemployed

I was Mordred writes, "I've been out of work for a while now... however, every cloud must have a silver lining. Tell us your stories of the upside to unemployment."

You can tell us about the unexpected downsides too if you want.

(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 10:02)
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It's a family affair
My father was made unemployed in about 1978, which came as a shock to him as he was in a fairly senior research position in a foundry supplies company. I’m not sure you can count the outcomes as all upside, but here are a few highlights:

Dad went mad. He would spend hours designing various bizarre inventions, hoping to flog them to his contacts in the industry. Sadly he was a much worse salesman than he was a scientist and he made not a single sale. The house filled up with models of impeller blades, pouring nozzles, vacuum pumps, etc. I stole these and incorporated them into secret bases for my army of Action Men.

He bought a bright yellow Rover P6 3500S as ‘an investment’. This was a disaster. It drove like a boat and was constantly breaking down. The best moment was when my mother was driving and pulled up alongside a boy racer at a traffic lights. He saw a woman driving a sporty car and started to rev his engine. As soon as the lights turned to green he shot forwards, straight into the back of the car in front, while my mother sedately tootled past. The car had a spare fuel tank so if you ran out you could pull a lever and release an emergency gallon or so of petrol. My mother drove with the lever permanently pulled out then complained to my Dad when she ran out of fuel.

My grandmother’s reaction was to constantly berate my father for not having taken a nice safe job in a bank or post office. She would remind him about this at frequent intervals, usually during meals when he couldn’t escape. She delighted in saying ‘I told you so’ in as many different ways as she could imagine. See more about my grandmother’s character here .

My mother went back to teaching, teaching french in a school for mentally retarded children. Who ever thought that would be a good idea? She decided that teaching french songs was probably the best idea, which I’m sure it was. However 6 months of ‘Frere Jacques’ soon sent her bonkers.

In the name of cost saving we cancelled our annual two week holiday in a rented apartment in Woolacombe (such expense!) and replaced it with the entire summer spent on my uncle’s farm. I got to mess around in the haystack, collect eggs, shoot rats and generally have a great time. Telling my Dad that it was much better than Woolacombe did not go down well.

With Mum teaching, Dad started cooking and discovered he had an inate ability for ruining any and every meal. On one memorable occasion he managed to burn a pan of water. This was finally what drove him to find a job and Mum to reduce her teaching hours and get back to real work looking after me and my siblings.

And me? Well I was a very young Ruddles during all this, far too self-obsessed to take much interest in what was going on around me. But I got some accessories for my Action Man base and a great holiday out of it, so all in all not bad. Dad got back into work within 9 months or so and worked until retirement.
(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 15:49, closed)
I've got this image...
...of you dad looking like George Cole (Arthur Daley), your mum looking like that one that played Mrs Bucket (pronounced 'Bouquet').

Am I right?

Oh, and have a click for making me laugh!
(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 16:29, closed)
Pretty much spot on for my mum
although she doesn't act like the Bucket woman. But my dad looks more like a nervous version of Magnus Pike, with less wavy arms, if that makes sense.
(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 20:55, closed)
Very funny
and equally well-written, thank you. Enjoyed it a lot.
(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 17:20, closed)
yay farms!
I'll be thirty-bloody-seven this year, and I STILL can't imagine a better holiday than making haystack forts and shooting at things on a farm...
(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 18:22, closed)
I just read the linky story and the funny thing is
your Belgian Grandmother sounds very much like my German one. Still I somehow doubt they would have gotten along.
(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 23:45, closed)

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