Trade union Unite has blasted announcements of job cuts by banking giants HSBC and Credit Suisse and car manufacturer Aston Martin, particularly timed so close to Christmas.
Given the news that's been going around (up to 70,000 job losses predicted in the financial services sector in London alone), it's a little difficult to imagine any one company holding off on planned job cuts just because the festive season is coming up... other than perhaps Citigroup, where rumour has it the first lady to get laid off last week fled to the restrooms and locked herself in a cubicle whereupon security had to persuade her to come out. If you think about it, with bonus pay-outs due in the first quarter of 2009, it's only natural that cuts are announced now, as, any later, and, quite possibly, the company would have to pay out, assuming, of course, the person who is due to be made redundant would have received a bonus in the first place, which is a little unlikely given current market conditions.
In any case, I dearly wish they would hold off. There's a rumour going around that my company will be announcing the names of those who will be losing their jobs later this week; needless to say, it's made it difficult for a number of us to concentrate. I even printed out all of my payslips in the event I need to apply for a Tier I visa.
Given my previous posts, you're probably wondering how a person in fear of losing her job still go on spending? It's simple. It's not an explanation which those who don't work in my field get, I suspect, but for those of us who work the same kind of killer hours and with the same kind of stress everyday, we spend because we're stressed out.
We don't get to leave the office at sociable hours, so when we are out of the office, we spend. We spend in order to unwind. And when I unwind, I don't want to go home and drink plonk from a cheap plastic glass; I want to go out to a nice bar and party with some like-minded friends. And when I dress up, I want beautiful, well-made shoes. And when I get into the office, I don't wear to go in looking as if my entire wardrobe's from Primark. I want to look good. And in an industry where we do judge people by their appearances and outfits, I need to look as if I'm destined for the top so that I can make it there.
In short, we live expensive lifestyles. True, we could curb our spending, but it's difficult. We can't live like students. Neither can we afford to live like billionaires. We're not paid all that much, really, and definitely not on an hourly basis.
And I guess, if you're not in my field, you'll still be all "oh, poor baby, I still don't sympathise with you." And, honestly, I don't blame you. Still, I am what I am, I work where I work. I do get it, as do my friends. And, I guess, as long as none of us lives beyond our means, we'll be fine in the end.