Screenshot 2015-05-05 16.04.48Redundant – ‘not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous’! There are many euphemisms that try to sanitise the process one day being employed and the next, not. You’re unemployed, you’re redundant. Sara uses this poem to give expression to how it feels.

A long sigh punctures silence,
Heavy with doubt and distress,
The continuing search for employment,
Conducted under duress.

Keys tap idly, repetitively searching,
For nothing, for something, for meaning…
For the door that opens as the other slams shut,
The force leaving you cold and alone,
Cut off from the support group you have known,
For most of your working life.

Removed from this place, from your daily pilgrimage,
Abandoned to world outside, and made to fend,
In the wild,
With skills so specialised,
Yet no basics on which to survive.

Childlike naiveté ensures false hope,
Before stumbling at the first hurdle,
Submerged by your peers,
Trying to reach the top, the start, anything…
Yet losing sight completely.
Floundering in mud, pulling you down,
Drowning you, convincing you
You are now at the level at which you belong.

The innocuous torture, the ineffectual dismissal,
Strips all of confidence,
Makes the bold unworthy,
And the trusting afraid,
Making the skilled redundant;
As useless at the newsprint on chip paper,
Created for higher purpose,
Now coated in a greasy film of shame.

(Sara Humphrey)


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