You'll know by now that we moved as a family to Cumbria / The Lake District. I promised a post explaining the decision and the "why" of the whole affair, because it is an important event in my life and it is the culmination of one of the most stressful times in my life.
The story story starts with the drop in the price of oil back in late 2014. If you were part of the industry then I would say you could feel it coming a mile off, but there was still people who believed that they would be able to ride it out. Even my former employer suggested it would be all right in the end. They had just been awarded a massive BP contract, collectively undertaking the offshore work and the onshore work on a single-team basis. They hired a raft of contract engineers (the ones that they had let go just six months earlier) under the impression there was millions of pounds of work. Well... there wasn't.
This misplaced optimism was echoed by the fact that they paid for my Chartership and also a week long training course that wasn't cheap. But in early March I was taken off the last job that I would ever do for them and then slowly the true scale of the redundancy situation became clear, and they announced their intentions to let staff members go. They let the contractors go around that same moment.
However even then people were convinced it wasn't going to happen. Some of the old guard were convinced it just wouldn't come to it. And, to be honest, it wasn't really serious, there was no real threat until late in the process when all the things that they had been suggesting that they were going to try and do were obviously nonsense and not going to happen. I am not suggesting that they were being devious but it certainly didn't feel like I was being treated correctly for someone who had committed so much time to them.
Connie and I, who were looking for something new, we're opened to the idea of moving for work. I looked into jobs in Glasgow, in Aberdeen, and then further a field. After a few chats with various people and companies, I took a punt on a nuclear firm and they liked me. It happened really quickly - the offer of employment, then found a house, and had moved in twelve days. That isn't an exaggeration either.
So now I am part of a new company doing work at Sellafield. I got the promotion that Wood Group denied me. I am living literally across the road from a farm. And I feel like we needed the change. Time will tell if it was a folly, but who knows?
Oh yeah, and we live in England. ENGLAND. That wasn't supposed to happen.