Living dangerously: Diary of an ABS professional, Week 5

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After losing his job, Mr. ABS is trying to come to terms with his new life - and fend off offers to become Father Christmas.

Even though I saw things coming and have been living since September with the knowledge that I could be made redundant, I am nonetheless shocked that this has actually happened to me.

For the moment, I've become a stereotype of the man who has lost his job - flailing around in despair, drinking more alcohol than usual, waking up at 6am to relive the internal politics that led up to my predicament, and then lying in pretty late.

My new lifestyle is putting a certain strain on my marriage: my wife has effectively seen my career fall apart like a car crash played out in slow motion.

It's not easy for her to suddenly have a sloth about the house. She doesn't know what to do with me when she meets her mummy friends. One of the mummy friends actually mentioned to me that the Santa who was due to make an appearance at her daughter's school was off sick and that it was difficult to find a replacement. It didn't sound like a direct job offer, but I did wonder for a while.

I know I am going to have to get back into shape both mentally and physically, but I don't feel there is any hurry right now. For the moment, I am mourning my loss and find some comfort in having the energy levels of an animal that spends most of its life hanging upside down in trees in the rainforest. I will pick up the pieces in a few weeks. It just means that my New Year resolution list will be rather longer than usual.

In the mean time, I'd be very grateful to hear from any of you who have had the misfortune to have been made redundant before, or who have friends to whom it has happened, who might be willing to share any information about the severance package you/they were offered. How many weeks' salary per year did your bank pay? Did any of you get a percentage of your total compensation for the previous year? Did you receive any proportion of what would have been your bonus, if you got chopped towards the end of the year?

And for all those of you overflowing with Christmas spirit, any donations to fuel my rapidly disintegrating standard of living will be very well received. Merry Christmas ho ho ho!