The Ripples of Change

They say that even the smallest of ripples can alter a shoreline a single grain of sand at a time.  On Wednesday morning the world’s oldest conservatory maker closed its doors without warning, leaving hundreds of dedicated workers without jobs.  In the town of Darlington, England, people scrambled to protect those left unpaid and unemployed, while others struggled with increasing resentment directed at the investment firm they believe failed to deliver on promises made and ultimately turned its back on its employees. The ripples of change were set in motion and it didn’t take long for those ripples to cross the great pond. By Thursday morning I too found myself within the ranks of the unemployed.

I’ve spent the past five years of my life working for a small company importing fine English conservatories to the United States. I enjoyed a comfortable salary in a casual office environment with great hours and good people, very good people. In a moment, it was all taken away. How does one deal with such a blow? Actually it feels a little surreal. For me, it was a bit like being a tiny particle riding a gentle wave. One moment I was at the crest moving forward, tying up loose ends, clearing my desk, and packing up my things. The next moment I felt as though I was in the trough of the wave, moving in the opposite direction, and gaining little forward motion. It was a slow drift from arriving at work in the morning prepared to deal with the circumstances head on, to walking out the door with my coffee cup in a cardboard box.

It wasn’t until late in the evening that the shock of the day began to wear off and the gentle ripple gained momentum on me. I didn’t eat dinner, because I had no appetite. I stayed up late, because I had nowhere to be in the morning. Around midnight, my heart began to feel heavy. This was my job. These were my friends. This was my life. I sell conservatories. I draw little glass buildings for people who live in big houses. I liked my job and it was taken away because an investment firm, who called themselves Endless, closed the doors on a 137-year-old company after only nine months calling it “unfortunate and unforeseeable.”  I wonder if now they can see the changes made by the endless ripples they set in motion.

Today is Friday. On any normal Friday I’d be at the office following up on leads, responding to emails and doing a bit of drawing. But today is far from normal. I spent the morning trying to figure out where we could cut corners and how I might earn some extra income to soften the blow.  Eventually I had to go outside and take a deep breath. Now I find myself sitting at my computer reading new blogs, responding to comments and doing a bit of writing. I think maybe it is time to dust off that manuscript. Yes, I’m still feeling a bit out of sorts, but I know that with every ending comes a new beginning. I’m setting my own ripples in motion. These are my ripples of change. Today is a new Friday with endless possibilities.

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About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

29 responses to “The Ripples of Change

  • tinkerbelle86

    its scary how the carpet can be pulled from under you like that, im so sorry.

  • georgettesullins

    How are you? I’m looking forward to reading more as I have enjoyed what you have written. I have bookmarked you on my blogroll so I may easily return to find your voice. Goodness, you’re prolific!

  • Niki Fulton

    I am sorry to read your very poignant post.I know its easy for someone else to say but it is very clear that you have so much to offer in so many fields. I am sure this is the start of something new for you. You obviously have a lot of energy and think deeply so you will be able to turn your hand to many many things. Good luck & keep blogging – please!

  • momstreet

    Several years ago i found myself in the same situation. After being with a company for sixteen years I lost my job. Unlike you though I no longer liked my job. We changed management and it became a chore getting up each morning. Still it was a habit and hard to get used to the end of it. I went though a roller coaster ride…happy one day and sad the next. I am glad to say that it did get better though. I am enjoying my retirement and don’t miss work but do still miss some of my friends there. Hope all works out for you.

    • Susan Warren Utley

      Thank you for your encouragement. Actually I have already started to acclimate. I decided what I needed to do was come up with a completely new schedule which includes doubling my time outdoors. Last year I planned to build a small writing studio down by the river and I never followed through. This summer I plan to get it done. But rather than waiting for construction I’m starting tomorrow with a lawn chair and an umbrella!

  • charlie nitric

    Good Morning Susan –

    Sorry about your job for you and the hundreds of workers/families who lost out. You’re a wonderful writer and maybe now’s the time for you to pursue more of this art. You blog above is very good, although sad, it well-written and an excellent read. I suggest blogging more, and commenting more as your time allows you to. You will more and more to blog about. I’m wanting to read and comment on your next blog. 😉 Happy Saturday to you. 🙂

    • Susan Warren Utley

      Thanks Charlie. I appreciate the advice. Being Freshly Pressed has given me so much more than traffic, it has allowed me the opportunity to browse some really wonderful blogs and do some virtual “hand shaking.” I love your post on daydreaming by the way! Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

      • charlie nitric

        Great Susan..glad you like reading it. I just posted another blog a few minutes ago. Will you be posting another blog soon (maybe this week)? Happy Sunday to you. 🙂

        • Susan Warren Utley

          Fantastic! I just subscribed to your blog! My goal is to post at least 2 to 3 times per week. I have four novels in various stages of editing and I am hoping to take this time to finish and submit at least one of them. I’m also considering sharing a few short stories in a series of posts to this blog. What do you think?

          • charlie nitric

            2-3 blogs per week is an excellent and doable goal. I think that’s great. I’ll be here to read them 😉

            It sounds like u might have ur hands full with 4 novels brewing at the same time, but everyone is inspired at various times in different ways. You can do it for sure.

            That sounds like a great idea. Since day 1, I have planned on doing the same type of series but haven’t gotten around to grouping them yet. I started with a daily diary but…just keep posting blogs. I was also thinking about making a blog, like a mini series, a comedy, and haven’t gotten there yet. I’ve only been here 15 days now. Time will tell.

            I think u should DO IT! 😉

  • Patricia

    I am so sorry. But I am sure somebody with so much creativity and skills will find a wave to ride and it will carry you to shores and heights unknown. Writing is a good thing to lean on in moments like this. It’s always there and noone can take it from us, even if it doesn’t buy the bread. Who knows, maybe it will for you, on some future ripple. I hope so!

  • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

    Wow, Susan, here I’ve just met you – and, already, so much change. You obviously have amazing writing and drawing skills and a whole host of mad untapped shizzle that you have yet to unleash on the world.

    I can imagine that this Friday feels pretty scary. I am happy to have met you. I am thinking how we can collaborate – blogwise – to get your writing out there. Maybe we can ripple together.

    • Susan Warren Utley

      Thank you so much for your concern. Today wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Just different. Different can be a good thing.
      A collaboration sounds like an interesting proposition. I’m game. Maybe we can hire Monkey to do the revisions!

      • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

        Maybe we can do some drawing coupled with some writing, since we both love to do both. I’ll email you privately! Do some brainstorming. Let’s do something fun and inspirational. 😉

        • Susan Warren Utley

          I have to admit, I am not much of an artist when it comes to paper and pen…or paint, pencils, or crayons. My drawing skills are limited to mostly straight lines in AutoCad and some 3D work in Sketchup. I’ve done some work in ArtRage and a few other paint programs but nothing too impressive. We’ll have to do some serious brainstorming if we plan to include artwork from me!

  • Margie

    Another chapter in the “Life Less Ordinary”. Now, for the next one…

  • Patti Ross

    I am so sorry this happened to you so unexpectedly; well, such matters are never expected are they? You sound like you are facing this with strength and courage. Keep sending out your own ripples! As Joseph Campbell said, “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Stay strong. Good things are waiting for you!

  • lbsmitch

    I’m sorry about your job. I wonder sometimes if those who cause numerous people to lose their job ever really see the effects of their decisions.They always say that when one door closes another one opens. Maybe this is just a way to allow you to look closer at alternatives. Good luck in what ever you find!

  • savannahrenee

    I am sorry you are sad, but maybe this will turn into something good. I’ve been writing today too, thanks for the inspiration… I think I feel change rippling my way. Love you.

  • Jim

    I’m sorry that these changes had to ripple your way.

  • modestypress

    I am retired now, but during my working life, I went through similar experiences. For that matter, our small pensions are by no means perfectly safe.

    I tried to find something in the news about the events you mention. I did find the following:

    http://www.theadvertiserseries.co.uk/news/darlington/9000185.Mounting_anger_at_Amdega_jobs_blow/

    All my life I have listened to rhetoric from the right and the left. As I mention in my blog, neither the libertarianism/free market rhetoric of the right nor the social-welfare/socialist rhetoric of the left seem to work that well to provide an efficient and compassionate economic system. I have no answers. However, I am reading a book with an interesting perspective on trying to find a different kind of economic system: The Real Wealth of Nations by Riane Eisler.

    I have no connection to the author and the publisher of this book and I am not trying to spam your blog. I just wonder if there is a way to avoid dreadful situations such as the one you describe. I hope that you are able to rebound from this distressing blow.

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