When I left college back in ‘67, I wrote at random to six companies looking for a job.
One replied immediately, and I started working there the following Monday.
The week after, I got the sack, but in the meantime another of the six had offered me a job so I walked straight into that.
I was with that company for two years and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I had applied for yet another job which I took.
I stuck with my third company for nearly 30 years, but all good things must come to an end, and in 2001, I “took the Package”.
This is where things got very fucking complicated. You see, the Package meant that I was still paid a salary by the company, even though I no longer worked for them, But seeing as I get a salary, then technically I do still work for them, even though I am now contractually forbidden from doing any actual work. They are literally paying me a salary to stay away from the place. That’s fine by me as I was kind of pissed off with them anyway.
So there I was – sitting on my hole at home, receiving a salary and with nothing to do.
So I started my own business.
The situation now, was that I was technically employed by my old company, but was running my own business as well.
In the course of my business, I landed a contract with yet another company, and for reasons best known to themselves, I had to register there as an employee, even though I only worked for them for a few months a year. This meant that I now had three employers – my original crowd who were paying me not to work; my new employer who only wanted me for a few months a year and my own business which filled in the gaps.
That was the year my accountant had a nervous breakdown trying to do my tax returns.
I have quit all that now, and have shut down my own business. I now have only one employer, who is still happily paying me not to work.
So I am now, for the first time in my life unencumbered with work. My days are my own. I can do what I like.
Next year, I retire officially.
Presumably, as I then go onto a pension, the clause that stated that I can’t work for them is no longer in force, and they will probably insist that I go back and earn all the money they have paid me since 2001.
The problem in the meantime is what I put down as my occupation.
I’m not retired, as that doesn’t happen until next year.
I’m not working as it is contractually forbidden.
They don’t have a box on the forms that suggests “employed not to work”.
Life is so fucking confusing at times.