As some of you will know my business, like many, many others, has been under severe pressure. I have twelve full time employees. We've done the massive cost cutting, the wage cuts, and been virtually gymnastic in trying to bring in revenue but all to little avail. My own wage was below one of my employees for two months earlier this year. Over the summer things really got bad. Year on year we're down 40% in revenue.
I've been having ever more drastic meetings with my accountant but today, reality bit. I had to let two people go. These are wonderful workers; dependable, engaging, pleasant and loyal. One has been with me for eight years. I know their partners, one of whom is on the dole, and we have been to each others family events. It was a genuinely horrible experience- shock and tears.
Two years ago I would never have thought I would ever have been in this position. Much is said about 100 redundancies here, 200 there. The numbers mentioned on the news almost depersonalise the tragedy but it came front and centre for me today. The fact that there are ten others looking at their colleagues fate today will also undoubtedly create terrible worry for them too.
But the truly horrible thing is I don't think it'll be the last time I have to have that conversation.
Today, for me, Ireland's reality bit.