And so it came to pass that during the hottest summer for years I end up back in a factory sweating buckets. I've got to run this operation for three weeks and then close it down - more job losses - and transfer it to the other side of the country and start it up again - job gains. Looks like six weeks' work for me. After the first week, I'm beginning to regret it. Tight deadlines, agency workers with no experience, a mountain of stock for which no records exist. After seven weeks of doing very little, this is a severe shock.
I have another call from a recruitment agent, who thinks he may have an opening for me in Watford. It's amazing how many people think Hereford is a place for dyslexics who can't spell Hertford. Nice of him to think of me, though.
Down to the job centre to tell them the goodish news. You can't tell what these six-week escapades are going to lead to - I may never see this place again. I would like to say that I will miss looking at the little white cards with improbable jobs and very predictable wages, but I won't. Having signed off, I get a tax rebate. Great rejoicing - that Moldovan wine was truly awful.
The agency has supplied me with a gaggle of students. I asked for girls because they're more suited to the type of work I'm doing, but you're not allowed to specify so I end up with 90 per cent boys. After the usual start-up hiccups - students can't read or count - things settle down to be merely frantic.
Another plus is that I'm now excused from household duties apart from a little light dusting - it's the endlessness of it all that gets you down. The place doesn't look that great when I've finished anyway.
I've got to keep the pressure on the job search as well. I don't want to end up at square one again. Actually, I had decided to ease up a bit, but my sternest critic - my wife - didn't seem to think much of this. So it's back to scouring the local press again and wading through the hundreds of care assistant ads looking for the nugget. Still, it's better than getting up at 4am to watch Midland Job Finder on the television.The author lives in Hereford. He worked as a factory production manager before being made redundant. His diary appears every Thursday.Reuse content