@CharliMills Flash Fiction Prompt: Industry

In response to Charli Mill’s weekly Flash Fiction Prompt: Industry

One year on, an unexpected correspondence landed in my inbox.

FW: Additional Information – Workpac & Centrelink

At first I thought it was spam, but I recognised the sender. My old boss. Or, to be more accurate, my old boss’s boss’s boss. The big boss.

The big boss was sending out links on how to find work.

Despite having left the industry for my own reasons (and pleased to see the back of it) I couldn’t help but feel a foreboding sorrow.

Operations temporarily suspended. 242 jobs lost.

Owned by a blue-chip company, but ended up another Blue Sky Mine.

December 30

This is actually a true story – the mine I used to work at has been one of a number mines in Australia to close. I must have been left on the mailing list by accident to get the email. It’s pretty surprising to see your old boss email you about Centrelink (the government job and income support in Australia). The next day, I saw it on the news: 242 jobs.

I hadn’t kept in touch with anyone I knew from that mine. I wonder what they’re doing, but it would be a bit like rubber-necking to call them now. Some will be okay, and some won’t. Circumstance is a terrible thing. You almost need to plan for bad times, just in case.

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8 thoughts on “@CharliMills Flash Fiction Prompt: Industry

  1. It’s fortunate for you that you moved on of your own accord. Not so good for others who may have had their positions terminated with little warning and few alternative opportunities. I wish everytone the best in finding peace and acceptance in their new, hopefully comfortable, circumstances.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true. In retrospect, the writing on the wall was starting to show, but what alternatives do most people have? They just keep their heads down and hope for the best. I hope everyone is doing okay. I remember talking about the 2012 coal downturn with some of the miners who managed to get base metal jobs, and it was a dark time for them. Mining isn’t an industry Australia can rely on, and with manufacturing well and truly gone overseas… What’s going to happen when construction and housing dry up too? Ugh, I’ve started a chain reaction of dreary thoughts now…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It sounds like the same boom and bust cycles we experience in the US. My eldest daughter wrote her masters thesis on the boom and bust of mining in Montana. It can be a shock to those who think the job will always be there. Sometimes it’s a chance at reinventing our lives and dusting off dreams outside the dust of mines. Great take on the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

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