15 minutes

Warhol’s infamous soup screenprint

A humble slice of time, yet sometimes, 15 minutes is all it takes. Warhol infamously suggested that everyone would have their moment one day, and that moment would last for 15 minutes. No more, no less.

Relationships are kindled, deals struck, meals quaffed, bodies toned, orgasms achieved, minds re-charged, journeys ended, posts written – all within a mere 900 seconds. And every 15 minutes, we are told, someone is killed by a drunk driver.

My 15 minutes came today. My manager (the architect of a new vision for our programme who believes in it so much, she has decided to leave before it can be implemented) and our Human Resources robot sat across from me and reiterated that I was going to be made redundant. They gave me some papers, arranged to meet me again, and sent me on my way.

Throughout the day, colleagues were having their own 15 minutes (in some cases double that), but the content of that conversation was essentially the same. Scores of us are being told to bog off. Not in so many words, mind, but the sentiment is clear enough. Yes, there is a re-deployment process. Yes, they have paid lip service to the principle of retaining as many staff as possible, but the reality is this: if they don’t like you, there is no place for you in the new, relaunched version of our organisation.

Never mind. Change is good, I tell myself, although at least in this respect, it seems my attempts to achieve change are consistently thwarted by circumstances that, more and more, appear to be conspiring against me (more on this in a future post).

Never mind. Never mind all that. Two good things happened today, too, one of which lasted 15 minutes, the other, not so time-bound.

  • I received a genuine thank you for a complex report I edited recently. I even got a hug.
  • Ben asked me how I was and waited to hear the answer. He came round, picked up Rosie, tidied up, and generally tried to take the pressure off, appreciating that this is a bad week for me.

Sometimes, people do make an effort to change. And sometimes, change really is good. And that takes rather a bit longer than 15 minutes.

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5 thoughts on “15 minutes

  1. First of all, you write beautifully. I think of you and your family often. I find myself getting hopeful and optimistic and then I remind myself to keep it in check. Yes, people do indeed change. I’ve certainly known more than a few! You have shown much grace in making room for that possibility.

  2. Pingback: Sleep loss and other weekend pastimes | married to an alcoholic

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