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  • Writer's pictureJessica Taylor Yates

Conversations at brunch: Did you hear? Jess got made redundant | Part 4

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Whether it's true or not, redundancy always feels personal.

Jess and her dad
Back to LinkedIn! Image: Supplied.

A new personal blog series exploring the highs and lows of the conversations you have at brunch.

This is Part 4 of a series. For a recap, click here.


Just after my Facebook Covid wedding, I got the news that my dad had been diagnosed with Stage Four liver cancer.

As a family, we rallied quickly. Taking dad to various doctors and appointments during lockdown, whilst still not being allowed to come over for a visit, or just take him to a restaurant where he could yell at the waiters or to the movies where he could talk loudly through the film, two of his favourite pastimes, was hard.

The treatments he had to undergo were hard, exhausting, draining and upsetting. He was angry and sad and sick and confused and as a 60-something male, didn't know at all how to channel it emotionally. None of us really did.

In the midst of all of this, a month or so after his diagnosis had became a reality, one morning, I received a calendar invite from work for a 5:00pm meeting. It also said that I could bring a 'support person' to the online meeting.

We all know what that means.

Just nine months after starting, I was told they would be taking the number of copywriters down from three to two. I was dumbfounded, considering they had only just hired and created the entire content team within the last year. But the pandemic had changed everything.

When I hung up the video call around 5:30pm, I was sobbing uncontrollably. I couldn't believe this was happening, in a job I loved, so soon, and after everything. We had just bought a house. Dad was sick. We were planning on still having the proper wedding and a baby in the future. What the f*ck were we going to do?

Redundancy = personal rejection

I was, in a word, hysterical.

I couldn't work. I couldn't eat. I spent the day sobbing on the couch until I couldn't breathe properly. This job had taken me so long to get after leaving my last job in tears in 2018 (after being told I was a disappointment, not good enough, embarrassing and stupid in weekly private 'chats'), and it was the first time I felt like I had a 'career' and not just a job that made money.

Previously, I'd been doing so many odd jobs to make ends meet, to not look like a failure, to pick up the slack my partner was bringing in, to not feel like a loser to my friends and family. I had a Masters degree and years of work experience in my field, yet over the last year and half, had worked as a (terrible) receptionist, in a call centre, as a First Aid trainer, doing data entry, posting flyers, opening envelopes, in a hospital equipment centre and as a failed waitress. I couldn't do it all again. I just couldn't.


So, I wasn't working, I wasn't wedding or honeymoon planning, and I wasn't going anywhere or doing anything besides taking dad to his appointments during lockdown. It was depressing. All I had was time and an internet connection. And this is when a little thing called Large Almond Latte was born.


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