The London Paper – 23 Jan 2009
Ways to survive the Credit Crunch, no 245: Give it all up and go to Goa until May … and then reassess your options. I know this may sound easier said than done for many (especially if you’ve got a moody mortgage, tetchy sprogs or a needy Labradoodle) but I’ve met enough folk out here recently who’ve chosen this option that I think it’s worth considering – especially as it’s also a way of showing bosses they don’t hold all the cards during a recession.
Since arriving in Goa three weeks ago I’ve met ex-bankers, ex-lawyers and ex-wives who have all decided that the Crunch has given them the perfect excuse to leave the rat race. They’ve made a logical analysis of their situation. They’ve concluded that renting a cosy beach hut for 8 quid a night, eating tandoori King Fish and chips at £2.50 a pop whilst watching dolphins play in the warm sea may be marginally more fun than struggling to finance a mortgage by doing a job they hate in the grey, cold drizzle of wintery London. They’re renting their gaffs and living off that revenue. They’ve decided that instead of playing ‘their game’ i.e. working ever harder for less cash in an increasingly insecure job market they’ll stick two sun-tanned fingers up at their ruthless bosses and remind themselves that they’re not wage-slaves.
The simple fact is that bosses across the Square Mile and in other industries will know that they have the power in 2009. They’ll know that they can squeeze their workers until the pips squeak because their employees feel insecure due to the ever-present threat of job cuts. The bosses can simply mention how hard Herbert in accounts is working and how you’ll have to ‘up your game’ if you still want a job come June and many people will simply step to it – buying into their nasty, threatening strategy. We simply mustn’t let the buggers get away with this hideous nonsense.
My ex-peers in the City have told me that the job is no fun anymore. They’re having to do every trick in the book to survive. They wear a suit continually even at banks which have a dress-down policy to pretend they have important business meetings. They no longer take boozy lunches and office politics is rabid. What a waste of time.
I think we need to make a stand. We need to show our bosses who’s actually boss of our destiny. Out here in Goa we are a band of renegades who have rejected the egregious excesses of Thatcherite capitalism … either that or a bunch of stoners, I’m not sure. Who knows? It doesn’t matter … book a one-way flight and join us.