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Two weeks ago, my boss called me into her office.  I instantly thought doom; that they were going to get rid of me, I mean, after all I was just filling in for a six month maternity leave and there were only two more months left of that.

She told me to sit down and smiled sympathetically at me from across her desk. She asked me how I was. I answered that I’m fine. What was I supposed to say, I’m freaking out! Wondering what’s warranted this impromptu meeting! That Karim and me hadn’t sorted out our expenses to not include my income yet!

She nodded and said that was good, that she was glad I was fine and then started talking about how the organisation, unfortunately, wasn’t fine, that it  had been hit pretty badly with the credit crisis and what not, that their budget has to go further, that they have been asking people to voluntarily reduce their hours, that some people are going to start working a 3 or a 2 day week instead of being in every day and I felt like screaming, Just fire me already!

“But you, Amira, you have a 6-month contract with us, because as you know, Amira, you’re covering Amy’s maternity leave. And your contract, Amira, is ending in about two months time.”

I nod. What else was I supposed to do? Start begging her to keep me on. That I’m excellent at what I do, that she said so herself! That I get on with everyone in my department, and it’s important to have a good team, a good morale within the work dynamics is good, good, really good, for the organisation. But yeah, I just nodded.

And so she continued, “So, Amira, we were thinking…” Oh crap, here it comes, the Alan Sugar moment – you’re fired! “ We were thinking…yes, we were thinking…” Stop saying ‘we were thinking’!!! “ ..that you would like to remain with us for the foreseeable future?”

Huh? What? What was all that hoohaa about the credit crisis, blah blah blah? There’s a catch! There must be a catch! Where’s the catch?

“The catch is…” *sigh*There’s the catch. “We’ll have to reduce your days from full time to two days a week. And one day you’ll be working from home. What do you think?”

There was no two ways about it, after I graduated from uni with my MSc it had taken me a year to find a job, especially one that deals with International Relations – the subject that I had specialised in, so of course I said yes.  

And so today is my first day at home, not working. It gives me a chance to kick back and relax, enjoy two extra days of the week, spend time with my best friend and baby Aida. And actually see my hubby more. So, although our expenses will have a knock, there’s always a silver lining! Yep, always a silver lining under my slice of sky!