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Last Updated: Monday, 18 April, 2005, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Facing up to life after MG Rover
Norman Hanson
Mr Hanson says he is entering the job market with apprehension
As thousands of MG Rover workers face up to the first week of redundancy BBC News is following one family affected by the cuts.

Norman Hanson, 48, a logistics operator for 20 years at the Longbridge plant, was one of the 5,000 employees who received their redundancy notices on Monday.

He lives with his wife Melanie, 48, and 16-year-old son Joseph in Selly Oak - he also has a 22-year-old daughter, Kimberly, who lives in Portsmouth.

I've been up since half past five this morning not being able to sleep, waiting for the postman to see if I had a letter, worrying if I didn't have a letter then has it got lost in the post, did I have to go into work? The uncertainty of the last week has been agony.

This morning we knew definitely. We'd heard that 1,000 people were being kept on and you hoped it was going to be you, common sense tells you it's not but you still hope.

When the letter arrived I felt shock, I didn't want it to be there but I opened it immediately.

My wife and my son were there when I opened it and I read it through. Then my wife went off to work and my son off to school. I've got two dogs and I took them for a walk on my own with my thoughts.

Norman Hanson
I'm an old-fashioned sort of bloke, it's a man's job to keep his family, it's been hard
Norman Hanson reading his redundancy notice

I was thinking what was the worst that could happen, we could lose the house, I was being negative at the time but then I thought I've got to look forward.

Then I met a friend up the road, a lovely lady, her husband used to work at Rover but he left a while ago. I asked how he was and she said he was in a hospice.

I thought what problems have I got compared to that? At that moment I was feeling sorry for myself and it gave me a kick up the pants and I thought I'll get there.

Money-making ideas

I went to the shops round here to see what vacancies they've got. I've got one application form from Homebase so I've got to get on and fill it in, I'll do anything they've got.

I called into Sainsbury's but they said they're not taking people on, B&Q said the same but gave me a phone number to call. Now I've got to find out how to do a CV, not having ever done one.

After 20 years working there is a lot of apprehension being made redundant.

The last time I was in the job market there was no such thing as a CV, it used to be, 'have you got a job?' 'yes, have you got two arms and two legs?' 'yes' 'Then start Monday'.

A week ago my wife got a part-time job, she's never had to work since the kids have been born. I'm an old-fashioned sort of bloke, it's a man's job to keep his family, it's been hard and it is an embarrassment not to be working.

I've had a few ideas to make money, it's a student area round here so I thought about printing flyers and posting them through doors offering repairs.

I've got a fork lift truck licence and have been a store man, B&Q would be ideal. I'd do anything really, if a job came along I'd do it. I'm prepared to do any retraining.

BBC News will be following Mr Hanson's progress all this week.


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