"Things happen for a reason."
I have always hated this saying because it is only ever trotted out when something truly horrible has happened. Why do people never say this when you hear great news? "I just passed my driving test" "Aaah yes, things happen for a reason." Why is it that people want to say this to you only when life has just taken a massive dump on you from above?
Saying this to me will make me want to respond with, "Yes they do happen for a reason. They happen because there's a recession on and there's no money and my boss doesn't think I'm worth keeping on. Now I feel so much better!"
"Everything will be OK"
Will it? WILL IT?! Actually, I'm sure it will be fine. And one day I will look back on this chapter in my life and say "Oh yes, at the time it was shit but look how lovely life is now." But right at this minute just after I've been told I've been made redundant I'm afraid I cannot comprehend how everything is going to be OK. Instead I am in a swirling vortex of emotion in which the rug has been pulled out from under my feet and I'm trying to simultaneously work out my statutory redundancy pay (which is wank by the way. One week's pay, capped at £430 for every year you've worked. I think I'll buy a Ferrari with my pay off.) and when I have to give notice on my flat and where I last saved my CV. Telling me everything will be OK is just not helpful in the slightest and you know what? There's a chance that everything might not be OK. OK?!
"It's probably a blessing in disguise" "It's probably the push you needed to move on in your career."
I don't even feel I should need to explain this one and yet the sheer number of people I've had say this to me tells me that people clearly think it's an appropriate response to hearing that you've been made redundant.
I think the next person that says it to me I will push in front of a car and then tell them "This is probably a blessing in disguise, you've been saying you're really over-worked and now you have to spend 6 months in traction you'll have loads of time to relax."
No-one wants to be pushed out of their job whether it's good for their career or not. Think before you speak.
Things that are good to say to someone who's just been told that they've been made redundant?
Any variation on "I'm really sorry", "This is massively shit", "I really hope you find something else soon" etc etc are all acceptable and will result in you not being put on my list of Stupid People I Know.
*This list is not exhaustive and should also include the many variations of the few things listed above. My favourite was "You need to have the rain to have the rainbow" which thank goodness was received over text or I may not have been held responsible for my actions.