A FORMER Thomas Cook employee has told why she will not be joining the company that has taken over since the travel firm’s collapse.

Earlier this week, The Argus spoke to staff at Hays Travel in North Street, Brighton.

The company has employed about two thirds of Thomas Cook’s employees nationally and those at the new branch in Brighton are delighted to have their jobs back.

But only two of the six employees at the North Street Thomas Cook transferred to Hays.

Simone Glazer, from Telscombe Cliffs, was one of those who decided not to take up Hays’ offer.

She said: “I worked for Thomas Cook in Brighton for 29 years. I had a loyal following of customers and they’d often pop in for a chat.

“We were told to ignore what they said was press scaremongering about Thomas Cook going under.

“Obviously we were a bit shocked, but we were told it would be fine the next week and to continue selling holidays.

“I sold six holidays on the Friday. I feel so bad because those holidays were lost.

“I was just gutted. One of the worse things about losing my job at Thomas Cook was not being able to say thank you and goodbye to all my customers who had booked with me over the years. They had become friends, not just customers.

“I meet socially with some of them, and I’ve managed to get in touch with a few of them on social media to say thank you.

“But it’s been more difficult to contact my elderly customers who aren’t on social media.

“I’ve managed to send thank you cards to some of them.

“It was so upsetting, losing my job after all these years.

“And it was emotional seeing my colleagues when we knew the company was going under and having to break up that bond you have as fellow employees.

“The shop may have been falling to pieces when we left but it was our shop.

“I was left thinking ‘what do I do now?’.

“I’ve done travel all my life and I’m self-employed now. I work as a travel counsellor through a company based in Manchester.

“The support I have received from them has been fantastic.

“I feel that I have definitely made the right decision for me and my family, but it is daunting going from being employed to self-employed.

“I am very happy that my former colleagues at the Brighton store have their jobs back and wish them well for the future.

“I was not planning to look for another job in my fifties.

“I thought I would retire at Thomas Cook, but sometimes things happen in life for a reason and I am looking forward to my new business venture.”

Thomas Cook was one of the world’s best-known holiday brands.

More than 9,000 jobs were at risk across the country when the company went bust.

The firm blamed its problems on a number of issues, including political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey, the heatwave last summer, and customers delaying booking holidays because of Brexit.