Tomorrow is the last day as an official employee of My Company. As much as I bitch about it, I can’t deny that working there has offered me many gifts: strong friendships, self-worth, a chance to get more familiar with how maps work.
I started working there on October 6, 2004 – two days after everyone else, due to a screw up of the infamous ‘twat’ in charge of HR at the time. (The ‘twat’ is courtesy of my wonderful ex-supervisor.) I’ve gained a lot. I don’t know if I would have trained as a counsellor without first having that job – or at the very least, I wouldn’t have begun training when I did. Now I’m qualified, and on my way to being a really good therapist.
I live across the street from a fabulous woman who also started late due to an HR screw-up. As a result of my job, I’ve been on a roadtrip to several other countries, been swimming in the grossest area ever, and have gotten so drunk that I stopped drinking for two years as a result. None of these strictly during work hours – except for the swimming one. Shh. Don’t tell.
I met some amazing young people, forming relationships with some of them that have lasted for years. I’ve got to see people grow up, transform their lives, become a little bit more of who they want to be.
My flat is still full of branded pens, notepads, briefcases, t shirts, pencils, erasers, little fuzzy monsters, stress relief squeezies, alarm clocks, pedometers, stickers, post-it notes, keychains. I have about 450 business cards I never used and have not yet thrown away. I have thrown away about 200. I have given out about twenty.
I’ve had more training in the past 3.5 years than most get in a lifetime of jobs. I’ve worked as part of the most fantastic team of people; real people who like to have real fun. Honest, passionate, slightly crazy co-workers spread across a large area of the city.
I have had my heart broken as I sat with crying young women being forced into marriage. I have helped them escape. I have written letters back and forth with a young man in prison, someone with such potential it shines from every pore. I have received a phone call twelve months on, a here’s-how-i’m-doing-i-just-want-to-say-thank-you call. I have gotten a card thanking me for caring. I have touched lives, and I have been touched.
Tomorrow I hand in my laptop, my phone. I trade them for a life of a new identity badge, a new team, a different way of being. I will undoubtedly lose touch with some, and meet other people who will expand my life. I will continue to search for a new job, because My Job – the one I have hated and loved – is over. Finito.
I may do the same thing for a different company, but most of the ties are cut…or loosening. I will move away from this city, say goodbye to those young people, facebook with my company friends. One more day of that windowless basement, the computer guy’s heavy breathing, and free lunches. One more day in this place I’ve been trying to escape from for over three years.
Tuesday I escape, but now – Sunday – I thank myself for the small and large gifts this job has given me.