My last day


The day has finally come.   In some ways it felt like it would never get here.  It has been months in the making, and has been well needed for several years. That’s right.  Today is my last day in my current job.

After three months of interviews, background checks and health screenings (I doubt Obama vetted his cabinet this thoroughly), I was cleared for hiring and issued my new badge for my new job which starts on Monday.  Yay me!

I gave my notice three and a half weeks ago, and as I have mentioned here, my current boss has been, well, weird about it.  Some are being kind and saying he’s simply in denial.

The first bit of evidence of his denial was his refusal to negotiate with my new boss on my release date.  I’m simply moving over to a different division of the business, so it is courtesy that the new and the old bosses confer and come up with a mutually agreeable  date for the transfer that is no more than a month from the day notice is given.   Basically he just said he didn’t know when he could release me and the negotiation  ended. New boss had to get HR involved and they just told him outright when I was leaving – and it was a very reasonable 3 1/2 weeks after I gave notice.  Old boss’s only comment?  “I had hoped you would leave with dignity” and “your new boss is not a very nice person.”

For the next couple of weeks old boss completely ignores me.  There is no transition plan. I have no idea who is going to take my work, who I can direct my users/clients to.  Fingers are twiddled. A novel is written.  Old boss shaves his head (no, it’s not a style thing – he is neither a hipster nor losing his hair. Frankly, I think he just pulled a Britney).  When finally one of my colleagues asked him this last Tuesday if we were going to have a lunch for me, since I’ve only been on the team eight freakin’ years, she said he looked as if he had been slapped.  An email gets sent: “LB has decided to pursue her career outside of the group.  Let’s say farewell at lunch.”   OK, I guess it’s better than nothing.  Though I’ve certainly read more gracious notices/invitations, especially after 8 years of service.  But, hey, it’ a free lunch.

At lunch, due to a fluke in seating, my boss ends up sitting next to me.  I expected maybe he would want to know the status of wrapping up my projects, or perhaps let me in on his plan for who my users should contact. Perhaps even a polite “you will be missed, but we wish you well in your new endeavor.”  You know, the usual.  But, instead, he spent much of the lunch acting as if I was not going to leave.  He said I still had time to change my mind, and that he hadn’t even started my exit paperwork.  Oh, and the giggling. The maniacal giggling. Really, old boss, there is nothing funny about trying to guilt trip someone into staying.

If this had been a normal farewell luncheon, someone, usually the boss would say something nice about me, and then I would get a chance to make a closing statement.  I was advised by some wise friends to kill them with kindness in my speech.  And I was prepared to do that.  But, since the old boss refused to acknowledge my leaving, that whole step was skipped.

I’m somewhat relieved though. I don’t like being insincere and I don’t lie well. I’m not feeling gracious.   I think my old boss is an ass.  Normally, I’ve cut him some slack and have said “He’s a nice man, but a bit of a novice in terms of being a manager.”  Nope.  He’s an ass.   As for my other colleagues*, truth be told, I’m really not going to miss them all that much.  It’s not that they are not nice people.  They are.  I just have nothing in common with them. There is no glue to hold together any friendships outside of that environment.

So, I head into the office for my last day.  A lot of people work from home on Fridays.  It should be quiet. I will pack my things, change my voice mail, change the title and contact information on my email.  I can be pretty damn sentimental sometimes, but I don’t see a bout of that coming on.   I’m just going to be relieved it’s over.

* It wasn’t complete social hell there.  There are people I worked with closely during my tenure on that job that I consider friends, but they worked in a different division and office.  I hope to continue my relationships with those people, both personally and professionally.


17 responses »

  1. I can’t believe you’re leaving! It was sooo sudden! Are you sure?? Have you really thought about it! Have you weighed all the pros and cons??!! was there something wrong that we should know about??? Won’t you please reconsider?? 🙂

  2. “There is no glue to hold together any friendships outside of that environment.”

    well aged mazola anda plastik tarp

  3. Eight years is a long time. The longest job I’ve had has been for about four and a half. Next comes my current job at three. And to be frank that’s been a strain. So after eight years you’ve earned a little changing suffering.

  4. Some people are like that, they can’t face the future, it ruins their world perspective. The boss will miss you, in his own special way, when he comes to terms with it.

    The best of luck to you in your new job and department!

  5. In a way, I would have been a bit flattered because your ex-boss’ behavior shows that he didn’t want you to leave and that says a lot.

    In another way, I would have been really pissed off. I left a job at the end of one school year expecting to be there when summer was over. That didn’t happen. The principal made my life a living hell and I ended up resigning and going to another district three days before school started. I never got a chance to say good bye to my co-workers or to the students I had taught for two years. Then when I went back to get my things (you know how school teachers spend their own money on supplies so that about 90% of the stuff in the class is theirs?) the same principal had me “escorted” and had the person make a written record of what I was taking with me. It was horrible. It was degrading and humiliating and I did not one damn thing to merit that treatment.

    So see why I’d be sort of flattered?

  6. woah, sounds to me like your old boss had a personal issue there – are you sure he didn’t, you know, hold a torch for you or something?

    Or were you the only reason his department functioned and he was freaking out at potentially being exposed as incompetent?

    I can’t see why he’d be so freaked about you leaving after 8 years otherwise.

    Of course, the only other explanation is that he is, in fact, an ass.

  7. BQ – Believe it. No, it wasn’t. Yes, I’m sure. Yes, I’ve thought about it. Yup. If you really wanted to know that you would have asked for an exit interview. Nope. Buh-bye!

    BBGolly – Yes, and with moist toilettes for that extra special sense of hygiene.

    WisdomJunkie – Interesting you mention “changing suffering”. I think one of the reasons I stayed there so long was this belief that to change jobs was merely changing suffering. I don’t think this was a helpful view. While I recognize that a new job is not the source of all happiness, finding a living that meets certain basic needs like to feel useful and of service is important. Staying suffering in a job that doesn’t fit doesn’t really serve anyone. Sure, I may have acquainted myself more thoroughly with the suffering hell realms of boredom, in my new job I’ll be able to actually help people – sure on a temporary, samsaric level, but this job more closely fits not only my career aspirations, but my personal/spiritual ones also.

    Stevo – Thanks. 🙂

    Amurin – I’ve never been quite sure what to make of him. I think in addition to be a novice manager, there were some cultural issues that I don’t quite get. My Indian colleagues seemed to be pretty content with him as a manager, while most of the non-Indians were not. Maybe it’s a comfort level thing. Maybe it’s just a cultural view about work. I don’t know. I’m just glad I don’t have to stick around to figure it out.

    Corina – I’m starting to get the impression that a graceful exit is indeed a rarity. I’ve talked to some other new hires in the New Employee Orientation yesterday, and we were all exchanging our crazy boss exit stories. I think it’s great people are invested in their jobs and all, but boundaries, people, boundaries. It’s a job. People come and they go. It’s not (always) personal.

    Truce – No, the boss definitely didn’t hold a torch for me – one of my other much less competent colleagues possibly, but not for me. I think one of the reasons he’s freaking out is b/c he left me alone to kind of do my thing and manage my apps. The person who is supposed to back me up is useless, so now no one really understands apps as I did. But, you would think that he would have used that 3 1/2 weeks to drain my brain of every last useful fact, but instead he ignored me and hoped I would change my mind. Sorry dude, you’re on your own now.

  8. Yes, that is a view that seems to predominate in NKT. It is easy to get caught in these traps. However, I do know teachers who acknowledge that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with changing suffering.

    My view is that we need to change our suffering. But we need to recognise it for what it is – merely changing suffering, and not a source of real happiness. That’s the important bit. If we have this understanding, we’re not going to fool ourselves.

    What would happen if we stood up all day because sitting down would merely be ‘changing our suffering’? Life would be unbearable. The same is probably true of eating, sex, movies and everything else. So we do need to change our suffering sometimes. If we’re in a complete state of suffering, how are we going to focus on the things that matter?

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