Today was my last day in the division of my company that I’ve worked in for nearly 10 years. Ten years! I am looking forward to my new role doing something quite different, but it still feels strange.
I am someone who is energized by change, so I have no regrets — but personal goodbyes often throw me. And this wasn’t even a BIG goodbye, or a LONG goodbye. My new building is only a few minutes’ walk from my old one, so I can grab lunch or drinks with friends there any time – until they forget all about me, that is.
Last night, my boss generously organized a small going-away happy hour for me, and I had a subtle case of butterflies beforehand. As a rule, I don’t like being the center of attention, so that was part of it. I was also conflicted: What if tons of people showed up, and I had hours and hours of small talk ahead of me? Even worse, what if NOBODY showed up?
In the end, the group was big enough to keep the conversation flowing, yet I only had to run through my new job description once, after which I had time to stuff my face with pub food and wash it down with Newcastle Brown. I was even able to leave early enough to do laundry before crashing in my PJs, in a carb coma. And when I weighed myself this morning, I’d only gained three pounds! (Ah, the joys of partying in one’s 40s.)
I’ve determined that some of my finest hours in a job come after giving notice, because based on personality tests like Gallup’s StrengthsFinder — I’m highly responsible. I obsess about leaving everything in perfect order, all tied up with a bow. Unfortunately, the stress that accompanies that usually manifests itself as flightiness and forgetfulness, and I end up losing the security badge to my office building.
You can’t make this stuff up – every time I have changed jobs, I have lost my security badge. I can hang on to the same badge for YEARS, but sometime during my 2-3 weeks’ notice, I will misplace it. Two jobs changes ago, I was also moving apartments so my life was insane – and I lost multiple badges in just a few weeks. The security office in my building threatened to start charging me a per-badge fee. It was that bad.
So in keeping with tradition, today I had to confess to the administrative assistant for my new team that he’d need to order me another badge, because I’d lost mine. In other words, I pissed off the office admin before I even started. Excellent!
Find new job: CHECK! Participate in one happy hour, with ambivalence: CHECK! Lose security badge: CHECK! So I guess that means my job here is done, and it’s time to start a new job… over there.
By Monday I’ll be ready, so bring it on? No wait, that’s not right. I mean, BRING IT ON.