Friday, January 13, 2006

Reflections in transition

What do you say on walking out the door for the last time after having worked at a place for nearly six years?

When I started at the place I worked this morning, I was still sort of "young". Well, now I'm cusp-middle-aged. I took a picture of my work station today and I can't believe, even now, that I've seen it for the last time. I sat in that swivel chair for nearly six years. Or at least five; it might have been my boss's chair and I inherited it from him when he quit in December, 2000.

The guys I worked with were great; I really only knew them about a year, and even then, only fairly closely for about the last six months or so. But I was surprised when I woke up this morning to realize they wouldn't be a daily part of my life anymore. Perhaps a periodic one; I'm literally going to be working right upstairs (yeah, same street, same building, same parking lot... different company! Given there are only two in the building, what are the odds?). But those common elements of the job that our relationship was founded on are now essentially gone. Is there enough to keep going?

I hardly said good-bye to anyone. It's not my style. I'm kind of shy; I never made friends easily and I'm awful with names. I couldn't see the point in subjecting myself to the awkwardness of wandering around, shaking hands with folks I really hadn't said two words to all month in most cases, or people I once worked with but hadn't spoken to in ages. Maybe that seems cold, but it isn't. It's just cowardly. Not the same. I'm really rather maudlin and sentimental. But I just hate being put on the spot. I hope they'll understand. Let's face it, most of them won't give a damn. I don't mean they're inhuman either; that's just how it is.

Monday I start my new job. I'll probably park in the same spot. I think, I hope, I'll be glad. But tonight I'm kind of sad. Mourning, almost, it feels like. Not so much for my friends there -- I'll have ample opportunities to see them again. But my comfy, familiar workstation and my role, my lot there. The simple things I took for granted all these years that are no longer mine. I'm divorced.

I have to confess that my last few months in the job weren't really happy ones. For a lot of reasons; my boss is (I mean, was) the micromanaging type, and that came to mean that my large, one-time achievements were forgotten and overshadowed by small, nit-picking issues (one involving the use of the preposition "in" as opposed to "by" in a sentence where there was no semantic difference between them). So I was looking around. And I did find something. I suppose I ought to be happy I'm leaving on my own terms under my own steam, but the process of landing the other job and then segueing out of this one has been so long that there's no "bang" to it. Landing the new job was a job in itself; it has none of the flavour of a treat or a surprise. I wish it did.

Anyway, I haven't been blogging much, partly because of the logistics of transition — passing on my knowledge to the poor guys stuck doing my job in addition to their own till they hire a real replacement — and partly because I've been spending so much time on my Flickr account, posting my photos there and writing about them. I need to find more time for this. I'll do my best... for those to whom it matters. ...Hello? <:)


teflonjedi said...

I'm divorced.

That curious turn of phrase is exactly the phrase I had in the back of my head, when I left my job in the Boston area back in November. I found leaving to be a very strange experience. I suspect I had an easier transition than you may, because I had a cross-country drive and a completely new environment to work in.

Anyways, good luck with the new job!

United Irelander said...

Your feelings are understandable as it's a life-altering situation.

I hope it works out well for you. Good luck!

Lone Primate said...

Thanks, fellahs, it's nice to know someone swings by from time to time. I appreciate the kind sentiments. I think it'll go well tomorrow. Here's hoping, anyway. :)

teflonjedi said...

So, how did it go?