Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Diary of My Last Day--For the Memories

Got into work 20 minutes late due to last minute stuffing of the car with the last of the stuff from my daughter's place. My tiny car now looks like I may be living in it.

7:00 Clean out the last drawer at work and go through the last of the professional documents on the remaining shelves above my desk. I have already filled a large green recycle dumpster with files no longer needed. So much of what we do at work is busywork.
7:45 Go through some historic materials and sort certain files for boxing and mailing to remote staff.
8:10 A few farewells from staff who stop by the desk and one surprise hug. I send out a thank-you to that 'Team' who gave me a nice lunch the day before.
8:30 Exit interview with the person who oversees all the divisions including ours. I was calm but honest. Bottom line is that resource depletion, a few dysfunctional personalities and a few hard-workers who spend time looking over their shoulder are interfering with the peace. He actually said he would implement some of my ideas because they were good. He has several idiots under his domain and knew exactly what I was talking about.
9:30 Take exit form around for signing and find that since I had parts of it pre-signed yesterday (by appropriate staff), it made the person who starts the form today look like she wasn't doing her job (??) 15 minutes of small talk and reassuring her and I finally get the signed form back to walk around!
10:00 Get a lovely figurine from our secretary and a rose. Unfortunately the figurine got broken in the transport, and while easily repairable, she is devastated. She will miss me the most as I have been the one she leans on when stressed, and she gets stressed a lot.
10:30 Get an orchid corsage from the other division head who insists this signifies the start of the party. She is the one everyone hates as she micromanages the hell out of things and never listens to you. Today she has gone out of her way to be considerate...who knew? The orchid is missing the plastic tube for attaching and we jury rig with some brown book tape someone had in a drawer. (Is all this an omen?)
10:45 Write a lengthy memo outlining the history of a project that never got off the ground and for which monies had been allocated and then disappeared. While I didn't point fingers I made clear where the problems were. Also find some last minute digital outreach files for colleagues who are in a panic about loosing them.
11:15 Hubby has come to the building and is meeting with an old friend and then we head out together for a quick lunch.
11:45 Heading out to load the over-crammed car with yet one more box! Now I have only a tiny place to sit as hubby will be driving.
12:15 Going over the last of the email folders and files on my PC to make sure I didn't miss anything.
12:45 Labeling the last of the packages that need to be routed to other offices and washing down the bare shelves and desktop...yes I am anal.
1:30 The Party Starts. I am surprised that both of my children can make it. I also see a few colleagues from remote areas of the program that I haven't seen in a while. I didn't expect them because the flyer about my retirement was posted just the day before. Over thirty people show up (including two that I am sure I do not know!) and the table is spread for a king. (They love me, they really love me ;-))
1:00 Lots of very nice speechifying with just a little roasting. Several paper certificates and gift cards.
1:30 My brief farewell speech. At the first I almost loose it and then tell myself I refuse to cry and I hold it together. I actually stupidly hadn't planned anything to am doing a stream of consciousness thing.
1:40 More gifts, lots of photos. I am beginning to feel like some movie star as even people I hate have to have a picture taken with me!
3:30 It is finally all over. Such a rush-around morning followed by a very emotional afternoon. Send out my final thank you email to all. Hubby and I gather the gifts and once again cram the car with more stuff. Farewell to the children.
3:40 Head down to my new house for the very last time from this office. Very much a stunned thought time. You know it is coming...but like having a baby you can't really get your mind around it until it happens.

Such a milestone. And definitely worth a thoughtful blog entry once all has been digested.

Monday, April 28, 2008

You're Gone Before You're Gone

This past week I have had two colleagues come drooling over my cubicle (one of the best locations and sizes on the floor) asking who was going to get it when I am gone--like I know or care! I have had another colleague ask if I minded if my PC was moved to somewhere else next week after I am retired...again I feel DITTO.

And finally, just this morning, another colleague asked if I had Adobe PhotoShop on my PC and since I was leaving his 'helper' needed a copy and could he put in a ticket to have it removed from my PC and transferred to hers?

"Don't let the door hit you on the way out." This does sound a little more heartless than it actually is...but not by much.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I am so OUTTA here.

I was less than a month from the big retirement date ( this past April 4) when the former 'Team' that I worked with sent me an email that we needed to get together for the transition to exchange ideas and a little 'farewell." This is so totally spastic as far as I am concerned, because the last time I was included in a meeting with this 'Team,' was March 22, 2007! Other than the routine outreach mailing I have not met, seen or traveled with any of them and have no idea what their initiatives, projects and needs are. I do know that they meet almost weekly. Quite frankly, I have learned to enjoy work-life without them. Other than the few snide emails I exchange with others with whom they have burned bridges, I have gotten over the insulting ignoring process. Now I have to sit through a 2-HOUR transition meeting tomorrow and a farewell lunch next week. My tongue will be bleeding!

Maybe I will bring the huge half-inch thick folder of web files and pass it across the table and say "Any questions?"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Six-Word Memoir

Accepting this Meme challenge from Colleen to write a six word memoir:

I have a few for a quick blog entry on this busy weekend. (I am in the process of moving into my house on a permanent basis over the next two
weekends and this means going through more clothes than a 'non-material' girl should have. In other words, being retired means I have no excuse for all the material I have hanging in my closet!)

1. Living one day at a time
2. Forever looking for my inner peace
3. Life was too short for me
4. I needed one more beach walk!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Stream of Consciousness Tabor

March 28:

I was in a dark nightclub in a scuzy part of town (rereading this sounds like a Guy Noir skit). We took a cab because daughter and I were too scared to leave a car ANYWHERE IN THE AREA. Nightclub was filled with twenty and thirty-somethings. A very few were "over-medicated." Even though I was one with the beat once the band started, I kept thinking the little flecks of light on the floor and lower backs of people from the turning mirrored balls above was a toddler moving between the adults. Sort of a grandma reaction that took a while to shake. My daughter said the crowd was 'alternative' due to the facial hair and just a few with tattoos. The bouncer wore spiked wrist guards and looked so totally bored. He had that expression on his face that a parent has when he has just put the child in a time-out for the fifth time in an evening. Music was great even though the sound system was mediocre. My son introduced me to a chatty Kathy that was a total fan of the band. Said she was a "band-aid." Seemed to be totally jazzed about meeting my son's mom and sis. Please God, do not make this the final girlfriend!

Left the club after midnight and took a cab back to the car which we found had been towed! They towed it an hour before the meter expired, but have not been able to get justice on this to this day! The extra $100 fine did put a damper on the evening.

March 29:

A whiplash Saturday morning for this old head. Up early with toddler getting ready for a trip to a museum with another toddler friend to have an early celebration of grandson's third birthday. It was far more scary than the night before watching toddlers run beneath displays and climb upon metal chairs and benches. Then back for gift opening and homemade chocolate birthday cake which daughter and I had decorated with a PERFECT Lightning McQueen frosting graphic, if I do say so myself.

March 30:

Sunday was a second birthday celebration with the arrival of the other set of grandparents. While I would have loved to lie around in bed or watch cartoons with grandson, I escaped to the mall to give the grandparents one-on-one time and to give me some sanity time.

March 30, March 31, and April 1:

Took daughter and I three evenings to watch the movie "Rendition" which we had rented while both hubbys were on travel. ("
The story of an Egyptian, married to an American, picked up on the suspicion of links to terrorist organizations and shipped to a friendly (with US) Arab country for "enhanced interrogation.") We could only get blocks of 45 minutes free time before we both were ready to fall asleep. The Egyptian is kidnapped just after arrival in the U.S. from a business trip and the wife spends the rest of the movie in a panic trying to determine where he is.

April 2:

Hubby is arriving - finally - from Korea in the early evening. I get ready to meet him with a call the airport to confirm his flight arrival time. They tell me the arrival time is 30 minutes earlier than I had scheduled, so I tell daughter and rush to the airport. The flight has arrived by the time I get there and for some reason my cell phone is not working. I go ahead and park and head to baggage claim. Many of the passengers have gotten their bags and are leaving. I scan the crowd, but no hubby. I wait until just a few stragglers are left collecting their luggage. I go to the United desk and try to get information. The lady behind the desk is vague and suggests I just go home and wait for his call. (This Rendition movie is beginning to nag at my brain.) I decide to wait for the final flight from Korea which comes in a little later. So, I ask her if by any chance he is on that one. NOPE! I cannot get into my voicemail on my cell...geeze. I head to daughter's house.

I reach there at 9:30 and ask daughter to check her email on her blackberry since I do not have a computer at her house. She doesn't have any messages. She cannot get into my email with her little machine--probably javascripting block.

10:00 PM we get a call from Hubby who was caught in the major FAA/United cancellation of flights--guess I should have been watching the news instead of a movie. He and three others worked the desks at Pusan like a team and were able to get out of Korea that same evening. There were only 8 from his flight who made it out of Korea that night...he is pretty enterprising! The only problem is that he is now in New York and he lost one bag! He has a morning flight home scheduled.

April 3:

I get Hubby without incident and we rush down to the house to pack. We are heading for a week's vacation in Sarasota, Florida. Why the rush? We have to meet daughter and family at the Tampa airport in just two days and we are driving down---with more baby and toddler junk than is found at a Babies "R' Us sale in the two backseats along with two newly installed carseats. We work hard to squeeze in our two small suitcases and a few beach chairs while leaving room for two adults to sit in the back.

April 4-11:

A blur of beaches, aquariums and DisneyWorld. Forgetting the long lines at DisneyWorld, the expense of gas and the strange leg rash Hubby got from wading through seagrasses, methinks everyone should have this much fun in their old age.

April 14:

WE MAKE IT BACK HOME! Had a wonderful time and hope I can get my head in gear before heading back to work on Wednesday.