“It’s not goodbye…just a change in your email ID” said the note, decorated with a million ‘smileys’, on her desk. She smiled at the well-thought humor. She knew exactly how the day would pan out. She was infact, prepared for it. In the last four years she has experienced this a dozen times. Except, here she was the one leaving people she has shared ten plus hours a day with for the last four years. People she has worked closely with, people she has learnt and grown with, people who have praised, people who have mentored, people who have shared their wisdom, people who have inspired, people whom she respected, people whom she has never met, people she at times castigated, even people who have labeled her ‘aggressive’ in public and ‘bitch’ in private, have all been dealt with in the last three days. She has even managed to keep her irritation on being hugged and kissed by people she miserably disliked, well hidden.
She has always been uncomfortable with attention. It makes her nervous. She tries to look calm and stoic when showered with attention in public but inside she hopes to blend into the woodwork and get on with the work. This truth often surprises people who have known her for a while. Given the outward effervescence it’s a tad difficult to discern the truth at first.
To get on with the tale, she has been ‘taken’ out for lunch and dinner for the last couple of days by various people from different parts of the organization. She has enjoyed them but had managed to be part detached at all times. But today it was the time to lunch with her own team of twelve. A lunch that kept her peculiar preferences in mind. Italian spread that ended with an authentic ‘meetha paan’. (An amazing feat to get that served inside snooty Fiorano!) Despite her protests, she was heaped with a pile of gifts including her favourite yellow chrysanthemums! It was obvious that they had put a lot of effort in planning this. It was also obvious that they knew her well. The card said, “We are proud of you. You shine no matter where you go”. This touches her like nothing before. Overwhelmed, she managed to say just thank you. By the time lunch was done, she had given into the emotional foolishness of tears.
Yes, today was her last day at work. But as a close office pal said, every end is a new beginning.