`Hey, all; Happy and Healthy Friday –
Well, here we are: my final Job Rants column from this, my longest single period of employment; and the one which inspired me to start doing this whole thing in the first place. It’s funny: In the past decade, I’ve imagined my last day on this job many times; more often than not, after a particularly busy day or difficult client, and it has never been as cleanly or professionally as this. Honestly, I expected a lot more screaming and yelling, coupled with maybe a few obscene hand gestures thrown in for good measure. Now that I’m actually here, though? I really don’t know what to think. Last week, I joked that, despite my having been doing this for the better part of a decade, I had neither the time nor inclination for reflection. Well, given that this this last week has been a combination of clearing out our space, coupled with being on-hold for ungodly periods with doctor’s offices trying to close out open cases…I’ve found the time.
So, let’s see: I’ve been promoted twice, went through numerous title and duty changes, and even found myself trusted enough to go on a business trip to personally help shore up a branch office. I’ve seen co-workers come and go; many even staying long enough for me to bother to remember their names; and a few of them even getting perilously close to becoming more than “just” workmates. (The sordid tales of which are not worth covering, here) I’ve worked under more than one boss; with my current one actually being a co-worker with whom I started this position. Ironically, that means, out of every person in this office, I’m most comfortable talking back to him if something’s in my craw; but I usually only save that power for emergencies.
Outside the office, I saw one friend to the altar, and another to the grave. I started writing again, then stopped; and started again. I lost 30 pounds, and gained 40. I said final goodbyes to aunts even as I was first greeted as an uncle. I cheered at the cultural shifts that bring us forward, and wept at those yanking us back. Under the specter of plague, I decided that it would be a good time to use my remaining youth to grow my hair out, only to find my father staring back at me in the mirror. Hell, I even got a cat. I’ve experienced all of that, and more; all while paradoxically, being at the same job, doing the same things, day in and day out.
So, now with all the reflection: Am I a smarter person that I was ten years ago? Probably not; if anything, I feel stupider, most days. Am I a wiser person? Unequivocally, yes. I started my 30’s with a pretty good idea of how the world worked, and I end them knowing just how much more I still need to learn. Am I a better person than I was ten years ago? I have no idea. It always seems like I become the person society expects us to be, just in time for standards to shift; leaving me back at square one, and needing to carve out yet another niche for myself. That having been said, I have at least moderately higher hopes for this upcoming change; if only because it’s one that I’ve primarily made on my own, and thus am going in feet first with both eyes open. I guess you could say that I’m cautiously optimistic; with heavy emphasis on the former over the latter. Either way, it’s going to happen, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.
As ever, have a safe and productive rest of the day, safe trip home, if out, and great weekend. And again, thank you to everyone who’s both come with me on this journey, and been good enough to share their own. It’s definitely been one hell of a ride, and I hope to see you riding shotgun on whatever comes next.