There's been a wholesale reorganisation of administration services at work, so virtually all of us are faced with a move of some description, anything from a different desk in the same office to a totally new job, new department, new building. So it's unrealistic to think in terms of arranging the customary valedictory gifts, otherwise we'd be doing nothing but conducting collections and going shopping (not the highest priority when you have to hand over your old job role and simultaneously learn a new one). Therefore it came as a lovely surprise yesterday when, amid the shifting of computers and other paraphernalia, several colleagues sidled nonchalantly into my office and I was regaled with a moving speech about my achievements and presented with a beautiful scarf, some jewellery and an M&S gift card (maybe I can now justify those pale blue suede pumps I've had my eye on!)
For I'm one of those who's on the move in a big way - different Faculty, different role, different colleagues, the lot. When this was first announced, reactions ranged from 'I didn't realise you wanted to move' (I didn't) and 'I bet you're looking forward to dropping x, y and z' (not really, as I'm used to them even if they drive me mad sometimes) to, most bizarrely, 'Are you leaving because you don't like my face?' Quite honestly, in the twilight years of my career, I didn't seek out a major change but in the circumstances of wishing to maintain my salary scale I didn't have any option but to apply for the new job ... little did I realise they'd send me and my 'useful expertise' right across the campus to carry it out. Being good at my job seems to have resulted in an own goal; shame I didn't demand a transfer fee.
Change happens, that's for sure, and no doubt we'll all settle into our new environments in time and make a success of it. There'll be new working relationships to forge, and in many ways that's a challenge which is sure to yield lots of positives, but it'll certainly be a wrench leaving the support and friendship of those I've enjoyed working with and who, crucially, are used to my quirks and particular brand of humour. I thank them and wish them all well, and will say 'au revoir' rather than 'goodbye'.