Last Days in D.C.

Posted on Wednesday 11 July 2007

Things you find out on your last day at work:

–The reservationist who trained you on the phones and Open Table is a life saver when it comes to figuring out how to rent a car for a month–especially when it involves a one-way rental. You always liked her. Really liked her. You just never knew how many extra miles she’d go for you.

–When you tell one of the best managers you’ve ever known that you’d work for him any time, any place, and that you mean that and that means you’d work for him even in a fast food spot like Pizza Hut, he doesn’t quite get it. Then you realize you may have offended him. Crap.

–Your direct manager has pulled together a nice little going away moment, complete with gifts of candy (“All gluten-free–I checked!”) and a few words about how much she will miss you and how great you were to work with. And you wish she had shared a little more of that over the past six months, but you hug her close, at the end of the day, because it is the end.

–One of the many nighttime bartenders you never knew because you never drank after work at your restaurant until tonight, tells you he knows someone in your new beach town, a bartender, and he’ll hook you up. He better, you tell him, because you don’t know one single person there except your soon-to-be manager. A bartender would be a nice back-pocket name to have on hand.

–That this bartender who knows someone in your new beach town is actually an incredible bartender in his own right–his hands fluttering over the Micros touch screen like delicate butterflies, his ability to pour call drinks as he makes guests feel like he is only there for them is truly a skill, a talent. And even though he makes fun of you about your uneasiness to start over in a new place, you still respect his top-shelf skills as a bartender, and you would never tell him that his kidding around struck you through your heart. This was not the day to kid around with you, for sure, but how could he know that? You’d only just met.

–How another manager, one you helped train on his first day on the floor, seems like he will truly miss you. And you tell him you will truly miss him, because he is always a gentleman. Always.

–How the manager you always liked because he gave you a nice nickname, seems uncomfortable and awkward saying goodbye.

–How the GM didn’t realize this was your last day.

–That leaving this place, this company, is harder than you imagined it would be, despite how excited you are to tackle the new job in a far-away beach town. It was nice, you acknowledge, feeling comfortable and familiar in a place that took you in with open arms.

–That leaving it all is absolutely, positively the hardest thing you have done yet in your life. And you had no clue how hard it was going to be. Until you cried and cried while walking the four blocks to the Metro, while riding to your stop, and while walking all the way down the hill to your home that will no longer be your home in two days. And you never once cared who stared at you and your tears.

–That two days before the movers come, on the last day of a job you know you did quite well, when you know there are no more walks with friends or alone along concrete sidewalks with predictable cracks and bumps that trip you, that this is it.

This is it.

14 Comments for 'Last Days in D.C.'

  1.  
    m
    July 11, 2007 | 11:12 pm
     

    I hope you can feel the wings of prayers and best wishes carrying you along the way. All my best to you. And thank you for sharing this tender post.

  2.  
    July 12, 2007 | 8:53 am
     

    It’s amazing what you find out when you leave. I remember when I came to sell my business and phoned many of my contacts to put out the word for potential buyers, that many of them would have sold their right arm to go into partnership with me. Yet one of the major frustrations for me when I did run the business was the feeling of being alone with it all. If I’d known there would have been that response years before, I would have changed my set up before it became so unbearable I had to quit completely.

    However, embracing change is an incredibly empowering thing to do. Just always remember you’re doing it on your terms.

  3.  
    July 12, 2007 | 8:59 am
     

    You’re right, this IS it. It’s the moment to spread your wings. The moment to be looking forward to starting something new. The very first moment of the rest of your life. Embrace it, RG, and enjoy the ride!

  4.  
    Julie
    July 12, 2007 | 10:26 am
     

    It wasn’t that long ago that I left California for New York. There was the farewell dinner with friends and the cake at the office. I moved boxes into storage because my new apartment was so much smaller. And just shipping the few things I absolutely had to have with me. It was one of the scariest things I’ve done (and I’ve since left New York), but one of the best moves I’ve made.

    Many hugs to you. I know it’s difficult, but it’s going to be a new wonderful adventure.

  5.  
    July 12, 2007 | 10:30 am
     

    It always amazes at the responses you receive when you are leaving somewhere. People you didn’t even really know sometimes seem to care more than the ones you thought you knew.

    Best of luck stepping into the unknown.

  6.  
    Cootera
    July 12, 2007 | 11:23 am
     

    GOOD LUCK!! I almost never comment, but want to say that I look forward to the next chapter. And, not meaning to trivialize this –if it’s how you take it– but this all seems so “Shirley Valentine” to me. Seriously, I can’t wait for your posts from the beach town.

  7.  
    July 12, 2007 | 11:45 am
     

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, but never commented until now. I hope the new town brings you many wonderful adventures and you will meet great new people. I, myself, am moving away in two months to a city that’s 9 hours away from where I currently live… and I can’t even imagine how hard it will be saying goodbye to everyone. But a new place always brings new opportunities and true friends will always stay in touch. Good luck on your journey!

  8.  
    maureen Cochrane
    July 12, 2007 | 11:59 am
     

    A new birth always comes with a little pain. I know your new life will bring you all the joys you deserve
    No longer annonymous

  9.  
    Pamela
    July 12, 2007 | 3:22 pm
     

    Good luck with the move and I can’t wait for the happy post when you settle in!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10.  
    July 12, 2007 | 7:03 pm
     

    I wish you the best of luck. Those moves are a pain in the you know what but I hope your move turns out as well as mine did.

  11.  
    July 13, 2007 | 1:13 pm
     

    Good luck! I left my job, my friends, my family and moved to a different country a few years back. There was so much growing that I needed to do, and did – and in the end (though I ended up moving back, but to a different city), I am a better person for doing it.
    You’ll learn so much more about yourself, more than you’ve ever imagined – and being able to have the guts to do it just shows what a strong person you are.
    Congrats on your journey!

  12.  
    Angie
    July 13, 2007 | 4:02 pm
     

    Change is never easy, even a good change. It’s my wish for you to find whatever you are looking for in your new town and to realize that the loneliness you fear, you’ve left behind in DC.

  13.  
    July 16, 2007 | 1:15 pm
     

    That’s a lot of managers!

    Good luck on your new journey RG – if you’re so fortunate to be in that beach town the Playaz are known to frequent, who knows – maybe we’ll unexpectedly walk in that place some day – and we’d be fortunate to have you taking care of us.

  14.  
    kim
    July 18, 2007 | 2:14 am
     

    Leaving the ‘known’ is so hard. When I left the town I spent the last 25 yrs in, six months ago, I cried every day for weeks, i cried for co-workers and family and friends and even my past.. but it is the single best thing I have ever done for myself! It was a long up-hill path to my beach town ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have read your writings now for quite awhile and don’t comment often, but I wanted you to know that your journey has touched me, still touches me, and I am sending you all the best with all my heart !

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